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How To Open a Case of Paper

In this business, we waste enough paper to send Roland Deschain into a guns-blazing fury.1

I never actually finished the last book...
Don’t let the flowers fool you. This guy is tough.

As a PA, you’ll be the one unloading cases of paper onto shelves (and from shelves into copy machines) on a regular basis. Opening the box is a pretty basic skill.

You’d think this would fall under the category of “No, duh,” but you’d be wrong. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that 95% of you are opening them wrong.

I used to cut it open with a scissors like everyone else, until one day our paper delivery guy showed me a more efficient, not to mention easier, way.

First of all, you don’t need scissors. Those plastic straps around the box are, indeed, impossible to tear. But you don’t have to tear them.

Flip the paper box over, and you’ll see the seam where the strap is glued to itself. Twist the strap, and on the underside you’ll find an extra bit hanging off. Pull this, and the strap will come undone easily.2

Now that you’ve removed the straps, you might think you should flip the box over and remove the lid. But that’s exactly what you should not do…

I'm rarely subtle.

Don’t take off the lid. Take off the box. That way, you’ll have ten reams just sitting there in an easily-grabbed stack. It’s much easier than squeezing your hands between the box and the ream to pull them out, one at a time. (Especially if you have big mitts like mine.)

I realize this will save you about 15 minutes over the course of a season, but really, I just like things to be efficient. If there’s a better way to do something, that’s the way to do it.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. That’s a reference for all you Stephen King fans.
  2. It’s kinda like taking off a concert wristband at the end of the night.
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