Paper Chase This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     It had only been a week ago that I received the call.

“Would you be able to help out at the firm? All you’ll have to do is make copies, things like that.” I agreed and soon was walking into a small building and up a flight of stairs where I would spend four hours. I was nervous. I only knew one person who worked at the accounting firm and she would not be there for another hour. I took a deep breath and walked into the room where two women, Karen and Arlene, sat.

“You must be Ilexis. We are so happy to have you,” Arlene said. After introductions, Karen took me into the other room and told me what I would be doing.

“You will have four tasks. First, you will shred documents we don’t need. Next, you will mail letters, and then you will file some documents. Finally, you will copy documents for our records. Any questions?” she asked.

What was I supposed to say, yes, go back to the beginning, I missed the whole thing?

“No,” I replied. How was this all going to be done in just four hours?

I began at the shredding machine. Karen told me that when the red light goes on it means the shredder is full and needs to be emptied. I started putting the papers in, making sure they were not too thick so they wouldn’t jam. Just when I was thinking this wasn’t so hard, I heard a whirl and the paper started going in and out of the shredder only half shredded. As it came out, the little pieces were not landing in the shredder but scattering on the floor. I tried putting it in the other way. That worked, but now there was a mess on the floor.

Then the red light went on, so I had to empty the bag. I held the bag open with one hand as I tried to tip the box with the other. It was just not working. Someone finally came over and helped me. Then I completed the shredding job and was onto mailing.

I had never used a postage machine before so they showed me. This went fast, and I was good at it. All I had to do was weigh the package, put on the tape and it did all the work. I finished quickly and went on to filing. It seemed like the files were piled up to the sky! First I separated them into stacks by the accountant who prepared them, then I put them in their respective drawers.

One of the file cabinet drawers didn’t work. I yanked and pulled and tried to get it open when one of the accountants showed me that I needed to push it down and out, but I still could not get it to work. I tried it again, my face turning red, when finally, bang! I fell backwards onto the ground, with the drawer flying out. This is when I decided I hate filing!

I finished and was on to copying. It felt like the day would never end. It was only 4 p.m. and I had to work till 5:30. I went to the copy machine only to find another towering pile. I was told which ones to copy and how to put the groups of copies together. I started off well, but as I was standing there I heard the machine stop and on the front I saw the word “malfunction.” All I could think was that I had broken it. I looked inside and found a paper jam. I pulled out the paper and finished copying, then went to find Karen and Arlene. They looked at the clock, turned to me and said, with surprise, “I can’t believe that you are done at 4:30.”

“Why?” I asked.

They smiled and replied, “The last person we had took all day just to do the shredding.”

Now, after working there for a month I am a bit neater with the shredder, I am able to get the file cabinet drawer open, and I am not losing my head when the copier malfunctions. I will still be happier and less tired when this job is over and I am off to college, though.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 3:41 am
i love this so much!
yourwrittingsucks said...
May 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm
i think i will have to agree with some of the users above i didnt find this very interesting
sassymscass said...
May 4, 2010 at 11:57 am
ok this article was really retarted!!!! i dont find chasing papers very interesting!!!
sidneynicole replied...
May 5, 2010 at 12:23 pm
hahah i knw right.!
sidneynicole said...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm
this made no sense ok just tlkin about papers i mean who cares!
have_a_heart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm
You know what else makes no sense? When people who consider themselves writers spell the word 'talking' incorrectly and feel the need to write negative comments on other people's pieces. I thought this was a very nice piece...if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
have_a_heart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Wow, go get some proper schooling and then come back and try to insult me, ok? I'll say whatever I want to say. Especially if people are being unnecessarily mean to other people. Try to keep the comments constructive instead of being mean, if your brain is big enough to comprehend that concept.
sassymscass replied...
May 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm
you dont need to be so mean to sidneynicole she is just trying to express her opinion. and if you were such a good writer you would know about expressing your opinion.
JupiterTheJedi replied...
Jul. 5, 2014 at 12:41 am
Stop. This is not the place to fight. 
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