Monthly Archives: October 2010

Milton’s Red Swingline Stapler

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Do you ever feel like you have the “Milton Red Swingline Stapler” syndrome from Mike Judge’s cult classic – Office Space? You know, The “syndrome” that no matter when you leave your office space for the day or go on a break; there is the mysterious office ghost or phantom the tends to swipe or “permanently” borrow things from your beloved desk or cubicle.

I have had almost everything imaginable known to mankind borrowed from me. Lets take a look at what is borrowed:

  • Office Supplies – stapler, pens, paper pads, Post-Its, paper clips, empty notebooks, push pins, ruler

  • Food – sodas, lunch, cookies, candy

  • Clothing – winter gloves, wool scarf, wool cap

Can you name some odd or unique items that have magically disappeared from your beloved desk drawers or neatly organized cubicle desk top? Feel free to enlighten the other members of OfficeRave with your “disappearances”.

As with may companies and/or employers, money is ever so tight and we have to rely on ourselves to purchase some of the simplest necessities. The simple things that make our jobs easier to perform; have to come out of our penniless pockets. I know that I am sounding pretty petty on this subject but now days money is ever so tight and some of us are barely making ends meet.  And we purchase office supplies to make our “cubicle farm lives” easier and more productive.

As I sit here in my beloved space, I question and ponder on how I can keep my fellow employee’s grubby little fingers and hands out of my “space”. I ponder on how some of my fellow employees have solved this; not saying that I have done this before.

One is the food issue. I have heard that some of my fellow employees have mixed EXLAX with the candy and left it on the desk top just to catch the perpetrator in the act of “stealing” the candy or chocolate chip cookies sitting out in plain view. With this, you would know simply by watching to see who goes to the restroom often during the day. Or by knowing who calls in sick from an upset stomach the very next day. I know that this sounds awful crude but it fixed their dilemma.

Next would be the borrowing of all the neat and special pen you buy to bring to work. Just like some of the department sores, you can take those giant plastic flowers or toys to the top of the pen. I have also seen the ones where they have Super Glued the flower to the top so that it couldn’t be removed. With this, you can literally see who barrowed your pen.

Last it is the stigma of barrowing the big items like Milton’s Red Swingline Stapler. The simplest and most logical solution is to Velcro the item to your desk. Use the Velcro that is produced for use outdoors because it is produced for heavy long lasting strength. That way you can still be able to use it yourself. If someone else wants it, they are going to have to “wrestle” it to make a clean swipe.

I know a lot of this is sounding pretty harsh, but we have to respect our fellow workers. Lets be considerate and make the days pass more peacefully. Just remember how Milton felt, do you want to feel like that too?

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Lunch Consideration

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Eating etiquette in the office or in a cubicle; now this seems to be a touchy subject with some office employees and supervisors. All I can do is give my opinion on what I have seen in my many endless hours and days working in a “cubicle farm”.

I do know that many of us take our own meals, snacks and to our desk so that we can eat and work during lunch so that we don’t have to “clock out” or we might have a boss that is pressuring us to finish a project or meet a tireless deadline. But come on folks; let’s be real and considerate of our fellow employees sitting in the close “cubes” all around us. Yes, I am talking to you, the one that just brought the can of sardines to work as if you are trying to scrape up your last dimes for a meal.

Just imagine having to sit next to that person (just one cubicle over) and having to smell a can of sardines smothered in green chilies and oil. And then to top it off, they decide when they are done eating from this small tin; they dispose of it in the trash can under their desk for all the “cubes” around to smell for the rest of the day. You can’t get more considerate than this. Yes, that was being sarcastic.

Then comes the employee that burns the bag of Orville Redenbacher in the break room next to all the desk and cubicles. Fill the whole floor with that burnt smell. You know the kind that lingers like a smog day in Los Angeles. I don’t know if there is a fire or if I need to sit and wait for an oxygen mask to drop down from the ceiling tiles. Like the ones on a doomed airline flight.

I also see the employee that is leaving for a “fast food” run and doesn’t even bother to stop and ask everyone to see if they want something. I guess that is a clique thing (but that will be another blog at a later date). Here I sit in my cubicle eating the lunch I scrounged up early in the morning and in comes the “fast food” runner. For some reason, my bologna sandwich and potato chip just smell like the Jack in the Box that just entered the room.

In closing, all I can say is; be considerate of the others around you. Or be forth warned that the day is coming when I do the “Pay Back” and everyone wishes that they had left the building for lunch.