I’m not a happy bunny at the moment. Sorry to start on a negative, but I would rather be upfront with you before you read too much further.
Our company is “evolving”. Those are the words they used to explain the changes to me.
Evolving? What are they on about? Businesses grow, businesses struggle, or businesses decline, but evolve? Straight-away I knew I was going to be hit with some flim-flam and I knew I was not going to like it. Call me a dinosaur, but change is rarely good – you ask any dinosaur…well, you can’t can you because the dinosaurs evolved from a group of mostly dog and horse size creatures into the most enormous beasts that ever existed on land. And then what? Puff, they were gone!
So, we are evolving to a new hybrid way of working. Apparently it is all about well-being, improving life balance, reducing environmental impact, improving productivity and efficiency blah de blah. Great as that sounds, but at what point in this “evolution” did anyone give any consideration to me? I can tell you now, they didn’t. No, Mr Senior Stationery Supervisor is going to have to work out for himself how the all-important stationery essentials will be distributed amongst the hybrid working staff.
It used to be so easy. Employees would fill out a stationery request form which I would then decipher, change and make recommendations to before contacting our local supplier for the order. That might sound as though I am interfering, but honestly, a level of expertise is required to avoid us ending up with a pile of returns. For example, last week Anne in Accounts left me a message saying she needed a new shredder, can I sort it. Well of course I can sort it, but give me some more information, please!
Did she want small, medium, large? What security level? Strip cut, cross cut or micro cut? Is it just for her to use or for the whole department? After much deliberation and consultation I concluded that she qualified for a high end Rexel Auto+ 600X which shreds up to 600 sheets in one go with P-4 security, 4-digit PIN lockable paper chamber and a whopping 80L bin. Yes, 80 litres – that baby can hold the contents of FORTY 2-litre bottles of my favourite Diet Pepsi. Phenomenal. A Rolls Royce amongst shredders.
It is humbling to think that I have the power to make these decisions. OK, so I need to get anything over £25 signed off by the Accounts Department, but in this instance I had no issues with getting Anne to sign the Purchase Order. “No problem she said, just don’t tell Mr Chipperfield.” I’ve no idea why she did not want Mr Chipperfield, the company CEO to know, but I am not one to get involved with office politics.
As I was saying, life used to be easy, but now I have to manage dealing with requests and distributing stationery to employees that might spend half their time at home working. Hayley in Product Development even had the cheek to ask me if I could get her items delivered to her house – who does she think I am? “Of course, that is fine” I replied, “…as long as you don’t mind dropping the list of what you need around to my house?!”
The cheek of it. Although in truth, Hayley is rather lovely and I was kind of hoping she might say yes to that, at which point I would have asked her if she wanted to stay for dinner and I could have wooed her with my collection of Puntine Drawing pins which have been around for over a century. I have an impressive collection with perfectly preserved steel points in nickel-plated tempered steel, a treatment that gives hardness, brilliance and resistance to oxidation.
Faced with this dilemma – the need to supply our hybrid workers with stationery, not the one about having gone 27 years without a girlfriend – I contacted our office products supplier and I have to say they were absolutely brilliant. Being local we met up and devised a fantastic plan that means I can schedule in deliveries for when I know that certain employees will be in the office and leave it on their desk ready for them to collect.
The system works really well and our supplier has even put together special packs under one ordering code that I can use for ordering everyday items specifically suited for whether the person has a home office, works at a dining room table or is out and about nipping in to cafes and libraries to catch-up on a bit of admin.
I would like to say it was my idea, but in truth it was my local office products supplier that came up with all the ideas. The benefits of buying from a local supplier, we have a great relationship, and they even send me pictures anytime a new product comes out that they think I might like. In fact I am sitting here now looking at a picture of a Fellowes Stellar A3 Guillotine – Hayley has no idea what she is missing out on.