Paper boy


A letter arrived addressed to “The Buyer of Office Supplies”. This is one of the pleasures of running a tiny business from your home address. To a mail merge program you are just as important as the biggest plc.

I have had several job titles, but “The Buyer of Office Supplies” is one of the most appropriate so far. It is true. I do buy office supplies. Secretly, I love browsing in stationery shops. There is something about new stationery and unsullied office equipment which makes me feel more organised and in control. Nothing says “you are a captain of industry” more than a new pad of post-it notes and three new biros in different colours.

The catalogue offers me a bewildering array of printer cartridges and paper, but just one type of instant coffee in a 750g tin. I hadn’t realised that instant coffee and sugar were office supplies. I always had them down as ‘groceries’, but I was wrong. On the next page there is a pack of 18 toilet rolls (white)… I suppose they might work in a fax machine too.

Of course in a larger business it is unusual for the senior management to interrupt their day to browse the stationery choices. My productivity was definitely reduced as I embraced my new role and turned through the glossy pages with joy… which is why resolved to delegate the important position of “The Buyer of Office Supplies”.

When Mrs R came home I offered her the job but she declined, rather abruptly. So I must continue in the role on an interim basis.

8 Responses to “Paper boy”

  1. hmmm, stationery…

    (after the manner of Homer Simpson)

  2. 2 Graham

    Many years ago, I worked for a few weeks in the postal department of a large insurance company and every month a catalogue arrived addressed to the “bulb buyer”. Nobody knew who was responsable for buying the bulbs, so it was discarded.

  3. 4 ann

    Hmm. Bulbs. Light, or dutch iris?
    At least you can make your own rules up, I tried to buy a four ring binder but was told I was not permitted to order one with more than two rings. Rule easily overcome by walking to stationery shop, buying a four ring binder and putting it on expenses, but one has to wonder who made that rule, and why! It’s so tempting to order random stuff now just to see if I am allowed.

    • Four ring binder. Two hole hole-puncher. The problem of multiple technology standards. You need to take the open-source route and let everyone store their papers however they want, but all binders must have an android on the cover.

      • Oh, and please try ordering a camel. Just to see how far the system can stretch. Thanks.

      • 7 Mike S

        I don’t think you can order complete camels, but you can order replacement parts. If you do try to put in an order for a complete one, most likely the supplier will get the hump.

      • 8 ann

        No camel available. Neither two humped nor one. Don’t hink I can get one from the stationery shop either, though the farm shop is a possibility.

        Many years ago when we had a paper list we just added items to I requested an Punkah Wallah on a hot day. Confused the stationery girl rather a lot, clearly she was too young to remember It Aint Half Hot Mum. Remembering that makes me think I must have always been a stationery rebel.

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