Lexcursions: the adventures of Anthony Jucha – April Edition
April 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Officeworks offers free how-to classes that are supposed to have you “confidentialy diving in” to “back-up”, “clear some clutter”, “work faster” and even “wrap presents of all shapes and sizes”. It’s meant to be “a fantastic way of getting together with like-minded people” who, like you, want to “make the most of your printer”. It makes CLE sound appealing.
I walked in to (not my local) Officeworks, and stopped short. I was there for the how-to class that I adjudged most appropriate for a lawyer: “how to choose a shredder”. But quite where to for the how-to was unclear.
With no one to greet me (a la CLE) from behind an array of anally arranged name badges – I do so love that stunned look when I utter my name – I was forced to join a queue at the registers with all the other ABN registrants.
“You have a class on today?” I asked to a blank look. “On shredders?”
“Um, I’ll have to ask my manager.”
We found him unpacking boxes…of boxes.
“Uh, ok,” he said. “Um… I guess I’ll see you in shredders.”
I went there and waited, hoping I would not be the only one.
“It looks like you’re the only one. So why are you looking for a shredder?”
“I’m a lawyer and I’m facing an audit by the Law Society.”
“And the ATO”.
“And you’d be surprised how often shredding comes up with clients.”
“Ok, ok, I’m getting the picture. Look, I’ll be honest with you. You’re probably going to need something more industrial strength that what I can offer you.”
“That’s what I usually say to my clients.”
But he showed me his shredders anyway.
“No one will ever be able to read anything you put through this,” he said with both hands in the confetti.
“But I’ve heard that people can install a scanner on a shredder,” I said. “So that everything that is shredded is secretly scanned first.”
“Sure, you could do that,” he said, removing a hand and pointing to the next aisle. “We sell strip scanners perfect for that just over there.”
Apparently, in another aisle, they even sell Brother typewriters that are ideal for embossing fake credit cards.
“We had a guy who bought a couple of typewriters for that reason,” he said. “Problem was that he bought them with someone else’s credit card. The police tracked him through our CCTV.”
“Do you often get dodgy credit cards?”
“All the time,” he said. “The alarm bells go off when someone calls and says ‘I need two laptops in a hurry. I’ll pay by credit card, meet me out front.’”
“This place sounds like a hot-bed of crime,” I said. “but I think you’re right. I don’t think your shredders are powerful enough for my paper trail.”
“You could bring in your shredding and we can do it for you.”
“What? Here in the shredder aisle?”
He showed me their industrial shredder, near the registers, at “Print & Copy”.
“But this isn’t a very secluded spot,” I said. “The public internet computers are right there.”
“Yeah, and we’ve caught guys installing keystroke-logging software on them.”
“I really wouldn’t be comfortable leaving my documents here.”
“Me either,” he said. “You can stand over us and watch us shred if you want, but hardly anyone does that. Except once – we had a guy come in from a bank with a few boxes he wanted to shred in a hurry. You’d think they’d have their own shredders in a bank.”
“Just someone taking care of business, I guess.”
“Yeah, we get the lowest people, every day.”
“Well, thank you,” I said patting my wallet to make sure it was still there. “I’ve learned a lot about shredders, and Officeworks, today.”
“No problem, maybe you’ll make it to our next how-to class.”
“What is it?”
“Choose a digital pen.”
“That’s ok mate,” I said. “It’s all up here”.