The Office Supplies

01. Today I broke one stapler. It didn’t jam or anything, I just, I don’t know, I bunged it up somehow. So I stuck it way in the back of a drawer where no one would ever find it until long after I’d been fired. Then I took another one that was on a desk that no one uses anymore. I’m not sure what happened to the person, but there’s never been anyone who actually sat at that cubicle for as long as I’ve worked here. There’s no computer but there was the stapler and a 3-hole punch and some pens and paperclips and a few pennies in the drawer (I looked) and a picture of a sunset they had ripped out of a magazine and taped to the wall. So I grabbed the stapler during lunch hour when the coast was a little clearer and no one would ask any questions. I don’t know, it’s probably not a big deal, but who knows what comes out of your pay these days. The one I grabbed was out of staples though. I got some more off the supply shelf, which is all perfectly on the level, and brought them back to my desk. I pulled back the metal top, and inside the stapler, written in ball point pen on a piece of masking tape along the bottom of the staple path, it said: “Donna, you’re out of staples.”

02. There was a guy leaning against the wall, drinking a soda.
“Did they move the office supplies again?” I asked him. “What is going on here?”
“Check it out my man,” the guy said, holding his soda can aloft to point at a large glass-doored cooler filled with what looked like every kind of soda, ever. “They just made a delivery. Check it out. Have at it.”
“…Yeah,” I said. “I need a highlighter though.”
“Highlighter?” He took a sip of soda. “Highlightin’s a fools game, my friend. Free soda we got here.”
I went back to my desk and emailed the office manager. She never responded, but I managed to find the highlighters on my own a few hours later. All the office supplies had been moved from the basement to an unused office on the 2nd floor.

03. We were in the basement, so there were no windows. There was a very quiet girl who sat two cubicles away from me. One time I had to ask her for some papers she’d worked on, and while I was standing behind her I saw that her stapler, her tape dispenser, her 3-hole punch, her clock, her pencil sharpener, her date stamp, her coffee mug, and all the pens on her desk were labelled with pieces of masking tape that said “Amy’s.” One day when she was out sick a consultant came in and I got bumped and had to sit at her desk for the day. While I was sitting in her cubicle I felt along the underside of her chair for anything that might be a label made from masking tape.

04. I worked in one particular office for 16 months. Every desk had a small trash can and a recycling bin next to it. My trash always got emptied once a week. Recycling was every 2 weeks. At this particular job I was always punching holes in documents and putting them into binders for people. I had a 3-hole punch that I kept on my desk. I would punch holes in papers all day long, and each morning when I came in I would see that someone had emptied out the paper holes during the night. This happened every night the whole time I worked there, and I never found out who was doing it or why. Nothing else on my desk ever got moved.