28 June, 2011

Filing by attrition.

The filing, then ... The running battle to convince La Mondaine that filing was her assigned task may have been won, but the war continues.

First there was the terrible problem that La Mondaine wasn't simply able to take the suspension files out of the filing cabinet and stick them straight into the archive boxes...

Well, technically she could but then wasn't able to close the lid afterwards.

Okay, well, technically she could close the lid, but only by half-destroying it and bending the metal strips on the files in the process. Yes, that's correct. Being unable to close the lid in the first place wasn't a big enough hint that it wouldn't work - she had to push things to a literal breaking point.

After a half-hour panic attack, she called Archives for advice, and was swiftly told that no, she couldn't just leave the lids sitting loosely on top of the boxes. No, there weren't special extra-large lids she could use and, no, they wouldn't consider ordering in extra-sized ones just for her.

After hyperventilating for a while, she removed some of the suspension files from the boxes and then placed them back inside, optimistically assuming that this would somehow cause the boxes and files to reconfigure themselves into more useful dimensions.

Weary sighs greeted their failure to spontaneously resize themselves.

Eventually The Invertebrate wandered past, La Mondaine poured out her troubles to him, and he made the mistake of suggesting the solution that had occurred to me back at the outset but which I'd refrained from mentioning because it was only going to lead to pain.

"How about you just take the paperwork out of the suspension files and put it in the boxes like that? It's all in manila folders, anyway, isn't it? Just archive it that way."

And that's a perfectly sensible suggestion. It's exactly what I'd have said, except previous experience with La Mondaine tells me exactly what's going to happen next.

"But then the files will all fall over! They won't be able to stand up without the hanging file!"

"Can't you just file them flat?"

"Noooo! Because then we can't sort through them!"

"But ... we're archiving these and sending them off-site because they're old. As long as we know what's in the box, we don't need to be able to rifle through them like files, surely?"

"The Stress Fiend will be angry if I file them flat! They have to stand up!"

(La Mondaine is frequently paralysed by fear of the Stress Fiend. So much so that it's becoming a problem.)

"Well, I don't know, just try to put enough in each box that they hold each other up."

"But they'll slip down. And then they'll be flat. And the Stress Fiend will be angry!"

She hyperventilates some more. The Invertebrate looks on helplessly. The filing reaches an impasse yet again.

To be continued...

1 comment:

klc said...

I know you aren't looking for a solution but...

Get two bricks - no, you cannot substitute cow-orkers. Put one in front of the file box. Put the other under the back of the file box. Shove unsuspended folders into the box up until the point it wants to explode. Files will remain upright forever.

OK. Maybe you can substitute cow-orkers as props.

Looking forward to the next installment of this little drama.