Monday, September 26, 2011

Paper Losses

I visited one of my print shop clients recently to finish some tax reports and pick up bookkeeping papers. As he refilled his copier for the third time with 800 sheets, holding a ream of paper, he said, "And each pack of paper is short." My eyes glossed until the weight of his words sunk in.


"Yeah. Each ream is short. The average ream has 493 sheets instead of the 500 listed on the package."

I asked him how he knew this, knowing he would never sit down and count how many sheets are in a pack.

He pointed to his printer. "The machine prints the customer the right amount."

Argument settled and a lesson learned. Consumers of paper are suffering a paper loss and don't know it. And even though we are a paperless office, we still use enough paper to make the shortage count (pun intended.)

The 7 page average shortage is 1.4%. A small office may spend $10,000 a year on paper (accounting offices, at least.) This adds up to around $140 per year in losses. I don't know about you, but $140 means a lot to me. I feel violated. And now that you know, you do, too.

Welcome to my world.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?

Every generation has that moment where everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing. My grandfather's moment was the attack on Pearl Harbor; my father's, President Kennedy's assassination; for the current generation, 9/11, or to be more accurate, the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers. The plane crashing in Pennsylvania and into the Pentagon do not light our memories like the Twin Towers. The courageous efforts of those on United Airlines Flight 93 made the ultimate sacrifice by crashing the aircraft in Pennsylvania, saving another target from destruction. They should not be forgotten. The Pentagon is a military target and had less impact on people further from the destruction and not personally affected. They also shall never be forgotten.

I remember where I was and what I was doing when the news broke. I was watching CNBC as I dressed for work when newsanchor, Mark Hanes, inturupted the discussion to report a plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Live video of the smoking building filled the screen. I had two thoughts: How the h*%$ could a pilot hit a building in a city center, and, How will they (firefighters) ever get up there to rescue people and put out the fire. After a few moments I began to wonder how repairs are made in such a situation. At this point it seemed nothing more than a serious and unfortunate accident.

The horror was about to grow as reports came in this may be a terrorist attack. A short while later it was confirmed as the world watched live as Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. I sat on the edge of my couch too numb to weep.

I stayed home that day and watched the horror unfold. My emotions ranged from angry, to sad, to depressed. My heart went out to the dead and their families, injured, and scared. The United States has not been the same since.

I have no cute remarks to end this post. There is nothing funny about the events on September 11, 2001. As the day ended ten years ago, I thought, Welcome to the Twenty First Century. The science fiction writers never told us it could be like this.

Use the comments section to share your story.