Cost Savings



  • Someone in the C-suite here at WTF Inc decided that we need to cut costs. Paper is both wasteful (you can only use it once) and outdated. Accordingly, they removed all the printers (except the really good ones used to print full color letters to customers on top quality bond paper) from the office. They stopped buying pads, notebooks, Post Its and pens. Instead, they bought hundreds of dry erase boards, wallpapered every cubicle, office and conference room with them and told everyone to use those.

    Unfortunately, people have resorted to using the expensive printers for printing emails, maps, catalog offerings, etc. This led to the inevitable (printed) memo left on every single desk that the good printers are not to be used for anything except official customer correspondence.

    This left anyone who needed to print out a schema diagram for reference in a quandary. Since they aren't allowed to email the (confidential) diagrams home to print there, their only solution was to manually draw the schema on their white board. Unfortunately, these were easily accidentally erased by an errant tush brushing up against the white board. Or someone else who simply needed some open white board upon which to draw. This led to some short sighted folks using indelible marker to keep their boards from being erased. Which led to a lot of requests for new boards. Which led to a lot of time being spent manually redrawing reference data on those new boards...

    I wonder how much money all of this saved?



  • @snoofle said:

    This led to some short sighted folks using indelible marker to keep their boards from being erased.
     

    FUN FACT! If you accidentally mark the board with indelible ink, draw on top of that mark with dry-erase marker. The dry erase will life the permanent marker off the whiteboard, and you can wipe it away.



  • Anyone who thinks a paperless office works (and even more so someone who thinks a paperless development studio works) has clearly never actually had to do any real work for a living.



  •  If a person cannot think ahead, can we still call them a person?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Lorne Kates said:

    @snoofle said:

    This led to some short sighted folks using indelible marker to keep their boards from being erased.
     

    FUN FACT! If you accidentally mark the board with indelible ink, draw on top of that mark with dry-erase marker. The dry erase will life the permanent marker off the whiteboard, and you can wipe it away.


    Here's a tip you can use with carpet stains.



  • Our main whiteboard in our conference room had an assortment of markers in the tray, including several permanent Sharpies. I wondered why they were there and thought about removing them, but the anarchist in me won and I left them. It took two and a half years, but eventually someone drew on the board with a permanent marker. And naturally they weren't drawing anything business-critical, it was "<coworker> is a poopy-head" type graffiti you'd expect in a public restroom.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @snoofle said:

    I wonder how much money all of this saved?
    How many trees were spared? Those C*Os love those trees!



  • @dkf said:

    @snoofle said:
    I wonder how much money all of this saved?
    How many trees were spared? Those C*Os love those trees!

    I always got the feeling they secretly despise trees, but want to give them impression they like them so that:

    (1) governments give them 'green' money

    (2) middle class people continue to buy all their shit.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    Here's a tip you can use with carpet stains.
     

    [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioal_-iqDLg&list=PL7C2833E309367656"]In awe[/url]

     



  • This is totally irrelevant to paperless offices et al but is about permanent markers.

    Years ago when I was at university there was a guy I knew who had the desire to draw "Sid the Seagull" all over the place. Sid was a rather well endowed seagull who had a penis that was equal in size to his body length (yes, I know .. totally mature). One of the best renditions this guy did of Sid was in a communal hall in one of the residential areas, but the genius of this particular image was that he drew it on the outside of one of the windows. So for quite a long time we were all entertained by watching the cleaners come in, see Sid, spray the window with cleaner and then furiously rub away while getting more and more frustrated as nothing seemed to be able to remove Sid.



  • Sid sounds awesome.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @snoofle said:

    This led to some short sighted folks using indelible marker to keep their boards from being erased.
     

    FUN FACT! If you accidentally mark the board with indelible ink, draw on top of that mark with dry-erase marker. The dry erase will life the permanent marker off the whiteboard, and you can wipe it away.

    Or simply buy a gallon of Diethyl ether and use that to wipe off the "indelible" ink - if the solvent for the ink was water, simply use that.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Or simply buy a gallon of Diethyl ether and use that to wipe off the "indelible" ink - if the solvent for the ink was water, simply use that.
    Or wipe it down with gasoline and torch it. I'd be surprised if the ink survives that.



  • None of them have phones with cameras?


    Whenever we need to keep our scribblings on the whiteboard, we snap a photo and upload it to Trello.



  • @mott555 said:

    Or wipe it down with gasoline and torch it. I'd be surprised if the ink survives that.
     

    Around here we refer to that as an "NDA", and it has nothing to do with whiteboards.



  • @snoofle said:

    They stopped buying pads, notebooks, Post Its and pens. Instead, they bought hundreds of dry erase boards, wallpapered every cubicle, office and conference room with them and told everyone to use those.

    Is the point to NOT USE PAPER or is the point TO SAVE MONEY? If the first, then you're screwed, because being able to take notes on paper is important. If the second, then those items are pretty cheap -- just buy a quantity of them and expense them. Paper, pens, post-it notes are a software developers tools. Carpenters, mechanics, etc are often asked to bring their own tools to the job -- why not software engineers?

    On occasion, I've printed out 10-15 pages of code , took them to my desk, studied them for a few minutes, made a couple of notations on the page, then (having learned what I needed to fix an issue) throw them away and make the fix in the code. And it is perfectly justified cost-wise. Paper is CHEAP -- 200 sheets for a few bucks -- but the time I would have spent not finding the issue soley by looking at the screen, is very expensive.



  • @Quango said:

    None of them have phones with cameras?


    Whenever we need to keep our scribblings on the whiteboard, we snap a photo, print it out, put it on a wooden desk, snap a photo of THAT, embed it in a word document, print to .pdf, and upload it to Trello.

    FTFY.



  • @snoofle said:

    they bought hundreds of dry erase boards
    Dry erase boards are TRWTF. What they did might just have made some sense with interactive whiteboards.



  • TRWTF is the employees who couldn't live without printing stuff. I mean, management is ALWAYS right and we have to save our rain forests!

    Now, being serious, I haven't printed a single, work related document in years.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ubersoldat said:

    Now, being serious, I haven't printed a single, work related document in years.
    Nor have I, unless you count boarding cards and printouts from a mapping app so I can find the damn hotel for the work trip without having to rely on the battery in the phone not running out. At the worst moment.



  • @Rhywden said:

    @Lorne Kates said:

    @snoofle said:

    This led to some short sighted folks using indelible marker to keep their boards from being erased.
     

    FUN FACT! If you accidentally mark the board with indelible ink, draw on top of that mark with dry-erase marker. The dry erase will life the permanent marker off the whiteboard, and you can wipe it away.

    Or simply buy a gallon of Diethyl ether and use that to wipe off the "indelible" ink - if the solvent for the ink was water, simply use that.

    I like alcohol. It is the solution to many problems, including this one. 90 degree alcohol will remove the ink of so-called indelible markers from pretty much every non-porous material, without much risk of damaging the material in question.



  • @eViLegion said:

    Anyone who thinks a paperless office works
     

    I was once told of a businessman - upon hearing about this new paperless office fad - did precisely the opposite and went into printer production.

    I'm not sure if it was J. Arthur Rank.



  • @ubersoldat said:

    TRWTF is the employees who couldn't live without printing stuff. I mean, management is ALWAYS right and we have to save our rain forests!

    Now, being serious, I haven't printed a single, work related document in years.

    The good things about rarely printing anything, but having a printer available, are:

    (1) you can print stuff on the rare occasions that you want to print stuff.

    (2) when you're not printing stuff, it doesn't actually cost money (or so tiny an amount, as to not be even relevant to a business)



  • @Planar said:

    I like alcohol. It is the solution to many problems
     

    QFT.

    Well, it doesn't so much produce a solution as reduce the perceived scope of the problem.



  • @eViLegion said:

    (2) when you're not printing stuff, it doesn't actually cost money (or so tiny an amount, as to not be even relevant to a business)
    You've never owned an inkjet printer, have you? I saw a story recently that showed how much more expensive it was to infrequently use an inkjet than to use one regularly. I swear that the ink in mine was deliberately formulated to dry up.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @eViLegion said:
    (2) when you're not printing stuff, it doesn't actually cost money (or so tiny an amount, as to not be even relevant to a business)
    You've never owned an inkjet printer, have you? I saw a story recently that showed how much more expensive it was to infrequently use an inkjet than to use one regularly. I swear that the ink in mine was deliberately formulated to dry up.

    I have a friend who put brand-new manufacturer-branded ink cartridges into their printer. The printer driver pops up a giant error message every time they turn on their computer, reading "CARTRIDGES MISSING OR COUNTERFEIT". After closing the giant error message, the printer works just fine.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    What they did might just have made some sense with interactive whiteboards.
     

    We have those at the school where I teach.  One issue we run into with them is that we have to remind students that they are not actual whiteboards, and the whiteboard markers do not clean off of them easily.



  • @ubersoldat said:

    TRWTF is the employees who couldn't live without printing stuff
    I don't get the obsession with printing everything. It's very rarely necessary. I don't give a shit about "wasting" paper. Paper is cheap and "saving trees" is no longer an issue. Nobody is cutting down thousand year old rain forests to make paper any more. I almost never print anything any more because it wastes my time and produces little or no benefit, and it all ends up in the trash cans anyway, and then they are full so I can't throw away more important stuff.

    At work I used to spend a lot of time printing out a shit load of stuff to hand out at meetings. All of which was ignored and thrown away. Then management installed projectors in every conference room. Now I just plug in my laptop. And after the meeting I email a copy of the information to everyone.  No more paper.@eViLegion said:

    The good things about rarely printing anything, but having a printer available, are:

    (1) you can print stuff on the rare occasions that you want to print stuff.

    (2) when you're not printing stuff, it doesn't actually cost money (or so tiny an amount, as to not be even relevant to a business)
    I used to think the same thing too. Until I reached the point where I was very rarely printing anything.  With an inkjet printer it's not just the problem that the ink cartidges "dry up", which is an expensive pain in the ass, but the ink hardens in the print heads and results in shitty print quality that no amount of cleaning can fix. Or maybe that's just a problem with Epson printers.

     



  • @Ben L. said:

    @OzPeter said:
    @eViLegion said:
    (2) when you're not printing stuff, it doesn't actually cost money (or so tiny an amount, as to not be even relevant to a business)
    You've never owned an inkjet printer, have you? I saw a story recently that showed how much more expensive it was to infrequently use an inkjet than to use one regularly. I swear that the ink in mine was deliberately formulated to dry up.

    I have a friend who put brand-new manufacturer-branded ink cartridges into their printer. The printer driver pops up a giant error message every time they turn on their computer, reading "CARTRIDGES MISSING OR COUNTERFEIT". After closing the giant error message, the printer works just fine.
    For several years I used Epson printers that can print onto CDs/DVDs.  I needed to distribute a lot of discs to various people and it allowed me to have labels that were a lot more professional looking than hand-scribbled sharpie.  One of the alleged benefits of these printers is that they use 6 different ink cartridges, so you can just replace the one that runs out. But even if you print nothing but plain black text you'll end up replacing all the color cartidges too because the printer always mixes color ink with the black (all colors mixed together = black).  What a scam.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    But even if you print nothing but plain black text you'll end up replacing all the color cartidges too because the printer always mixes color ink with the black (all colors mixed together = black).  What a scam.

    That's nothing .. I have a Canon MFP (printer,scanner, fax) that wouldn't let me scan because the ink was (supposedly) out



  • @El_Heffe said:

    At work I used to spend a lot of time printing out a shit load of stuff to hand out at meetings. All of which was ignored and thrown away. Then management installed projectors in every conference room. Now I just plug in my laptop. And after the meeting I email a copy of the information to everyone.  No more paper.



    Yeah, I agree there. I don't think I've actually printed something out to use directly at work in the 10 months I've been here. Heck, the only place I've ever worked that actually needed paper was a lawyer's office. And that's just because the legal industry is stuck in the dark ages, and the only way to get documents back and forth with a certified record is either by fax or by literally shlepping to the courthouse and physically handing it in so it'll get stamped in triplicate (court copy, your copy, opposing counsel copy).

    But some paper, i.e. legal pads and scratch paper, is still pretty nice and mostly cost-effective. White boards are ok, but the markers tend to be pretty thick, you can't get fine details in a diagram or write down a few sentences worth of notes in a small space. I guess if you want, you could get tablets (that's what most medical offices are moving to) but that seems more cost prohibitive than just buying a few legal pads for the devs.

     



  • @Snooder said:

    But some paper, i.e. legal pads and scratch paper, is still pretty nice and mostly cost-effective. White boards are ok, but the markers tend to be pretty thick, you can't get fine details in a diagram or write down a few sentences worth of notes in a small space. I guess if you want, you could get tablets (that's what most medical offices are moving to) but that seems more cost prohibitive than just buying a few legal pads for the devs.
    Getting rid of notepads is just stupid. People always need to take a few notes.

    One other thing we have at work are a couple of white boards with a built in scanner/printer. You can print out a copy of whatever is on the white board. It's pretty cool, unless you happen to be the person using it when it runs out of paper, which is a huge pain in the ass.



  • @inori said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    What they did might just have made some sense with interactive whiteboards.
     

    We have those at the school where I teach.  One issue we run into with them is that we have to remind students that they are not actual whiteboards, and the whiteboard markers do not clean off of them easily.

    The one implementation I've actually seen was also in a school, but to my recollection they had the projectors pointed at actual whiteboards, so they could use pens, projection, or a combination of the two. Perhaps I just assumed that because it's the only sane thing to do.
    @El_Heffe said:
    I don't get the obsession with printing everything. It's very rarely necessary.

    It entirely depends on what you're doing.


    One of the odder reasons to print is that it is next-to-impossible to proofread accurately using a screen. I have no idea why, and nor does anyone else, but the effect is well-documented.


    Other use cases are that paper is more convenient, flexible, manipulable, or what have you than electronic documents, at least when price is taken into account.


    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Snooder said:

    White boards are ok, but the markers tend to be pretty thick, you can't get fine details in a diagram or write down a few sentences worth of notes in a small space.
    Just use a sharpie, scribble a whiteboard marker over the scratch to fill it with colour, and wipe off the excess.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
      There should be no flies in this office; we have a strict no-pets policy.



  • @da Doctah said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
      There should be no flies in this office; we have a strict no-pets policy.

    Wait, if you can't swat flies with an iPad, then what are they good for?



  • With the number of old-fashioned people at snoofle's WTF Inc. I'm surprised this memo actually got implemented - unless there's an underground printing black market going on in the company. This is probably one of the craziest WTFs I've seen from snoofle. Time to tell the chairman to work only by the light of your cellphone, snoofle.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
    Yes.  But you can only do it once.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
    Yes.  But you can only do it once.


    Pretty sure you can swat a fly with a broken iPad as well.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
    Yes.  But you can only do it once.


    Pretty sure you can swat a fly with a broken iPad as well.
    Probably better than with a working one, since you no longer need be concerned about whether it works afterward.

     



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @Ben L. said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
    Yes.  But you can only do it once.


    Pretty sure you can swat a fly with a broken iPad as well.
    Probably better than with a working one, since you no longer need be concerned about whether it works afterward.

     


    iPads? Working?



  • @DrPepper said:

    On occasion, I've printed out 10-15 pages of code , took them to my desk, studied them for a few minutes, made a couple of notations on the page, then (having learned what I needed to fix an issue) throw them away and make the fix in the code. And it is perfectly justified cost-wise. Paper is CHEAP -- 200 sheets for a few bucks -- but the time I would have spent not finding the issue soley by looking at the screen, is very expensive.

     

     And why do you need the paper for that? Makes no sense. Look at your screen. Same text is on it. And your notes might actually be useful as a comment in the source code so you can out it there.

    @El_Heffe said:

    I don't get the obsession with printing everything. It's very rarely necessary.

     

    Agree.
    My boss prints out everything and he isn't that old. I find it
    confusing. It's there on the screen. the exact same thing. I get it if
    it is a 50-page report or so but for the 2-5 page document? A waste of
    paper. 

     

     


     



  • @beginner_ said:

    @DrPepper said:

    On occasion, I've printed out 10-15 pages of code , took them to my desk, studied them for a few minutes, made a couple of notations on the page, then (having learned what I needed to fix an issue) throw them away and make the fix in the code. And it is perfectly justified cost-wise. Paper is CHEAP -- 200 sheets for a few bucks -- but the time I would have spent not finding the issue soley by looking at the screen, is very expensive.

     

     And why do you need the paper for that? Makes no sense. Look at your screen. Same text is on it. And your notes might actually be useful as a comment in the source code so you can out it there.

     Yeah, how dare you spend $.25 to get a fresh perspective to a problem!



  • @OzPeter said:

    You've never owned an inkjet printer, have you?
    I had 3 over the years, but I wasn't using any of them enough, and the heads clogged after a while (and then it'd spend half of the cartridge to clean each of them), so I bought a cheap laser printer (network-connected even, so it can be used from any computer), and it's been telling me for the past 8 months that the cartridge is empty (but it's still printing - this is the second cartridge it's on). I mostly use it to print labels.
    @El_Heffe said:
    For several years I used Epson printers that can print onto CDs/DVDs.
    I had (actually, still have, it's just gathering dust somewhere in the attic) one of these myself, and the DVDs it printed looked great (as long as they had glossy printable surface - the matte ones didn't look that good). But it's been years since I burned any CD/DVD, so it's not like I need the functionality anymore.
    @El_Heffe said:
    But even if you print nothing but plain black text you'll end up replacing all the color cartidges too because the printer always mixes color ink with the black (all colors mixed together = black).  What a scam.
    Black usually isn't mixed from other colours, but grey is - if you're printing something that doesn't use colour, you had to set the printer to black & white mode in driver settings to have it use only black ink. Note that this still used some colour inks - every time the head travels to the end, it spits some ink to a pad it has for precisely this purpose (this is supposedly to prevent the heads from clogging; the printer would sometimes also wake up on it's own, move the head to the pad and spit out some ink, but that never managed to prevent the heads on my printer from clogging).


    I noticed that the HP OfficeJet printers that some clients have now include expiration date on their ink cartridges, and the printer will actually refuse to print if it deems the cartridge is expired...



  • @Ben L. said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    And finally, have you ever tried swatting a fly with an ipad?
    Yes.  But you can only do it once.


    Pretty sure you can swat a fly with a broken iPad as well.
     

    ---  But you can only do it once

     +++ But you can only do it once with a working iPad

     


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