From the highest executive to the most humble intern, workers in the office rely on the aid of office supplies. 'Rely on', however, is marginally different from 'effectively use'.
Office supplies have been an essential part of the working drone's daily life. As nine-to-five workers, the professional requires several of these tools, for purposes ranging from basic word processing to hurling at lunch-thieving co-workers.
Above: The office professional at work.
Despite improved office supply items today, they remain bound by three limitations, stated below:
1. Office Supplies only work if you have them. - When an office environment is small or is in actuality a hobo garbage dump, functional office supplies tend to run short. You and your coworkers may have to compete with each other, perhaps in the form of physical battles comprised of throwing office supplies at each other.
Although this promotes physical and competitive health, this tends to make supply count even shorter. Also, that lump from when Tim from Accounting threw a stapler at you is going to last a week.
Above: Vigorous Workplace Competition, or, simply 'Give Me That F#$%ING (OFFICE SUPPLY), YOU (EXPLETIVE)'
2. Durability - Like owning a beat-up car, or stealing the Mona Lisa, obtaining office supplies is only half the work. The other half is getting the office supplies remain in your possession for a long time, to avoid having to repeat the activities suggested in Limitation No. 1.
As a general rule, shaking, stomping, or throwing any office supply item against the wall/a coworker is a definite no-no when prioritizing the durability of your office supplies.
Depicted: Not following instructions.
For good results, it is suggested that supplies be stored in a safe, dry, and accessible location, and placed in an orderly manner. For best results, it is suggested that you quit your desk job and take another occupation, perhaps as a superhero or fry chef.
Wolverine, contemplating a career without office supplies.
3. Office Supplies Are Only As Good as the Dumbass Who Uses Them. - Office supplies are no assurance of your compentency as a worker.
One could possess these:
- a three-piece suit
- the most expensive laptop computer
- a set of sharpened pencils stacked in a manner not unlike machine gun bullets
- a complete set of Parker pens
- a veritable cinderblock of bond paper
And still be defeated by a Cro-Magnon possessed with only these:
- a stone stool
- two reams of toilet paper
- half a crayon
- fucking competency.
"I discussed the hell out of that brainstorming session."
It should be noted that office supplies are only means to an end, and not the end itself. Unless Limitation #1 is taken into consideration, in which case it is so on.
"Let's see you steal my pen again, Lester."
Some of the most common office supplies can be quantified by their size, functionality, and most of the time, degree of unwillingness to work for their human masters. Below is a rundown of the most common office supplies you can find, provided you a) are not a hobo and b) actually work in an office.
A long, yellow piece of wood commonly used as a writing implement. Said writing implement possesses an eraser at the tip, brand or customized name in its body, and the uncanny ability to annoy the user by breaking its tip at unexpected intervals.
"Jeez! It's like the Bermuda Triangle all over again!"
Maintenance of the pencil requires the use of another office supply item, the sharpener. The sharpener, a small, metallic block with a blade within, is used to sharpen the pencil until its tip maintains a shape sharp enough to kill a man, or until it can be used for writing for a few minutes until it snaps again.
Or you could just stick to these, Mr. Working Professional.
The pencil is often used to write up drafts, or documents of the same nature where massive cursing and erasures are required, such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles. However, these activities consume an enormous amount of time, which results in your pencil getting snapped and having to use the sharpener again.
In conclusion, you are going to encounter this a fucking lot of times.
The pencil's slightly more legible bastard half-brother, the ballpoint pen is commonly used to sign documents, write drafts for letters, take down notes, and permanently deface magazines or unneeded files when the worker is bored.
"What are you doing, Mr. Hart?"
"Oh....I'm, uh, I'm an editor. Art Editor. For a magazine."
"Then explain all these stencil boners, Mr. Hart."
Workers use different colors for a variety of uses, black being for formal signing of documents, red for editing or correcting mistakes, and green for formal signing of extraterrestrial documents and/or if other colored ballpens are all out of ink. The main method of differentiating each is to shake it wildly, place it in a clean pocket, and determine which cursing is more colorful and vigorous upon discovery of ruined pocket.
"Let's see, blue stain...is it sonofamotherfuckingwhore or thisbitchassgoddamnballpen?"
Originally a lush group of trees, which were then cut by lumberjacks, processed into lumber, sent into paper processing plants and converted into the writing surfaces you use today. Each piece of paper a cubicle worker uses secretly contains seven (7) minutes of tarnished woodland creature memories and least two (2) pints of tears from Mother Nature.
An actual image of Mother Nature crying is unavailable. In its place, please enjoy this image.
The most common form of paper office supply is bond paper, used for printing contracts, project proposals, and other important documents. On a slow day, it may also be utilized for paper airplanes (Fig.1), finding out whether you have cooties (Fig.2), or for a cubicle-tailored mode of Office Basketball(Fig.3 ).
Post-Its, invented by Art Fry and Spencer Silver of 3M Company, are pads in different neon colors that use an adhesive in order to stick to any surface, a definition not unlike that of radioactive boogers. Post-Its are typically used to remind people of important tasks or dates, or more commonly to look busy whenever a Human Resources personnel comes around.
With this line of thinking, being a 3M Post-It manager must be the most procrastinatey thing ever.
Also known as the Handheld Thing That Hurts Most When You Throw It At Office Workers, the stapler is used to attach several sheets of paper together with small pieces of metal called staples.
Named the stapler because presumably the term 'Stapler-Attacher' was deemed retarded, the stapler has also been the recipient of The Annual Handheld Thing That Hurts Most When You Throw It At Office Workers Award.
An award it has boasted of for ten years running.
The stapler's less offensive little brother, the paper clip is a piece of wire used to put files together. It is less effective than the stapler, in that one simple graduation-cap type throw of files attached with a paper clip will result in scattered sheets of paper, not unlike confetti.
Above: one hell of a metaphor.
The paper clip has had an illustrous movie and TV career, due to its reputation of being used as a lockpick. However, the good name of the paperclip has also been dealt its share of besmirching, as seen in the picture below:
This tool helps the worker separate files which have been and have not been processed, in order to save space and avoid confusion. Despite its best intentions, however, it may also be used as a tool of deception, when the worker places all the day's files into the 'Out' section, leading he and his supervisor into an Ouroboros of procrastination.
Like this, but only with more sweaty polo shirt necktie combinations.
The most advanced office supply item in this list, the computer comes in two different variants, the desktop computer, and the far-easier to steal laptop. The computer is the most efficient tool for procrastination in the office worker's arsenal. However, this pales in comparison to its popularity as the office worker's most efficient source of porn.
Let's see your fucking stapler do that.
The photocopying machine is a tool used to create copies of your files that somehow smell of ink and smoke, with the volume being determined by how new your machine is, or by how much the fire in your office is consuming the machine.
In this scenario, the condition of your office supplies has evolved from Original to Extra Crispy.
Similar to the pencil's Spell of Ninja Tip-snapping, the photocopying machine has the Broken Parts Confusion Jutsu, wherein the machine breaks down and casts the illusion that you are able to fix it. The Jutsu's final result is the photocopying machine being four or five parts worse after you attempt to fix it, with you having to resort to returning to your malevolent pencil and sacrilegeous piece of bond paper for writing purposes.
With the advent of digitally stored files in computers, the file cabinets are now only important because without their production, the file cabinet industry as we know it would cease to exist. However, files cabinets still enjoy a massive amount of use in offices, whether it be for hiding files, hiding from bosses, or hiding incriminating documents.
Contrary to popular belief, Scotch Tape did not come from the Scottish. Boom. Life-changing discovery, just like that.
Scotch Tape came forth as a result of the typical customer-manufacturer interaction: misplaced ad hominem jabs. A customer, apparently dissatisfied by the amount of sticking power of 3M's initial offering, apparently told a tape engineer to take the tape "back to [his] stingy Scotch bosses and tell them to put more adhesive on it".
We'd like to think their boss looked a little something like this.
Thanks to that totally unneeded jab, the tape engineer, Richard Drew, invented a product whose name and reknown would remain even to this day. However, whether Drew really had executive superiors of Scottish descent remains a mystery to this day.
The runner up to the award garnered by the stapler (see the Stapler section), the scissors is an indispensable tool when you feel that tearing up unfair contracts with your bare hands after jumping on top of the desk is a tad uncivilized.
"I do say that's uncalled for, my good man."
The scissors use a pair of sharp metal edges that when used with the thumb and forefingers in a crab-pincer like gesture, will have the office worker cutting up documents in no time. This is also useful for cutting up newspapers for a bed, after you have lost your job because of your frustration on the above office supply items.
Still not pictured: Office supplies.