- Entertainment, Milton

“Excuse Me, You Have My Stapler”

Don’t touch my three-hole punch. Don’t covet the scissors or the glue. Stay away from the paper cutter and the adhesive tape, and be mindful of the ream of construction paper. In short, leave my arts and crafts tools alone. Excuse me, but you have my stapler. If you don’t let go, you are in for a fight. The dukes are going up. I am no meek Milton Waddams, the collator, who hasn’t a clue.

This is an imaginary scenario, a kind of quirky bad showdown in an office space movie about lowly supplies, but it could happen to you! If you have a project and are under the time gun, you don’t want interference of any kind. You want access to what you need to complete the work efficiently and effectively, so you can move on. There is nothing worse than people keeping public stuff in their desks and forgetting to put them back on the shelves. It equals taking things home intentionally or not.

It is great to be able to make custom models or replicas, fashion promotional materials on boards, or patch together a live show and tell presentation. Sometimes it can be a bit last minute. You want to grab your tools and get started in a flash, but when they are nowhere to be found, your mood goes sour. Things get misappropriated in a flash if you don’t watch out. At other times, there are not enough supplies to go around. A fight can spring up over the merest of minutia.

Here’s where office etiquette comes in handy. Hopefully yours has rules about wandering off with the stapler for example, especially that expensive electric one. People never think about who else is in need at the very same time. They are oblivious, in essence, and haven’t a clue. It makes you so mad you want to shake a fist or two at the culprit. You don’t want that office movie. You want the nice one where everything is in its place and can be found as needed.

Making things is a type of craft that takes skills and dexterity. There is only so much you can do on your own before resorting to the expertise provided by those ubiquitous, soundless tools. They are man’s great helpers no matter what the project at hand. It pays to buy your own set if you don’t trust your colleagues not to hog them big time. Then there are those lovely people who use the last staple and don’t fill the dispenser—ever. You search for refills and they are nowhere to be seen. Your temper grows as you realize there are none available as no one bothered to notify the office manager. You have to leave your work to go out and buy supplies; you can’t wait for delivery.

Such are the little annoyances of office life. You wish someone would take notice of tool rudeness and put things back in place. You wonder what happened to sharing and returning things when you are finished. How many times do you really have to remind people to care? We live in a greedy, self-centered world, so what do you expect. You will have to make the first move and lead the way.