Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend 3-way: sticky fingers

I was standing in the server/copier/mail/supply room at work earlier this week, waiting for the copier to warm up. To bide my time until “power saver” mode disappeared, I checked out our office supplies, as per.

We don’t have anything special, really, just your run-of-the-mill boxes of pencils and pens, giant bundles of Postits, various types of letterhead, those ubiquitous metal black clips, about a billion rubber bands, etc., etc., etc.

But for some reason I always feel compelled to swipe one of those glossy, wrapped-up packages of yellow Postits. They tempt me.

But not as much as the giant box of paper towels in the kitchen does. I can’t seem to keep my home supplied with paper towels - they are chronically used up before I have time to restock.

And, yes, I admit it. I’ve taken both. But not very often.

I’m also going to freely admit to taking the “Highlights” and “Sunset” magazines that the publishers continually send to the office because they mistakenly think the office of my doctor-boss is a traditional doctor’s office, full of potential new subscribers.

Nope. Just me.

So what I want to know is do you pilfer from your workplace? Or former workplace? And if so, what is it that your secretive, sly, stealthy, sticky-fingers are lifting?

I realize that Ellie is at a bit of a disadvantage here, as her boss’ wife actually reads Me and You and Ellie, and she would be in a pickle if she admitted to leaving the Dutch with anything more than good vibes and a great buzz, but she’s had lots of former jobs. In fact, she’s even worked here before…

The only thing I pilfer from the Dutch is beer. But that's not really pilfering, because it's sanctioned. Encouraged, in fact, by both Peter and Martha. I also grabbed a couple of books of matches for our trip. So we can think fondly of the Tavern while lighting campfires. Awww.

My former corporate life is a different story entirely, though. I believe corporate supply rooms are just my supply rooms, with fancier names. Those sheets of Avery labels, manila folders, pens (just get the office manager to order the kind you want), mechanical pencils, post-its, highlighters. Sigh. I really really love office supplies, and I really really love supply rooms.

And I suppose technically I was pilfering ink and electricity, too, because I did all my printing at work, too. Of course I did. Christmas card labels, party invites to mail out, recipes, a story from the paper for Bill to read . . .

Now I do all my printing at the library. Where I have to pay for it. Hmmm. Maybe I can get Peter to install a printer at the Tavern...


Well, it's not nearly as fun to pilfer from the office when you are the one doing the supply ordering and managing the budget for a small school. I sure do love me some office supplies, though, and sometimes I decide that we neeeeeed stuff in the office, just so I can play with it. Like the label maker I picked up last week - why does anyone need a label maker when you can make labels of any size, shape or creed right there on your computer? But I had to have the label maker, and if I was not already spoken for, I would totally marry it and have its little organized babies.

I still have the black stapler that Ellie brought me from the supply room of her first NYC job, and I'm a notorious pen swiper. I've certainly pilfered a roll of toilet paper now and then when I got the 9-1-1 call from home that we were desperate. So I don't take much, but my biggest crime by far is the time that I claim as my own. I'm in constant contact with all my peeps throughout each work day, and the time I give to achieve that goal technically belongs to my employer.

Ah yes, time. I claim a lot of that as my own too. But who can be productive for 8 straight hours in front of a computer? Who, I ask you? Not me. Six is stretching it, so I get some personal stuff taken care of at work as well; I think everyone does.

But you forgot one other thing, Jacquie. You also sometimes take the good eats that are leftover from work, right? Well, I know you do, because even my family has been the recipient of half a tray of plundered meatballs. Thankyouverymuch.

As I mentioned, I don't take much from my current office, a stamp here and there, the pens that I do ask my colleague to order, a pack of Postits, etc. It's an office, that's all we've got.

I think restaurant jobs are the jobs that I pilfered the most from. There was an entire informal economy operating in Ocean City during the summers I lived there, with roommates and friends hooking up roommates and friends with cocktails, free appetizers, even full bags of Maryland blue crabs left outside in the alley. I guess we all knew it was wrong, but that minimum wage was hardly paying the rent, and we were always looking for free fun.

What I need now are friends that work for luxurious resorts, day spas, and hip concert venues....


just plain COLD in PA said...

this reminds me that I need a job outside my house so I can get a few freebies.

When I worked in a school, I loved having the laminater (sp?) available to use for any number of things (kid art, ss card,) and I have always found a way to avoid Kinkos by printing at work (either mine or my husbands)

Beth's Ocean City reference brought back memories...but she failed to mention that some of that stuff her roommate brought was just "stolen goods"...which my beach boyfriend thought was a good idea to buy me as a gift. (beachcomber bikes really come with only one tire??)

Has Jacquie found me that job that I so desperately need to get me out of this frigid state?! I promise I won't steal a thing!

Kathi D said...

I love office supplies of every kind. Last office job I had, one meelyon years ago, my roommate and I were mainly inclined to snag an occasional roll of toilet paper when it was too far till the next paycheck to buy it for ourselves. Probably some pencils, too--but they never had tempting pens, and the paper was all preprinted forms of one kind or another. Boring!

NucMEd is Hot said...

I am always getting the office order girl fun pens that I like. I would like to steal stuff from my office, but the fact that most is it radioactive is prohibitive.

Mainly I steal time. Lots and lots of time!

XUP said...

I never take anything from work. NEVER! Okay? And if anyone says any different, they're a liar. Do ya hear?

mumple said...

OOOOOO. Office supplies! I don't have access to them at work, and it's pathetic!

A multi-billion $$ international company, and I have to pretend everyone else is the bank and steal their pens so I have 'em when I need 'em.