Bits and Pieces

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Paper Shredding Randomness

Procrastination takes many forms, but for me I've always had a solid fall back when I'm trying to avoid working on something really important: I research topics that have no real world application for me.

I wonder who else does this.   Who looks at a messy room and a basket full of dirty laundry and then turns to Wikipedia to waste two hours reading about the world's longest suspension bridges or some such trivia?  I've been doing it years, and it rarely adds up to time well spent.

Today, though, I finally used one of my 'research' bouts for something useful.  A few months ago I was trying to put off an important writing job, and I spent an entertaining couple of hours learning all about home paper shredders.  Before that day I assumed all shredders were pretty much the same - they cut your documents into fine vertical strips.  What I learned, though, is that there are many different types of paper shredders that each come in at different price points and offer varying degrees of security.

So, when I was out shopping for a shredder today I came across a smarmy salesman who tried to convince me that a cross-cut shredder was the creme de la creme of shredding technology, which justified the ridiculous price he was trying to charge me.  I live in Bangkok right now, so each shopping trip involves a lot of tiresome haggling, and it always helps to know a little about the products.

So, when I came back at the salesman with the fact that cross-cut is in fact inferior to micro-cut in the shredding world I managed to beat him down a further $30.  I went on and on about the fact that a micro cut shredder can turn a sheet of A4 paper into 12,000 pieces of fine, unreadable trash, and eventually he decided he was no match for me.

Score one for the procrastinators!
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