Seriously, I Do Not have a Cat

You might not think it, but the process of assembling and reading admission files can take a physical toll on those that work in the office.  I have gotten burned by hot printer parts, gouged by staples, strained muscles when lifting boxes of paper with my back instead of my legs, and felt pain in my wrist after using a manual stapler for days on end.  But the most common injury by far is the paper cut.  Actually we took it to a whole new level a year or two ago when we moved from paper admission folders to plastic ones.

Okay, I know I probably just made all those interested in environmental studies and policy cringe with that last sentence . . . but wait, there is logic to it.  When we used to use paper admission folders they were one time use.  We would write all over the front of a file and once the year was done we shred them up and ordered thousands more for the following year. Now we simply reuse plastic file folders year after year and the cover sheet is on the inside of the file, viewable through the plastic.  Take  a look . . .


Yes, your file will be placed in a folder just like this one.  All of your precious information is on the inside and when the year is over we can reuse the plastic folder the next year.  Plastic is wonderful for this purpose, but I found out that plastic folders possess the same ability to slice human skin as paper folders.

Little paper cuts are annoying but generally do not cause me a lot of grief.  A single sheet of paper will sometimes slice me and I will wince but move right along because upon initial glance there is an indication of the damage, but little to no blood.  However, there are those paper cuts where I wince, grasp at the cut, and immediately shut my eyes.  From the second the slice occurs I can just tell that what I am going to see when I take my uninjured hand away is not going to be good.

Maybe you know the kind of cut I am talking about.  Like one in the webbing between your thumb and index finger that is really deep and each time you move you can feel the cut separating in the webbing.  Paper cuts from paper folders, which are pretty heavy gauge, can be brutal and it did not take me long to discover that plastic files can be just as potent.

With paper cuts and staple gouging occuring quite frequntly this time of year, I could easily be mistaken a cat owner.  My hands almost appear as if I have tried to give a cat a bath –  something I tried in my childhood when my parents went out one night and learned quickly never to do again.  Although I could be mistaken for a cat owner, I am instead the owner of several thousand admission files . . . some of which like to exact their pound of flesh.