Paper Cuts

When you're looking for a job in the field of Information Technology, the first thing that pops into mind is helping users with various computer difficulties they may run into.

The last thing that comes to mind is running a Kinko's-like environment.

That never really bothered me though. I've always admired Kinko's as being the cleanest 24-hour establishment in the nation.

It's just that they never tell you about the injuries you're sure to inflict upon yourself handling reams upon reams of laser paper.

Prior to accepting this position, my hands had been in impeccable shape. Sure, my cuticles need some work, but whose doesn't? My point is, there were very few open wounds on my hands before I started working for OU.

But look at them now. Gnarled fleshy extensions of my arms that only slightly resemble the 5-digit tools of manipulation that they once were.

The dry winter air is sure to have an effect, but it can't completely be to blame for my mangled hands. It seems that every day I refill a printer, eight new lacerations appear, each one more painful than the last.

And it doesn't even stop with refilling printers. The last paystub I picked up practically sliced my thumb clean off. Right at the bottom knuckle. There was a skinflap blowing in the wind all weekend from that one.

I'd use latex gloves if I thought they'd render an improvement, but if paper's going to sever my bones, how is a thin layer of rubber going to protect me? Mittens are another option, but motor manipulation is severely hindered by the inches of fabric between my fingers and the paper. Not to mention the lack of individual finger movement.

One of these days, I really am going to lose a limb to a ream of paper. Sure, people who see it will regard it in awe. That is, until they ask me which branch of the military I served in.

I could tell them I worked in close proximity with lasers and they'd be impressed, but the battlefield I served on would be the least impressive part of the story.

A computer lab, alright? I lost my pinky in a computer lab on campus back when I was in college. Stop laughing, I'm serious. Go away, I don't want to talk about it.

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28January2k3