By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist
It might sound funny coming from somebody whose work shows up on paper several times a week. But man, do I hate using paper.
If I’m an accountholder anywhere, I always request they go “paperless” — notifying me of balances owed by e-mail or phone. I always try to use the back side of documents as scrap paper at work, and I make sure when I’m done with that I drag it all back to our green recycle bin. (However, I am convinced that when nobody’s watching, that green bin gets wheeled out to the trash bin).
I just don’t like the idea of wasting anything. I can’t help but wonder how many trees have gone toward the stat sheets, rosters, meeting agendas, etc. that I’ve handled over the years. So if I can save a few more trees, and a few bucks for my company, by recycling, that’s great. And you can recycle without being the kind of jerk that makes other people feel bad by asking a loaded, “Of course, you recycle too, right? Right?”
Granted, it feels good to recycle. The circular arrow pattern is like an air conditioner that says, “You made a difference, Kevin.” And it can be fun — my Christmas gift request to a coworker is a reusable shopping bag that reads, “My reusable bag makes me better than you.” I’m taking that thing everywhere.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, as the paperless world still has some inefficiencies. I was buying a new phone. I got a printed receipt because that, with two more pieces of paper (rebate form and envelope) equals another piece of paper (a rebate check worth enough for nine more “better than you” bags).
Oh, wait, one more piece of paper. It says, “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions to better determine your (cellular) needs?” I try to answer these things honestly, because the one time I was sarcastic, it maybe cost me a job (I was a little too frank in the “personal” section of a Pizza Hut job application).
So I filled it out honestly. But I asked for another copy, so I could make a “Mad Libs” version that would delve between funny and creepy. Here are the questions, with my real answers (and creepy answers in parentheses):
• Who do you communicate with most often? My coworkers. (My parole officer to make sure my registry is up to date.)
• Who is your current provider? Likes/things you could change? I’m a customer of yours. I’d like a plan with less minutes, since people text me. (My provider is Jobu, as I converted after watching “Major League.” I would change nothing except for X-ray vision.)
• What features do you currently use on your phone? Web/text/camera. (The camera lens that conveniently fits in a peephole.)
• When do you listen to music? I usually don’t listen using my phone. (Only when I’m wearing lipstick.)
• Do you take and share pictures/videos? I use picture mail. (My legal counsel has advised me to leave this section blank.)
That’s what I’d turn in if I had the guts. But I couldn’t do that. Because it would negate all the good feelings I got from recycling in the first place. And it would make my bag a liar. Because I’d no longer be better than you.
Unless, of course, you don’t recycle. But, of course, you recycle too, right? Right?