You learn that office supplies are expensive when you actually have to buy them.
It started off like just another day. I wanted to make a note and couldn’t find a Post-it. I’ve become addicted to the use of these squares of adhesive clad paper from many years of desk jockeying.After shuffling through drawers, rifling through file cabinets and clawing through boxes I faced the cold hard reality that I had exhausted my stash of Post-its. In the past it was no problem, I would just bring some more home from work, but with no work I was cut off from my source.
I never thought of on-the-job-shopping as theft. I don’t know exactly when it started. It might have been my first internship when I was as- signed to stock the supply cabinet. Possibly I was first seduced by the Flair felt tipped pen, shoving a few in my pocket for safe keeping only to leave with me at the end of the day.Through the years I did a lot of work from home and needed the tools to get the job done.A stapler, paperclips, printer cartridges. I progressed from pocket to briefcase.
I never really thought this day would come. I would drive by Staples, Office Max and Office Depot with a smug look knowing I didn’t need them. For the first time I pulled into the parking lot, passed though their electric doors and was sucked into the vortex of anything that could remotely be used in an office. Combing the aisles for what seemed like an eternity with me trying to “help” the “sales associate” find the Post-its. Finally when I had almost given up hope, having passed the shipping supplies row for the fourth time, I struck gold.The mother load of Post-its! More shapes, colors and sizes than I could have imag- ined, even knock-off wannabe “adhesive note pads.”
I found what was so familiar to me; the yellow three by three square.Then I was hit with the price. $14.99 for a 12-pack! I couldn’t just take one or two to tide me over until the next job would come along. I was being forced to take home eleven of it’s siblings. I still have quite a few rolls of Scotch tape and Xerox paper left. Maybe I’ll just make my own…