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I Believe You Have My Stapler 583

Posted by michael
from the chisel-point dept.
yack0 writes "After three years of demand and countless calls, emails and letters, you can finally buy a Red Swingline Stapler. Hooray! As noted in this wall street journal article and confirmed by this page at the Swingline Stapler web site you can now pick up a Red Swingline stapler for merely twice the price of a plain black stapler. However, a colleague of mine says that the online order form is reading around $16 for his right now. Now all the cubicle dwelling prairie dogs can get one step closer to burning down the building." The red stapler has become some sort of cult icon at this point.
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I Believe You Have My Stapler

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  • Cultural Icon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HBergeron (71031) on Wednesday July 10, 2002 @11:37PM (#3862149)
    being an afficionado of dark comedy, I have long been a fan of Office Space. I may be one of five buyers of the (poorly produced) DVD. The performances, particularly Ron Livingstone (hugely underrated actor) and Diedrich Bader (almost unrecognizable) make it a real gem.

    On the subject of red staplers, why has the post WWII workplace insisted on mono-color conformity? It seems almost a conspiracy to ensure that office workers be isolated from as much visual stimulation as possible. Is it so important that the occasional visitor/client not see a single clash of colors that offends their sensibility? It would not revolutionize the drudgery of the workplace, but more allowances for individuality and color can't help but improve the condiditon of those who must exist in that environment from day to day.

    The whole "flair" concept at the Houlihans type restaurant carries the same theme. Even where modern business allows disorder, it cannot be individually expressive disorder, it must be carefully regimented and designed to communicate the corporate message, not a personal one.

    The dot com bust has given added credence to those who actually advocate this kind of enforced conformity - they point to a free form, more open dot com workplaces as a symptom or cause of the crash, and are using it to crush any new proposal to create a more humanized, comfortable workplace. Just my two cents. Great movie if you haven't seen it.
  • by teetam (584150) on Wednesday July 10, 2002 @11:57PM (#3862264) Homepage
    What I say here might be controversial, but cultural background plays a big role in the office environment.

    Ancient cultures (like China and India) tend to emphasize on hierarchy and obedience rather than questioning and innovation. When immigrant bachelor developers stay till midnight everyday and come to work on weekends, they set the same expectations on everyone else. Anyone who leaves at six because he has a life is viewed as being less of a team player. Also, important technical decisions might end up being taken outside the normal working hours.

    Things only get worse when, after a few years, these same people become managers.

    Some other symptoms are (i) dependence on individual brilliance rather than a good system and (ii) concentration of knowledge within a few individuals.

    I am not blaming anyone and certainly not all immigrant developers fit the above pattern, but there is a cultural aspect to work and I am merely pointing it out.

    BTW, I came from India three years ago.

  • by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@monkele c t r i c . com> on Thursday July 11, 2002 @01:12AM (#3862546)
    Office Space is really an indictment of corporate culture and to a much lesser extent capitalism. One thing that was disturbingly true at my last place of employment [systems admin] was always the "staying late." My fucking boss would walk in at 1:00pm for his first meeting, get out of that at 2:00, catch up on some work, maybe teach a class, then at 4:30 he'd wander in and ask you "how late can you stay tonight? " To quote brain candy I said, "fucker I've been here for 8 hours already!" but then out loud I said "How late do you need me?" Another just criminal thing they would do to me is, at noon they would they would tell me, "I need to see you at 4:00 its important." And then I'd spin my wheels for 4 hours, and finally they'd drop some shit on me like "I need a webmail system running before you leave tonight."(not exadurating, this was said to me). But most of the time it was shit that wasn't even my job "I need you to convert this journal paper into a PDF" (hardcopy only). One day I had worked 17 hours with no lunck/breaks to help meet a deadline created by my boss not starting a proposal until 24 hours before it had to be fedexed. By the end I had a crushing headache and was having trouble seeing from exhaustion, and at 3:00am my boss had the balls to ask me "What time can you be here in the morning? 10:00? We need you at 10" (knowing full well I had a 35 mile commute each way) ... which brings me to the real problem - respect. Most managers have no respect for their employees.
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Thursday July 11, 2002 @01:34AM (#3862596)
    There's another cool film called, "Way Downtown" which is very much in the same vein, though a little grungier around the edges.

    Shot in downtown Calgary, where the doozer habitrails are so advanced that, between interconnected malls, eateries, apartment high-rises and office blocks, it is entirely possible to NEVER go outside. (Presumably something to do with harsh Canadian winters. . .)

    The film is filled with dark-humor about what happens when a group of co-workers make a three pay-check bet to see who can stay indoors the longest. A rather bent film, with weird-ass hallucinogenic scenes which I can entirely relate to. --Basically, take your time in such fluorescent, filtered air environments, and multiply by 100. Makes you double-think space travel, and that's a fact!

    -Fantastic Lad

  • by teetam (584150) on Thursday July 11, 2002 @02:10AM (#3862717) Homepage
    As I said in my original post, I am an Indian who came to USA three years ago. I am so glad to see replies that have stuck with objective views.

    So let me tell you something - there are many, many Chinese and Indians who feel like you and I do. They tend to be silent because they are in a worse position than you. If you don't like a job, all you have to do is walk off to another company.

    Take me, for example. I am working on a H1 visa. If I am laid off, the INS immediately treats as being out of status and my countdown clock starts ticking. Even if I get interviews (past the citizens and GC only companies) and a job, I still have to wait a few more months for my new H1 to be approved. Under these circumstances, would I risk telling people at work how I really feel? No. I work as late as anyone else and make sure I am always around when people are looking for me, whatever be the time

    The H1 visa is a brilliant form of modern slavery that has the consent of everyone involved!

  • by Eil (82413) on Thursday July 11, 2002 @02:28AM (#3862758) Homepage Journal

    Speaking of killing hardware, my friend Jason and I make a nice hobby out of discussing various ways of destroying broken hardware and then making good on it [cc.mi.us].

    Thus far he's been the one to do all of the killing, but we plan to one day gather all of our various broken and/or useless stuff for a bit of mass-murder.
  • by gaj (1933) on Thursday July 11, 2002 @07:29AM (#3863311) Homepage Journal
    The H1 visa is a brilliant form of modern slavery that has the consent of everyone involved!
    Yes, including you.

    Obviously the H1 visa system is better than your alternative, eh? You obviously prefer it to staying in India, or you wouldn't be here.

    Your hyperbole about H1 being "a brilliant form of modern slavery" is really annoying. Did an H1 visa come up to you, point a gun to your head and force you to come here? I didn't think so. And as for the INS (fuckups that they are): when you are laid off you are "out of status".

    Now, a legitimate gripe might be if you were not informed of the terms of the visa when you were granted it. From your postings, though, I can see that you are intellegent enough to read the "fine print", so I doubt that was the case. Guess that leaves us back where we started; if H1 is slavery, you are the slave-driver.

    Please don't misunderstand, I applaud you for taking the effort and risk to improve your situation by taking advantage of our H1 system. That takes guts and drive, which I admire. Equating it to slavery is bullshit, though.

  • Re:Whoop-dee-shit. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by k2enemy (555744) on Thursday July 11, 2002 @09:56AM (#3863883)
    Staplers, people. It's a frickin' story on a STAPLER.

    slashdot is a forum for discussion. the story is about a stapler, but it was posted because it gives people a chance to talk about a great movie and corporate culture.

    reading through the comments, i don't see many that are just about staplers, but many many funny and insightful comments about the workplace.

  • by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@monkele c t r i c . com> on Thursday July 11, 2002 @10:00AM (#3863908)

    No offense man, but grow some cajones. If they fire you, they fire you

    One thing that was disturbingly true at my last place of employment

    I know it's subtle, but "was" and "last" are past tense, indicating I am no longer working there :)

    That story is actually more like enron meets office space. I had wanted to quit for about a year, but I had debts to pay and I wanted to stay at the job for atleast two years to look good on a resume. My boss and a official from accounting approached me one day telling me they were going to have the university write me a check and I was going to write most of the check back to them and that they needed to do this because they had paid me out of the wrong account :) Long story short I dont believe shit my boss tells me and the plan would have gotten me in *UBER* hot water with the IRS and NSF both whom the plan defrauded.

    So I went to the universities Judicial Director (the university interface to the legal system), who hooked me up with a detective and a deputy district attorney, for whom I agreed to setup my boss for prosecution by completing the fraud under the supervision of the police. On two occasions I wore a wire to document the planning of the crime for the police... and now that my boss is either going to be fired, sentured, or jailed, I quit.

    Is that enuf "cajones" for you? You really shouldn't use your +2 bonus for stupid comments.

  • by teetam (584150) on Thursday July 11, 2002 @12:54PM (#3865037) Homepage
    Oops..My usage of the word "slavery" seems to caused a small backlash. Sorry about that. It was not a personal complaint. I was merely trying to point out a possible lacuna in the system. No offense meant to anyone or any group.

    Let me clarify. I love America. Ever since I came here, I have had a fabulous quality of life. My rights have always been well respected. That is certainly not my point.

    Any capitalist system requires complete free will to function correctly, both on the part of the employer and the employee. The H1 work visa introduces an aberration. I was merely pointing that out.

    When I said everyone, I certainly included myself. It is not really a revelation when you point that out.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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