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October 23, 2004

How lazy are we?

I had to visit OfficeMax on the way home yesterday to pick up some boxes. As it was an OfficeMax I haven't shopped at in a couple years, I was completely lost and ended up down several aisles before finding what I needed. On one of these aisles was one of the most bizarrely decadent contraptions I've seen in months. Sold by Avery-Dennison, the label people, is an electric _automatic label peeler_. You put your sheets of self-adhesive labels in and it peels them off for you as it feeds the sheet through. For just $259, you can be completely sedentary and Hutt-like even when preparing bulk mailings! Who's the target market for this? People with no fingers? It's not like it could be that much faster than doing it the old-fashioned way. Plus to use the damn thing, you have to have enough room for an ugly printer-sized chunk of plastic, someplace to plug it in, and a tolerance for the noise I'm sure it makes. For less than the label peeler's cost, you could pick up an old workhorse two-tray LaserJet, throw in a new toner cartridge, and not only print directly on the envelopes but also mail merge whatever you're stuffing into them. You could even use completely blank #10 envelopes instead of having your return address and postage printed on them professionally. Gasp! But you know by the fact Avery's selling the damn things that some focus group of pointy-haired bosses somewhere said "Ooooh, a machine that peels labels! We must have one!"

Posted by Colin at October 23, 2004 6:02 PM

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