Office Endangered List: The Filing Cabinet
I’m an office worker. My office is full of computers and routers and modems and CDs and dusty books. What it is not full of is filing cabinets. The filing cabinet is disappearing at an alarming rate of 1 every 2.5 hours and it is for this reason I have decided to place the filing cabinet on my office endangered list, status: critical. If nothing is done I predict the filing cabinet will be extinct within the next 20 years.
Males average 4 feet tall but can reach heights of 6 feet and weigh up to 200 pounds. Females tend to be smaller and narrower, but easily hold as much as males. They have a hard exoskeleton of tin, steel or plastic and an internal structure of folders and hanging files or Pendiflex. Skin color runs the spectrum from white to black and chipping or flaking can occur, especially in older specimens.
Filing cabinets prefer to live near walls and are rarely found in open spaces. They are social objects and are often found in groups of 3 to 6 individuals. Their diet consists mostly of paper, with the occasional coffee mug, t-shirt or wallet getting ingested by mistake. Filing cabinets have a complex relationship with humans, particularly when it comes to mating. Males compete for females by enticing human males to lean on them and talk to other human males. The cabinet that amasses the most leaning time with the most human males usually wins the favour of the surrounding female cabinets. Mating then occurs sporadically and is initiated with the jamming of the female’s second drawer from the top. Frustrated humans then alternately kick the cabinet and vigorously pull on the drawer which serves to pollinate the female egg. The female then releases the drawer allowing the fertilized egg to be passed to the male cabinet by the transferring of files, or by the eggs clinging to the skin of the hand.
There are an estimated 20 million domesticated filing cabinets left in North America with another 2-3 million wild cabinets found in landfills. Computers and binders are the primary threats to the filing cabinet, but they also face threats from overzealous office managers and organized people.