Cubicle Death #8: Let’s Go Green, but Not Really, Only a Little Bit

As my readers well know, I could really give a shit about the environment.  I’m not really one of those tree hugger type people that goes around marching on government offices because of their wanton wastefulness.  It’s too tiring and I really don’t care about something that doesn’t necessarily affect my life. 

Now, I know all you PETA vegans are about to shit yourselves, but no, the shitty environment doesn’t affect me.  It might affect my children and my children’s children, but global warming and crop failure in Africa is not really my problem.  Since I don’t own a farm, why should I care about the depletion of the ozone layer that isn’t going to happen in my lifetime?  If the ozone was going to fail in the next fifteen minutes I might work up a little more sympathy for the subject, but I’m sorry about deforestation and native beasts being driven from their homeland.  Since I’m not a logger or a zoo keeper, I just don’t care.

But I do care about blatant waste.  Wasting just to be wasting, you know.  It’s one thing to be quite apathetic to what’s going on around me, but it’s another to just flagrantly be a shitbag for no reason. 

I work in an office.  Where I work, what I do, what kind of office–all of that is completely irrelevant.  This is the standard office that you’ll find anywhere in Urban America.  We’re paper pushers over here.  Everything is paper, paper, paper, everywhere, goddamn paper.

So, once upon a time, a long time ago, we had to do everything by hand.  People had really nice penmanship and writing, actual writing was an art form.  Then some guy invented the typewriter (yeah, were other inventions but we’re cutting to the chase), and once the typewriter was invented, it was really cool because all that crap we had to write by hand could be typed out in just a few minutes.

Then along came the computer and that was really cool.  Computers do all kinds of amazing things that supposedly make our lives better and it’s like whoa, I love computers.  Where would we be without these things?

But do you ever notice that all the crap we invented to make our lives better really only made our lives worse?  When we handwrote everything, we were very careful to write shit out perfectly the first time because nobody felt like writing that crap out again.  But the typewriter made it so much faster, and now we’re typing all this shit and somebody said, “Hey we should SAVE all of it and make FILES!”

Let’s have files.  Yay!

The computer made even more FILES.  Now we have STACKS OF PAPER FILLING UP DRAWERS all across America.  Stacks and stacks of paper in drawers, boxes, closets, warehouses, all over the fucking place, because somebody thought it was a good idea to maintain everything on goddamn paper, even though the COMPUTER has been invented and it can STORE all kinds of SHIT without taking up SPACE.

Did you get the memo?

THE PAPER MEMO THAT IS SITTING IN A BOX SOMEWHERE!?!?!?

This is two-thousand-fucking-nine, about to be two-thousand-goddamn-ten.  This is a new millennium, some shit like who even thought that time could get this far.  I’m sure all the ancient Israelites are looking down from above just in awe of the technological wonders we have created.  All this bullshit that we don’t utilise to its fullest capacity.

I got into a rant with a co-worker today because the wanton wastefulness gets on my nerves.  I like computers because they are simple.  It isn’t a whole bunch of shit all over the place.  I was asked to write a report.  Sure, no problem, where shall I get the information for the report?

Oh, you get it from this other report.

Where is this other report?

It’s online.

Why am I writing a report on a report that’s online? 

Because we need a hard copy of the report.

You want a PIECE OF PAPER on a report of a report?  What are you going to do with the report of the other report?

File it for future use.

File it?  So I take it you might need the report for the future, so why don’t you just go online in the future and look at the information you need when you need it?

Because our job duties say we have to write a report.

Do you see how silly this is?  Why did we invent all this shit if we’re not going to use it as it was meant to be used?  Why do you need a report of a report that is available online?  Why do you need a piece of paper to stick in a file cabinet?  Does that make you feel safe?  Do you sleep better at night because of it?  I need to understand because I’m confused.

My next bitch is the powerpoint presentation.  Anybody that has worked in an office has done a powerpoint presentation.

What are powerpoint presentations for?  So you can give a presentation and make it look all fun and cool, with graphics and animation and stuff like that.  Oh, so fun to look at.

Why are you PRINTING copies of the powerpoint presentation?  That defeats the purpose of a powerpoint presentation!  On a piece of paper you cannot see fun moving graphics and sparkling letters that look like Vegas lights, because it’s a GODDAMN PIECE OF PAPER! 

Am I the only one who sees this?  I’m not even a goddamn environmentalist and even I see the stupidity and wastefulness of this.

I was asked to begin work on a 75-slide powerpoint presentation on some bullshit that is irrelevant.  When I went to the meeting with the guy who wanted the work done, it was suggested that we have moving graphics to indicate some of our answers.  That sounds cool.

He said, “But you won’t be able to see that on paper.”

Well, no shit, I’m glad you came to that astonishing conclusion.  It’s a powerpoint presentation, not a book report. 

I’m really bitchy because a lot of companies and organisations are jumping on this, “Let’s go green” bandwagon but it’s like they are totally missing the point.  This is supposed to be like save the earth, save the resources, all that bullshit, the trees are dying, farmland drying up, blah blah blah, save some water for the fish.  Whateves. 

They are having all these conferences on ways to reduce emissions and all this other stuff, and while I think those things are important, they are missing for the forest for the trees.  We invented computers to make our lives easier and faster and less complicated.  We need to use these shits for what they are.  This is the way of the future. 

I’m so outdated that I didn’t even know they had hard drives sold in TERABYTES.  That can store BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of pieces of paper that would otherwise be sitting in a fucking box somewhere causing a fire hazard.  That’s a trillion powerpoint presentations.  Probably more than that, because I’m just guessing.  Seriously, if we reduced the amount of fucking paper we waste that would probably save the earth right there.

At my old job my boss wanted me to PRINT all his fucking emails.  Then he would throw them away.  That should be illegal.  He would have me print out these huge powerpoint presentations so his customers would have something to hold in their hands.  HUNDREDS of pages just thrown away after the presentation was over.  It was time-consuming and stupid to print out all that damn mess, collate the shit, and staple it. 

I could have been doing a thousand other things like getting his goddamn lunch, or making sure his dog was walked, but no, I’m standing at the copier waiting on three thousand pages to come out the machine.  That should be illegal!  It’s so ridiculous I can’t even believe I’m talking about it.

I told my co-worker that it all comes down to age.  The baby boomers need to die.  They are the only ones who are stuck in the past.  They don’t like email.  They don’t like computers.  They don’t like this.  They don’t like that.

So retire already.  Retire and die.  So the rest of us can move smoothly into the future and take care of all the bullshit that you created.  Baby boomers created the computer.  YOU DID!  You created some shit you don’t even like to use.  That you don’t even use properly.  Young people have taken this thing and run with it because we think outside of the box; we’re innovative.  We like things fast, quick and in a hurry.  Dragging around a briefcase FULL OF SHIT is not what we’re interested in. 

These outdated mechanisms that baby boomers cling to because they think it’s “how things should be done” is holding up progress and making a bigger mess of the situation.  Put the fucking paper down and walk away.  You’re the reason we still have newspapers littering up people’s front drives because NOBODY READS THE GODDAMN NEWSPAPER ANYMOR BECAUSE IT’S AVAILABLE ONLINE.  Paperless!  No shit piling up in the corner, leaving you wondering, “what the fuck am I going to do with that now?”

Grandma with her checkbook holding up the line at Wal-Mart.  Grandpa who still gets every single one of his bills in the mail is the reason the postal system is failing.  I could go on and on, but I won’t because I’m getting irritated just writing this.

Look, if you want to go green, go fucking green.  I don’t give a damn.  But if you’re only going to do it half-assed, then just stop it.  Stop with the goddamn commercials about how you’re trying to save the earth, because you’re not.  Stop pretending like you care about the rainforests, the koala bears in their natural habitats and the native tribes of the Swami River, because you don’t. 

Stop holding gay ass summits in foreign countries to talk about things you don’t really give a damn about.  Because if you cared, you would fix the easy shit.  Stop creating copy machines that print out a gazillion pieces of paper a minute.  Stop mailing shit that doesn’t need to be mailed.  Stop printing stuff that doesn’t need to be printed.

It’s 2009, almost 2010.  Everybody has a computer and who ever doesn’t own one should just die because these shits are not going away.  No matter how much you hate them, they are not leaving.  They are only going to get bigger and faster and more embroiled in your life, like a parasite that fixes itself to your spinal cord and won’t let go.  So you might as well assimilate because resistance is futile.

I don’t give a damn about the earth.  I don’t recycle.  I don’t separate my plastics and cardboards.  If I owned an SUV, I would fill that bitch up every five minutes.  I leave the lights on when nobody is home.

If you want assholes like me to comply, then make it hard for us.  Until then, you’re just wasting our time.

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