[expletive deleted]

I haven’t written much about Staples lately, because I’ve had this rancid, bile-filled rant building inside of me for the past several months and I’m afraid that if I start to let it out, I won’t be able to stop, and I’ll end up cursing at my boyfriend and my dog and my neighbors and eventually they’ll have to escort me from Staples in handcuffs because I just tried to strangle a customer with a CAT 5 cable.

The rant is so enormous that I don’t exactly know where to start, so I suppose instead of attempting any kind of cohesive narrative form I’ll just start with tonight.

Tonight I spent a significant portion of my shift unloading the truck. Why would the people in charge have the shortest, weakest, and most accident-prone employee hauling 400-pound printers up an extremely tall and marginally stable ladder, you might wonder? Because they wanted to see me totter and tumble to my death, after which they would no longer have to deal with me nagging them for a key to my own office.

Have I mentioned that I don’t have a key to my own office yet? I’m too lazy to check the archives, so I’ll just re-explain it. If you’ve heard this before, and I’m sure all five of you are really sick of hearing about it by now, feel free to skip ahead to the part where I get arrested for threatening to commit a violent crime on the internet.

The Staples tech department is brilliantly split into two locations on opposite sides of the store. At the front of the store is the tech desk, which has a desktop for tech use, a register set up for intake, and enough desk space to work on one computer, maybe one and a half if you’re really persistent about bending the rules of geometry. At the back of the store is an office, which has another desktop and plenty of desk space, so that you can work on up to five or six computers at once. If that sounds pretty sweet to you, here’s the rub: the front desk computer has the internet, and there’s an ethernet cable for the computer being worked on. In the more spacious tech office, there is only wireless internet available, and the desktop in the office only has Staples intranet, which means only one website is accessible. If you’ve ever tried to perform desktop support without access to the internet — no wait, no one has ever voluntarily worked under those conditions! EVER.

Because one location has the internet and the other has all of the computers, I have to run back and forth between them quite a bit. This is only exaggerated by the fact that I’m a total flake, and will usually forget something I need in the last location I’ve been. The door to the tech office locks automatically when closed and is supposed to stay locked whenever it is unoccupied, including five-second jaunts to the front of the store because I forgot the entire left hemisphere of my brain up at the tech desk. And I don’t have a key to that door, because if they were to give me a key to that door, it would unlock every door in the entire store — including the cash office. Thus, any time I need access to the office, I have to page a manager to let me in to the office. The managers, of course, are usually hiding under the display desks so that they don’t have to answer pages.

Allow me to illustrate:

As you can plainly see, this is completely fucking ridiculous.

Speaking of completely ridiculous things, that allows me to seamlessly segue into the brief yet tragic story of how I was pushed over the edge today and forced into my current rage-y state. A customer wanted some pictures burned to a CD. Nothing in our list of services even comes close to describing this. A coworker asked a manager how to classify this service; the manager responded that it would be a data transfer and should be charged as such. Guess how much a data transfer costs? $99.99.

One hundred fucking dollars to burn some pictures to a CD.

I’m fairly confident that I don’t actually work for Satan and his minions, but sometimes that confidence is gruelingly tested.

“Is everything we do here evil?”
-Lem, Better Off Ted

Staples claims to only make 60% profit on its tech services. This statistic requires an enormous suspension of disbelief to swallow, considering that they pay their techs barely above minimum wage to work on up to five or six tasks simultaneously, and that chances are at least three of those five or six people are grossly overpaying for simple services that we don’t have the tools to adequately perform. And despite the ridiculously high profits coming out of the tech department, no one — not the managers, or the associates in other departments, or the higher-ups in corporate — concedes even one iota of respect to the tech workers. The managers think we’re too demanding, the other employees think we sit in the back and do nothing, and corporate thinks that they can slap a degrading uniform on a rabid squirrel they caught in the parking lot and call it an Easy Tech.

Do I sound bitter? I may be a tiny bit bitter.

I need a better job. And a life. And a beer. At least I can fix one of those pronto.

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