Shortly after my meeting with Eddie and Cheryl, I was asked to help Eddie by printing barcode sheets. I was directed to a small computer station and printer wedged into a corner of the conference room that was now home to the staple pit. The process was explained to me and I went to work printing barcode sheets.
Eddie usually came in to work in the morning about an hour after I did. He would walk into the staple pit and say good morning to everyone, and then look over toward me and say in a sing-songy voice most people reserve for very young children and puppies, “And how’s my little helper today?”
I think one should be very careful about referring to anyone whose age has advanced beyond single digits as “my little helper.” I was, after all, a grown-ass girl-dog. Just who the hell did he think he was?
He was lucky I was very distracted by my new mission, or I might have scowled and pretended not to hear him. I was about to revolutionize the entire staple-pulling industry. Or maybe just my staple pit.
My idea was to get ahead of the staple people so that eventually they could pick up the barcode sheets first and then grab the corresponding files, reversing the current process and completely eliminating the entire step of requesting the barcode sheets. It meant meeting the demand for barcode sheets that were currently being requested (not difficult) and printing sheets farther along in the sequence of account numbers when I could (simple, in theory).
Eventually, when the staple people reached the account numbers that I had pre-printed, they could start the file-prep process by picking up the barcode sheets first. Then they could go grab the corresponding files and work without interruption. It was just crazy enough to work.