July 06, 2007

I...I Believe...I Believe You Have My Stapler

For those of you who haven't seen the movie Office Space, that line will mean absolutely nothing to you. You're probably not sure how a stapler could have any kind of meaning or abstract symbolism, but it can. It absolutely can. Here's the story.

There's a character on Office Space named Milton. He works at Initech (some random tech office) with the other characters, but there's a catch. He was fired years ago but never told, and through a glitch in payroll, he keeps getting paid. He doesn't really do anything, and people keep taking advantage of him. Here’s some of Milton’s rambling dialogue:

. . . and I don't care if they lay me off either cuz I told Bill if they make me move my desk one more time I'm quittin'. And I told Don too because they've made me move four times this year already, and I used to be over by the window . . . and then they switched from Swingline to Boston staplers, and so, I kept my Swingline stapler because they don't bind up as much and I also kept all the Swingline staples from the supply cabinet too, . . . so if they make me give 'em back, I'll just, I'll, . . . I could set the building on fire.


Let's just say that by the end of the movie his cubicle is in the basement and he is very distraught about his stapler. Milton is the proud owner of a special edition, red Swingline stapler. It's his pride and joy, but his boss stole it.

Hi Milton, what's happening? Ah, I'm gonna have to ask you to go ahead and move your desk again. Yeah, so if you could just go ahead and get it as far back against that wall as possible, that would be great. That way we'll have room for some of these boxes and things we need to put in here. And ah, . . . (noticing something) Oh, there it is . . .


At this point, his boss steals Milton’s red Swingline stapler. He spends the entire movie trying to recover his stapler, but to no avail, eventually resorting to burning down the office building out of sheer frustration. The stapler, fortunately, was recovered.

So, why have I told you all this? Is it because I have a tendency to talk about staplers on my blog? Perhaps in part, but the real reason is because of something my parents got me for college. I am the proud new owner of a special edition, red Swingline stapler.



I know, it’s amazing! It staples like a dream and gets all the chicks. It’s also quite the model, posing for a photo shoot this morning at McDonalds. Here are some highlights:



I took it to work today and I think it feels right at home in its cubicle, next to its TPS Report memo (Yes, this is the actual memo from the movie).



And it is now resting comfortably between my scary phone (with far too many buttons and weird features that aren’t clearly labeled or intuitive) and my OfficeMax solar calculator.



My red Swingline is now my official stapler. Forget that fancy electric stapler that I could use, this has style and class. I know you’re all jealous, but you’ll just have to get your own, because I love my stapler