Robert Hall Business Equipment

The Secret Diary of A Stationery Lover

It’s a very busy time at work now. For the accounts department it is the end of the financial year and they have all been busy finalising accounts. As always I have tried to be as helpful as possible – I even ordered in three of the Casio ergonomic calculators where the keypad is angled perfectly to avoid hand fatigue when making calculations. Unfortunately, nobody had told me that all three people in accounts are left-handed and the calculator is only designed for right handers. To make up for it I ordered in some left-handed scissors. “Ooh, I don’t get on with them” said Sam. “I always tend to use normal scissors for cutting!”  I think I understand what they mean now about ‘depreciation’ – ungrateful so and so’s.

I couldn’t resist having a little passing shot when I left their office: “Hey Sam, have you heard the one about the fun accountant? Me neither!” and then one final dig: “Oh, and if your wife cannot sleep at night all she has to say is ‘tell me about your day dear’. I chuckled to myself and headed off to the stationery cupboard to do an audit on the paperclips and staples ahead of placing my next order with our supplier.

My next order from our supplier is going to be a big one as it includes all the items I need for a spring clean of the building. We have cleaners come in twice a week to empty the bins and dust around, but once a year it was suggested in a meeting that we should get our own hands dirty and give the place a thorough scrub, including the printer rooms and cupboards that often get overlooked. The MD asked for a volunteer, everyone looked at me. Next thing I know, I had the job.

I don’t really like spring cleaning, in fact I don’t really care much for cleaning in summer, autumn or winter either. In fairness I was asked if there is anything I needed to make the job easier, I quipped “how about a maid?” It was supposed to be a joke, but I got my knuckles rapped (metaphorically speaking, although I did think at the time how ironic it would have been if I had my knuckles rapped by a left-handed ruler) and was sent away to read the latest company policy about political correctness.

In fairness, I was in the wrong. If you look up the word ‘maid’ you will find it came from the word ‘maidservant’, the definition of which is a ‘female servant’. That seems wrong, after all, I would never get away with calling Sam in Accounts the ‘Balance Sheet Servant’ or the ‘Balance Sheet Boy’ – although I thought that one had quite a ring to it!

So next week I am getting fully into spring cleaning with all the products supplied from our local office products supplier, including a new mop and bucket, cleaning cloths, rubber gloves and gallons of disinfectant – I hate to think what is down the back of the fridge in the office kitchen. At least twice in the last year I have seen Jane from marketing drop a blueberry down the back as she pours them on her morning porridge. I keep telling her she should have her breakfast before she gets to work, work hours are for working not breakfast. But apparently I’m wrong there now as well.

“We need to create an environment where people want to come into the office” explained the MD when I went through another knuckle-rapping exercise after Jane snitched on me. “We need to create spaces to relax, for people to experience mindfulness and enjoy some down time from the stresses and strains of the workplace.”

I’m not sure I completely understand it, but I must admit it is much better having people back in the office unlike just after covid when everyone was still working from home and I had to organise stationery collection and distributions to people’s workplace all around the county. Fortunately, despite how it might seem as though I moan a lot, I do not suffer from loneliness or well-being issues – give me a stationery cupboard packed full of multi-coloured post-it notes and the smell of a freshly opened ream of paper and I am happy for the rest of the day. Except spring cleaning day. I don’t like that.