An Open Letter To You, Labelmaker

Yes, you are the master.

You are able to tweak the fonts and change the tape and make any folder label fit in the manilla file folder window. You are the expert in the office when it comes to teaching people how to use those “hidden” characters on the keyboard. Sure, you make it sound easy with the “press this ALT key and then the hidden character in a faint shade of blue” thing, but you secretly make it sound so confusing in the hopes that people will come back again for more.

You endlessly debate the positives and negatives between the Brother labelmaker and the Acme one and the Dymo one. You debate the advantages and disadvantages of clear label tape versus white-backed tape. You have all the cartridges for all the fonts (even the illegal Japanese ones) and you have them locked away so everyone must plead with you for that Helvetica or that Times New Roman. And god forbid someone asks to use the Halloween dripping blood-style font — well, they’re gonna have to give up their first born to flip that baby in the machine.

You love to work your knowledge into conversations that have nothing to do with your knowledge. When someone is talking about a vacation to Yosemite, you pipe in about how a label maker is a perfect way to label rolls of film so you don’t mix them up. When someone is talking about a relationship that has just broken up you suggest that a labelmaker might make getting “his stuff out of the house” a much more organized process. When someone talks about a death in the family, you wax on about how much cheaper headstones would be if they’d just use labelmakers instead of carving in stone.

Yes, you are the master.

But really, Labelmaker — does it matter? Does your experience and speed on the plastic/rubber typepad of the labelmaker have any bearing on our lives? Does your ability to “roll back” the label tape on the inside (to create a shadow/backdrop effect) really translate to profits and riches? Does the fact that you have a T-shirt that says “I am the labelmaker” really make you feel more sociable and the center of attention?

You may be the master but you may also be the laughing stock of the office.

My advice to you, Labelmaker, is to drop the labelmaker schtick and move onto something a little more important. Become the fax guy. Or the internet IP printer address guy. Or the strong-enough to lift the Arrowhead bottle of water guy. Or the “I know the code to the parking garage gate on the weekends” guy. These are all useful things to be, Labelmaker. Far more useful than your current talent, which, if I must be honest — is sort of lame.

I just gotta be honest, Labelmaker. I gotta be true. I gotta be me.

You, on the other hand, should stop being you as soon as possible.

8 comments on “An Open Letter To You, Labelmaker

  1. kristine - July 30, 2005 at 10:43 am -

    a close co-worker of mine is definitely the Labelmaker of my school. he must have thought i was impressed by this talent because he bought me a labelmaker for Christmas last year. he wanted me to be one of them. it was a really weird moment. incredibly awkward.

  2. Pauly D - July 30, 2005 at 10:52 am -

    If you thought Scientology was bad — the curse of the Labelmaker society is worse because no one truly knows how deep it goes. And it’s true — if you know the Labelmaker, he or she will get you a Labelmaker for a present to try and drag you in.

    Weirdly enough, if someone were to give you the Book of Mormon for Christmas you might be taken aback. But labelmakers? No one puts two and two together.

  3. Glen C. - July 30, 2005 at 3:42 pm -

    And when he/she puts labels on everything. Oh boy, don’t go there.

  4. Daniel - July 30, 2005 at 4:36 pm -

    At one of my previous jobs I deliberately hid the labelmaker so the individual in question would stop posting labels on everything he saw including cutesy labels like “the wall”, “my monitor”, or “stop making mistakes”. Yeah it was funny for a while, but it got old pretty quick. He almost withered in his despair and my boss made me give it back.

  5. groovebunny - July 31, 2005 at 12:06 am -

    I’ve given up on trying to figure out how to make labels for my files. Everyone else in the office has files with pretty labels, my files are the ones with the illegible handwritten scrawls on the tabs. 🙂

  6. Dave - July 31, 2005 at 9:08 am -

    Why would one have to label there files? I keep track on mine by the different coke/food stains that are on them.

  7. jenny - July 31, 2005 at 9:40 am -

    the fax guy? faxing is practically obsolete! he would be signing (labeling) his own death certificate. at least labelmaking is entertaining. the parking code guy, though, could be quite useful. how about the automated phone guy?

  8. Ian - August 1, 2005 at 8:08 am -

    I’m looking into getting one of those USB labelmakers so I can use different fonts and graphics ON THE SAME LABEL. I have to stop typing now: starting to get all quavery.

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