Sometimes when faced with some tedious task or chore, I like to make a list of Worse Things I Could Be Doing Right Now. It's a win-win technique, because in the end you'll either feel lucky or you'll have something new to add to your list for the next time.
Tonight I had a mountain of paperwork to go through. After an hour or so, the shredder started making a wheezing sound, then stopped altogether. I spent the next two hours attempting to dislodge the piece of junk mail that caused the jam in the first place.
Once I'd completely dislodged all visible paper--a process that required tweezers, pliers, a can of compressed air, and a bamboo skewer intended for shish kebabs--the shredder still wouldn't shred. It was exactly like when you're stuck on the interstate for hours, with a line of cars backed up to the horizon, and when you finally get to the crest of the hill yourself you discover the cause of the hold up isn't some gosh-awful accident or an exposition of naked skydivers, but a mandatory seat-belt check by state troopers.
At this point, I decided to take matters into my own hands and take the machine apart. Nevermind that we have a second shredder and I could have just given up and used that. I wasn't about to let junk mail win so easily.
Before the end, I'd impaled a finger and some kind of viscous goo had smeared all over the place. Nevertheless, I successfully liberated the shredder of the last determined bit of junk mail, put everything back together (ha! and Alpay said it couldn't be done! or rather: that I wouldn't be able to do it!) plugged it in, and lo! It turned on! And then a spark flew, something popped, and I was left sitting in the dark while Alpay made his way to the fuse box.
I still have a pile of paperwork to go through tomorrow, but at least it won't be as bad as it was tonight--unless, that it, I end up burning out the second shredder.