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The cycle of (not) recycling

August 29th, 2010 · 49 comments

These notes — the first from on office in California, the second from an office in Arkansas — both seem like they’re following the same not-quite-finished flowchart for acceptable office paper usage.

Before you take a sticky... Could this be done in Notepad?? (or Text Edit) If not, recycle when you're done!


Really, you’re in for a scolding no matter what. And as our submitter Hannah noticed — in this bizarre exchange from the copy room at a school in Spartanburg, South Carolina — contrition only seems to further incense the office Paper Nazis.

I am sorry for wasting this paper. It's people like you that should be struck from the earth!!!

related: Nothing fosters community like shared networked printers!

FILED UNDER: Arkansas · California · confusion??? · exclamation-point happy!!!! · office · recycling · South Carolina

49 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Dan

    Hmmm… post-it hater from pic #1 would not be satisfied with any of these wastes of paper… or life.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   Cathryn Bauer

    I consider myself an avid recycler, but really…please….

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:09 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Canthz_B bang

      Bob: How exactly do you recycle avids?

      Harry: I dunno, ask Davis! :-P

      Aug 30, 2010 at 1:25 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #3   se

    In the first instance, when someone wants to use a post-it, they first need to remove the note.. do ya think they’ll replace it on the top? or just toss it in a trash can?
    maybe the same is written on the whole pad?

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:15 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Elorel

      Maybe the last one in the pile says “NEED MORE” with an inappropriate-looking doodle of a pen.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #4   Kay

    #2 made me laugh loudly because — really — isn’t the bigger worry that the printout’s owner cannot remember a three-item shopping list and where to get those three items without making a list?

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:38 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   shwonline bang

      Perlite + plastic tubs + plastic tubes = probably growing hydroponic pot = probably cannot remember a three-item shopping list unless it consists of Funyuns, Funyuns and Funyuns.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   infant tyrone bang

      Sara Lee Brownies (or Cheesecake) is all the triplexity they really need.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Canthz_B bang

      A horticulturalist!
      See, and here I thought they were listing the supplies needed to dismember and bury a body…only a partial list of course, the finalized list would naturally be password protected.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 1:30 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   Ndawg

      Body-burying and dismembering needs are usually done in Notepad (or TextEdit).

      Aug 30, 2010 at 9:42 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   anony

      Nah I bet he’s growing mushrooms

      Oct 9, 2010 at 11:58 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #5   Joe Blow

    Wasting paper ensures there will be post-consumer recycling for Starbucks heat sleeves in the future. I print every post on this website.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #6   Joe Blow

    The proper response to #2 is to print the list out three times, and write a note on the first one, noting that by writing on the person’s “white space”, it required them to print a new one. So, you printed three extras. One for the note, one in case another a-hole like the original writer worked in the office, and a thrid to go to home depot and walmart.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:45 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #7   J

    We have one guy at my work who takes packs of post it notes, separates all the notes, and puts them back together into paper fans. Much to the annoyance of the rest of us.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   jayskinner70

      Sounds like that guy needs a job…Oh wait, nevermind.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 8:49 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #8   LainTexas

    Dear G-d, the commentator on note 3 needs to get a grip. It’s just a piece of paper! She needs to switch to decaf in short order.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #9   aaa bang

    The Note Writer #1 is just frustrated that their coworkers have not yet mastered the art of making Notepad and TextEdit files stick directly to papers, cubicles, lunches about to be stolen from the break room fridge, etc. They tried printing the notes out first, but that wasn’t good enough for Note Writer. I’m sorry Note Writer, but we can’t all be smart enough to figure out how to affix a computer program directly to physical surfaces! Have a little compassion! I know you’re trying to make an appearance of empathy, but I know there’s hate and condescension roiling beneath the “If not, recycle when you’re done!!” line.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   JetJackson

      I just use textedit and put some sticktape on the back of my iPhone. Sure I have racked up a hefty credit card debt with iPhones hanging off my desk and stuck to my pc screen but think of all the paper I have saved. Some Apple hater told me it was false economy but they just don’t understand the value of the iPhone is in the apps such as textedit.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   aaa bang

      I’m not cool enough for an iPhone for that to be a viable option. I tried using Notepad and then duct-taping my laptop to all my important documents, but I quickly ran out of room in my file folders. I wanted to remind myself to call Satan after dinner, but the duct tape wasn’t strong enough to hold my laptop up on the wall and it fell and cracked in half. I’ve lost a lot of laptops in an effort to save paper…

      Aug 29, 2010 at 10:56 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Nicole

      I love you folks…*happy sigh*

      Aug 30, 2010 at 12:27 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   mira

      Luxury! I adopt former eastern bloc women and tattoo my notes on them. Sticking them to the cubicle walls isn’t for the faint of heart though.
      I tried tattooing reminders on the faces of my drugged coworkers after I put ruffies in their lunches in the office refrigerator. But, that wasn’t efficient enough.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:32 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   eslinger bang

      Ruffies? You put plastic trash bags in their lunches? Subtle hint you want them to recycle, right? ;)

      Yes, yes, I know you meant “roofies,” but I was feeling quite sassy.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 11:18 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #10   aaa bang

    Murder? Rape? Arson?
    Does not compare to your sin!
    Please recycle, bitch

    Aug 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Canthz_B bang

      Murder and arson are recycling…rape is just an adrenaline rush.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 1:35 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #11   People Person

    Hey, dummy, that note was on tree-free cotton paper.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   mira

      Duuuuude that was totally some hemp paper i made this last weekend. Huh? What? You want to go get something to eat?

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:33 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #12   Party in my pants

    In our office a woman lets her 7 year old come in and draw and cut up paper with a friend for a couple of hours. Then she stands there the next day in her cubicle covered in drawings and asks “what can we do to conserve paper? The upstairs office won’t give us any more!” I just bite my tongue… I should be more PA.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 8:27 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   mira

      Shoot her, blame it on a hobo, and sell her bratty 7-year old to the gypsies.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:35 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #13   ShellyB

    Why didn’t commenter #2 make note of the gas she’d waste going to 2 different stores that both sell the three items on the list instead of getting it all at one or the other store?

    Aug 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #14   infant tyrone bang

    #1 Is the recycling urgency due to the paper in the post-it or the ink on it ?

    #2 Is a page with the word Untitled at its top center point “untitled” ?

    #3 … that should be struck from the earth !!
    If this is the state of teacher handwriting today,
    then we all may be, as cursive most clearly is, doomed.
    Check the leading “t” in “that” against it’s foppish cousin, the trailing “t”.
    Recall both while the “t” from “struck” screams, begging to be crossed.

    This is neither a retort nor a riposte, but a remonstrance in parallel with the greatest meltdown since Margaret Hamilton’s vanishing act.

    Aug 29, 2010 at 10:58 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Nahhh bang

      And it’s “STRICKEN,” not “struck.”

      eta: Nevermind. M-W says either is acceptable. Pffft.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 12:24 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Canthz_B bang

      Your comment will be duly stricken from the record, as you have struck a bargain with us all.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 1:38 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Meesh

      And it’s people “who,” not people “that.” As in “people who reprimand someone who has already apologized really need to get laid.”

      Aug 30, 2010 at 7:32 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Canthz_B bang

      “Whom”? Oh, no! Here we go again! :lol:

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:43 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   Edwina the Defrocked Nun

      infant tyrone, I want to have your child.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 9:17 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.6   infant tyrone bang

      Any special plans for afterward or are you just into the process ?
      We might start by exchanging thumbs…your turn.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   Canthz_B bang

    I say they should all be slruklc from the earth!!

    It’s been years since we’ve seen a good slruklcing around here, and I say it’s high time we lit a bonfire and had at it!!

    Aug 30, 2010 at 1:43 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Elorel

      Just don’t fuel the slruklcing bonfire with paper. It could be a sticky situation.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:40 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   Mo®

      Many Shuvs and Zuuls will know what it is to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!
      It’ll be a party!

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:43 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Canthz_B bang

      We’ll need loads of acetylsalicylic acid the next morning too!

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:49 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #16   Mrs Rochester

    Yeah, Spartanburg! WE’RE FAMOUS!
    …For striking people from earth….

    Aug 30, 2010 at 9:27 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   infant tyrone bang

      Call it !
      Y’all from S’burg know what it means…the rest of yuz should be so lucky.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   liscarian

      YES! I want a PA a-plenTAY!

      Incidentally, I’m frankly stunned that there are two other people reading this post who have even heard of the ‘burg…

      Aug 31, 2010 at 7:15 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #17   Melanie

    Scene: A smoky coffeeshop filled with bohemians. A man in a black turtleneck and matching beret sits at a stool in front of a microphone. He pulls deeply from a clove cigarette.

    “I call this one … ‘Untitled,’” he mutters. A soft beat emanates from the bongo drummer in the left wing.

    The poet begins:
    “Walmart. Two. plastic. tubs.”
    *thumpa thumpa thump* says the bongo.

    “Home. …. Depot.”
    *thwacka thump*



    *feathery drumbeat* *Thwack!*

    The poet drops his head to his chest. The spotlight is extinguished. The air fills with the appreciative snaps of the bohemian crowd at this masterpiece, a shining example of the ways in which The Man forces us into a life of meaningless consumption. Plastic tubs indeed! Damn The Man! Eat the Rich! Recycling is for the bourgeosie!

    Aug 30, 2010 at 11:06 am   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   eslinger bang

      That was beautiful. Thumb! :)

      Aug 31, 2010 at 11:22 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Mo®

      *snap snap snap*

      Aug 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #18   ivbeenthere

    Way to let your entire office know about your marijuana grow op #2.

    Aug 30, 2010 at 11:49 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #19   Oriole

    This brought back some unpleasant flashbacks….I worked at a small company years ago with an extremely anal-retentive cheapskate boss. How cheap was he? He’d rifle through the trash bags left out in the hallways in our office building and retrieve any 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of paper that were only printed on one side and we used those pages in our copier and fax machine. And any employee who used an entire 3″ X 3″ Post-It note for a four or five word message only made that mistake once – after a very vehement dressing-down from Boss they learned to cut an appropriate small strip from the regulation Post-It page for use with brief notes.

    Aug 31, 2010 at 12:42 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #20   peaches

    mrs. rochester, infant tyrone, and liscarian, yall aren’t the only ones…i’m representing the ‘burg too!!! way to be PA sparkle city!!!

    Sep 1, 2010 at 10:54 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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