Monday, November 3, 2014

Work emails not sent

Dear Staff,

As your supply procurer I hope you know that I am happy to get you anything you need to make your job run more smoothly and easily. A particular color of post it note you are fond of, or your own pair of left handed scissors are both things I am delighted to try and acquire. I do not directly order, but rather I order from the orderer, and I have never had a remotely reasonable request questioned. For many years now we have not been a restrictive organization when it comes to having the necessary equipment to do our jobs.

However, there is a supply problem I'd like to talk to you about.

Paper clips. 

I used to be able to go years between needing to place paper clip orders. Now I feel like no amount will satisfy you. How many paper clips can you possibly need? What are all these pieces of paper you are so eagerly attaching to each other? We have gone through more than five boxes of jumbo paper clips in the past month. That's over 500 paper clips! Did you know that, unlike, for instance, staples, after you're finished keeping your pages attached to each other you can reuse that paper clip? It's true. You don't even need to use it right away. It is perfectly okay to return the paper clip to the paper clip box. No one will think the worse of you. No one thinks a paper clip needs to be in "unused" condition to work properly, or, if they do, and they question your putting a paper clip into the paper clip box, please direct them to me. If necessary I will personally revoke their paper clip usage privileges.

Yes, it has become that serious.

I have been examining the bulk cost of paper clips on various websites. An individual paper clip can cost three quarters of a cent and only goes up from there. While this may not seem to be a great deal of money to you, I cannot help but note that when a library patron pays off a small fine to you in pennies you dutifully place them in the cash register. You do not toss these pennies over your shoulder as if they are meaningless. This is effectively what you are doing with paper clips when you continue to use them irresponsibly.

Thank you for your careful attention to this matter.

We can talk about pens next week.


  1. After pens, how about rubber bands?

    1. Oooh, problems with rubber bands? Similar in how I suspect some people don't understand their reusability, but my recent experience tends towards vast accumulations of rubber bands in locations where they are never needed. Shall I send you some?

  2. The and thing happens with paper clips at my place of employment. It must be a trend.

  3. My prior comment meant to say that this same thing happens at my place of employment.

    1. Something sinister is clearly afoot. You have my sympathies of course.


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