Office Copying Getting Out Of Hand, Says Office Manager

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Vol 35 Issue 37

Legislators Still Concerned About Key Non-Issues

WASHINGTON, DC—With Americans increasingly concerned about the Social Security crisis and nuclear threats abroad, a coalition of leading congressmen restated their long-standing commitment Monday to such non-issues as flag-burning, school prayer and Internet porn. "Make no mistake, Congress is still deeply committed to these inconsequential matters," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said. "As long as we are in office, we will continue to clog up the legislative process with this trivial dross." Hatch said citizens should feel free to e-mail his office with any other non-issues they feel are being overlooked.

Ritalin Gummis Unveiled

BASEL, SWITZERLAND—In what it is touting as "a fun, delicious new way to combat Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder," Ritalin manufacturer Novartis unveiled Ritalin Gummis Monday. "Good news, parents: Controlling your kids' wandering attention spans and erratic, impulsive behavior just got yummier," said Novartis director of product development Charles Bentley. "Available in five fruity flavors, Ritalin Gummis will soon be available at pharmacies and Brach's Pick-A-Mix displays everywhere." If the product is successful, Novartis rival Eli Lilly said it will likely move forward with a tart, sugary antidepressant tentatively dubbed "Paxil Stix."

Some Genius Juxtaposing Religious Iconography And Bodily Waste Yet Again

SAN FRANCISCO—The ultimate taboo was broken for the 856th time Monday, when the controversial art exhibit "Doo-Doo Messiah" opened at the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art. The shocking series of sculptures and paintings, which, among other things, depict Jesus Christ enthusiastically eating St. Paul's feces and blessing himself with the urine of John the Baptist, has sparked outrage among Christian leaders, many of whom flew straight from the Brooklyn Museum Of Art's "Sensation" exhibit to begin work on protesting this latest shocking installation. "This is the most horrifying, blasphemous excuse for art I have ever witnessed again," said Father Theodore Dickey of the Archdiocese of Boston. "I have seen many excrement-Jesus sculptures, but this is easily one of the 20 worst." Pastor Joseph Annunciata of the Cincinnati League of Episcopalians was equally shocked, asking, "Why would they display such a thing in a place where decent Christians are going to see it when they come to protest it?"

I Am Tired Of These Constant Near-Death Experiences

Last night, as I so often do during my sleep, I dreamt of the lithe-limbed and frustratingly over-corseted Sophie Tucker. But midway through the dream, without warning, the lady-actress' enchanting features changed to the stern visage of German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck!

It's Splitsville For Jacko!

Item! Megasuperduperstar Michael Jackson and his wife are calling it quits after five years of wedded bliss. No official word yet on the cause of the divorce, but rumor has it, the wife was frustrated over Jackson's refusal to let her appear in one of his music videos. Sounds like the same thing that tragically drove the Ricardos apart. Let's just hope there's no bitter custody battle over the animals. In times of divorce, the first priority should be to do what is best for the capybaras.

Infidel!

Bring forth the prisoners! I, Gorzo The Mighty, hereby decree that Crash Comet, Space Commander From The Year 2000, and his puny boy sidekick, Buddy Jeepers, are to be executed summarily, vaporized, and their space-particles scattered across the farthest reaches of the cosmos! I have spoken! But first, remove the bags covering their faces! Unmask the weak, insignificant prisoners, that I may spit in the face of these two foolish whelps who dare to call themselves "the galaxy's greatest heroes." I wish to force them to watch the destruction of the entire United-Earth Space-Army with a single blast from my Atomo-Ballistic Laser Cannon, so that they may die knowing the hideous depths of their failure!

The New Reagan Biography

Edmund Morris' new Reagan biography, Dutch: A Memoir Of Ronald Reagan, is drawing fire for its use of fictionalized characters and events. What do you think of this controversial "biographical novel"?
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Business

Office Copying Getting Out Of Hand, Says Office Manager

ARLINGTON, TX—Southcentral Medical Supply office manager Wendell Sulley formally announced Monday that office copying is "getting out of hand."

Office manager Wendell Sulley.

"After months of seeing the copy-machine, fax and print-station areas littered with copies of documents that are obviously for personal use, it was time to put my foot down," the 42-year-old Sulley said. "I've changed that second-floor toner cartridge twice in the past three weeks alone."

Added Sulley: "Those cartridges cost $55 each."

Sulley's official decree came in the form of a notice in 40-point type posted above the office's two Xerox 5830 copiers and three Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 5000N printers. It read, "Access to the copier is a privilege, not a right. From now on, restrict your usage to necessary, work-related items ONLY!"

"Unauthorized photocopying and laser-printing hurts all of us. This sort of white-collar crime—and it is a crime, folks, a form of theft—costs this company hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars a year," Sulley recently told a group of co-workers in the Southcentral break room. "And who do you think ultimately pays for that? You, the employees, in the form of budget cutbacks and layoffs, that's who."

"I've been very lenient about personal use of office equipment up until this point," Sulley continued. "Too lenient."

Sulley said that, for months, he had "turned a blind eye" to employees' use of company equipment and paper to copy birthday-party invitations, Lands End order forms, and office football-pool sheets. Instead, he chose to focus on cracking down on non-work-related phone calls and Internet-surfing.

But in recent weeks, Sulley said, workers had begun to copy personal items right in front of him, not even making an effort to disguise their illicit activities.

"Employees used to place an office memo over their personal copies or simply wait until I went to lunch," Sulley said. "But lately, right out in the open I've seen multiple copies of a recipe for 'Just Like Snickers' cookies, eBay bid-confirmation forms, a page of forwarded Hillary Clinton jokes, the Bad Golfer's Pledge Of Allegiance, the Schumacher Family quarterly newsletter, some Elton John song lyrics, and several maps of downtown Columbus, OH."

The last straw, however, came Friday, when Sulley discovered 40 copies of a sign reading, "You Don't Have To Be Carzy [sic] To Work Here, But It Helps!" in the waste-paper basket by the first-floor Xerox machine.

"Those contraband copies were left right out in the open, as if to proudly advertise the breach of office policy they represented and encourage other employees to do the same," said Bill Augustiniak, author of Your Job, Your Office: A Manager's Guide To Workplace Leadership. "Sulley had no choice but to view this as a clear act of defiance and a hostile challenge to his status as office manager."

Still, many Southcentral employees deny any wrongdoing.

"I've use the copier for my own stuff once in a while, like, maybe to copy an order form from a Fingerhut catalog or some quilt patterns, but that's it," said senior sales associate Donna Wilke. "Besides, I don't think it's our department that's causing the problem. I always see people from payroll using our copier on their way to lunch."

Refusing to blame any specific department, Sulley insisted that the problem is company-wide.

"It's not just one person or group of people—it's everyone," Sulley said. "And it's not just personal use that's hurting us: People are being wasteful in their work-related copying, too. I've seen people bring handouts to a meeting and end up throwing away 20 or 30 extra copies without a second thought."

With the company budgeting for a new $3,800 Hewlett-Packard Color LaserJet 4500 DN printer in early 2000, Sulley decided that now was the time to put his foot down.

"I hope everyone has the good sense to monitor their own use from now on," Sulley said. "I'd hate for it to come down to it, but if necessary, I won't hesitate to assign everyone a personal copier code."

Employees are well aware that Sulley does not make empty threats. Last year, he placed a lock on the office supply closet after three consecutive warnings about company-letterhead theft went unheeded, forcing everyone to go directly through him for all stationery, pens, staplers, note pads and Scotch tape.

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