Whilst on my little business trip on Friday I idly wondered if I'd spot a Staples store so that I could buy a new shredder. It's not the most exciting of purchases, but the playful little one I've been using only takes about five sheets at a time. It also makes a snarly noise if the sheets are not placed in exactly perpendicular orientation. It's party trick is to produce A4 sheets with sort of comb section after they have jammed and had to be reversed out.
I'm sure its telling me to be ecologically sound, and I do try to avoid printing, but sometimes there's no choice. The small machine's quirkiness means there has been a significant quantity of paper to be disposed of, which either means carrying it to the confidential waste bins in a main office or shredding tiny quantitates at a time.
So I was just pulling away from the car park after the meetings, when I saw the spire of a nearby Staples store. Right on my route.
I entered the store with its disorienting 4 metre high shelving stacked with office cleaning products and ballpoint pens. Then I noticed a spot-lit pile of boxes. I thought I could hear a choir singing. That spotlight was there just for me. It was highlighting an immense pile of industrial looking shredders just inside the store entrance.
Now I'm not quite that easily led, but when I'd googled 'shredders' a few days earlier the one I'd picked was a larger version of the one on offer.
Except this smaller one had a much lower price and only a slightly lower capacity.
In my shock at the simplicity of this retail experience, I looked around the store and also found the exact model I'd previously spotted on the internet. It was huge. I could park a car in it*. It was one of those times I knew I'd made the right decision to go look at them rather then hit 'buy' on the internet.
So I bought the smaller one. My old shredder took around 5 sheets. The new one takes 60 at a time. My entire pile of confidential waste has already gone.
But I do have rather a lot of confetti.
*okay, a toy car