Staple Puller

Yesterday I needed a staple puller. I’m cleaning up my office and getting rid of old files, so I’m scanning piles of old documents and archiving them on CDROMs. I have one big stack of stapled documents, and I have to pull the staples out neatly without ripping the corners so they’ll run through the automatic document feeder without problems. I know I have a staple puller around my office, in fact, I recall thinking how odd it was that I owned a staple puller since I use it so rarely. It must be at least 2 years since I’ve seen it, it’s in a drawer somewhere.

After an hour of searching, I still couldn’t find the stupid staple puller. I recall paying only 75 cents for the staple puller, my time is worth more than 75 cents per hour, so the hell with this, I’ll just go out and buy a new staple puller tomorrow.

So today I went to Staples, of course they’d sell staple pullers. But you cannot buy one staple puller, they only sell three-packs of staple pullers for $1.72. They had a fancier staple puller sold individually, but that was even more expensive than buying the three-pack, $2.29.

I asked for the manager, and insisted she look up in her catalog to see if there was any way to buy just one staple puller. I was vehement that my project was intended to get rid of crap lying around my office, not to get more crap to accumulate in my office. She looked in the catalog and found only one other unit, a heavy-duty staple puller for $8. I left Staples without purchasing a staple puller.

To illustrate this article, I decided to look up a photo of the staple puller on the website, and I found that I can order one staple puller online for 75 cents, which will be delivered free via UPS ground, taking about a week.

So I decided to call the Staples store, and see if I could get them to order it for me by the part number and I could just pick it up in their store. The Staples clerk told me I would have to come in to the store and prepay 75 cents before they would order it. I explained that this would mean that in order to buy just one staple puller, I would be required to make three trips to their store, the one I had already made, when they misinformed me they could not sell less than three units, the second trip to pay the 75 cents, and the final trip to pick up the item.

I asked to speak to the manager, explained the whole stupid situation, and begged her to just order the single unit as a courtesy, since I had been misinformed that they could not order one staple puller. She relented, and decided to rip open a three-pack and just sell me one. So I went back to the store, paid 79 cents (including tax) and walked out with one staple puller. As I paid, I told the manager, “well at least now, two other customers can purchase one staple puller.” She said, “oh no, I can’t sell the others now that the packaging is spoiled, I’ll have to just use them in the store.” Sheesh.

Well, there are a lot of bigger things to get irate about, but I have to draw the line when a corporation wants to force me to buy three times more product than I need, and it will just add to the clutter in my office at the very time I’m in the middle of a project to clear that all up. Besides, I already owned one staple puller (even if I couldn’t find it anywhere), now I have two, and I sure as hell didn’t need four staple pullers.

Update May 28, 2005: I found my original staple puller. It was lying on a table in the back of my garage. I only found it after 6 days of constant work cleaning out my garage. Now I have two staple pullers.

Update June 15, 2005: I found another staple puller today. Now I have three staple pullers.

Update July 6, 2005: I found another staple puller today. Now I have four staple pullers. I am cursed by staple pullers.

Update July 7, 2005: I found yet another staple puller today. Now I have five staple pullers. It should now be obvious why I was trying to avoid acquiring two extra staple pullers when this saga started.

© Copyright 2016 Charles Eicher