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Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today at work, I went to staple something and found that there were no staples left. I rummaged through my desk drawer and found the box of staples I was issued upon starting my job. As I pulled a row of staples out of the tightly packed box, I had the same thought I'd had the last time I refilled my stapler: It's going to take me a really long time to go through these staples.

Then, I went to the next logical step that I hadn't pursued last time: Can I estimate how long that will be? Turns out I had all the necessary information at hand.

Today I took the fourth row of staples from the box, meaning I've used three so far.

There are 210 staples in each row, for a total of 630 used.

I've been at my job for almost exactly four years now, so my average staple use per year is 157.5.

There were 5,000 staples in the box, leaving 4,370 there now.

If my staple usage continues at the rate of the last four years, it will take me about 27 years and 9 months to use my remaining staples.

I guess I'll go ahead and submit retirement paperwork for March 29, 2039.


Andrew said...

And you'll be 57 or 58, right? You may have in front of you right now every single staple you will use in your career.

But I suspect you will have some left over: once you are Comptroller General, you will have an army of mini-Teagues to do your stapling for you!

lj said...

Is there any other commodity that you can own a lifetime's supply in one little box?

Also, you're a nerd.

applegac said...

I agree with Andrew -- you won't be stapling your own TPS reports forever. And I am thrilled and amused that you followed up your idle speculation with calculations. I've been using the same box of staples since high school, and I don't think my staple use has been so consistent over the years.