Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shouldn't Be All That Perplexing

I would be willing to guess that most people that look at the picture here will figure out with no thought that it is an electric stapler. The perplexing piece of the puzzle is that while it sites at the front of the lab, directly in between an electric pencil sharpener and an electric three hole punch, an alarming number of folks while standing right in front of it, having stared at it for way longer than it should take a human to figure out what it is and ask out loud, "Do you guys have a stapler?"

I would go further to bet you, dear reader, have already figured out how to use this stapler - right? Certainly not as complicated as flushing a toilet or heaven forbid, tying a shoe lace. I'd ask you also to take notice, and this might be slightly less obvious from this photo, there is a rather thick wad of tape and cardboard blocking a gray lever. The purpose of this lever is to adjust the page depth where the device will staple; I will explain why its taped up in a minute.

There are times when people will look at this and be dumbfounded, they have zero idea how to operate it; that is truly baffling. Other times, folks will figure out that the pages to be stapled slide in, sometimes they even guess correctly that the white arrow pointing inward is there for direction and not decoration but they understandably may not recognize that the trigger that initiates the stapling process are those two red things to can see - once the pages bump up against those,  the staple is inserted.

Sometimes, someone will slide their paper in and miss the red bumpers, hence no staple. They have no clue why nothing happens so they try one of two things most commonly. They funniest and most ridiculous is the push down on the top of the unit emulating the physical action one would take on a traditional manual stapler. I confess that I laugh each time I see this, I can't understand how that rationale works.

Other times, they will attempt to move the lever. Perhaps one could rationalize that out of desperation, if the staple doesn't happen after the insert, that maybe a button of sorts must be pushed, pressed, moved or whatever. The thing is, the one button-y thing, the lever, is so obviously taped into place and intentionally in a position not to be altered - yet they try anyway...again, makes zero sense to me. I taped the lever up after the first thousand times someone moved it and then screwed up the depth of stapling for everyone after - so that it couldn't be mistaken for something someone should move, yet - they still try sometimes.

Before ending this, I will remind you that this is a college campus.

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