Friday, August 10, 2007

A Million Little Pieces, Only Without the Illegal Drugs

So I bought a new shredder the other day. Just for my personal home use. Cute little model, comes with a basket, does a diamond shred of up to eight pages at a time. Good enough for what I need it for.

I brought it home and plugged it in, anxious to start using it. I had managed to accumulate a huge stack of bills and other documents that needed to be shredded before discard so I wanted to go ahead and get started.

Okay, so before I go on, here's a snapshot of the top of the shredder:



You see there's a slot for the paper. Under it is a special slot for credit cards. Look closely and you can see where you can feed CDs too, in the event you should want to shred a CD.

I call special attention to the part of the shredder beneath the feed slots. Here's a closer view:



That little red button is marked "Emergency Stop." Notice the light next to it; you can tell it's green, but it's not lit up.

And there are indicators above the red button.

I plugged my machine in, ready to get started with my shredding, when I noticed the little green light was not on. So I thought perhaps it's one of those machines that starts working automatically upon the introduction of paper, but putting paper into the slot didn't start it either.

Repeatedly pushing the red button -- the only thing I could think of to do -- didn't get the machine to start either.

Great, I thought, I bought a defective machine.

There's a toll free number on the machine you can call for tech support, so I did. After holding for a bit, I finally got an operator on the phone.

"Hi, I bought this shredder, model number XXXXX, and, well, it just doesn't seem to work."

Her response made me feel like the biggest idiot of all time: "See that red button? Okay, yeah, why don't you push it all the way over to the right and see what happens...."

The freaking red button is the power switch. The green light turned on once I pushed it over and my paper then came out in a gazillion little diamond-shaped pieces.

I burst out laughing with the tech support lady. "Oh my goodness, I feel so completely retarded now!"

"Well," she very politely reassured me, "from what I can tell the instructions aren't that well written."

"I'll say," I told her, "the damn instructions don't even tell me how to turn the damn machine on!" (Really. They don't. They talk about shredder maintenance and shredder safety, but not how to operate your shredder.)

We laughed together for a while -- I really was laughing so hysterically at how stupid I felt that I suppose it was a little contagious -- and I thanked her and hung up.

Then I filled up two large kitchen bags with shredded paper and discarded a large part of my past.

1 comment:

thelastnoel said...

Wow. This post was suspense filled. I wondered what would happen to the shredder.