Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…

Every once in a while while I’m at work, I’ll have a ridiculous thought. A thought that, out of the context of me working in an office, would be absolutely preposterous. Heck, some of these are preposterous despite their context. Either way, each time I think of something, I’ll make a mental note, and now I’ve compiled a few from my first week here for your reading pleasure:

1. “Boy, I really wish I owned more ties.”

Honestly, I own about three that are actually wearable (this excludes those worn on stage at a Men’s Chorale concert or inherited from my dad). I’ve had to be creative so far with mixing and matching, but when you aren’t used to dressing up all the time, and then all of the sudden you have to do it every day, you start to worry somebody’s gonna notice, and you get desperate for neckwear. Another quote that could fit in this category is something along the lines of: “I wonder if I should go with the single- or double-Windsor knot today.”

2. “I wonder how I get more paperclips around here.”

No kidding. Working in an office, there’s a process, and likely about six forms for everything. So if you run out of paperclips, you can send an email to the supply warehouse to have some brought down to your office, for which you’d have to fill out a form, and then you’d probably fill out another to receive the shipment, and who knows, maybe later you’ll fill out something else to say whether or not you thought the service was prompt enough, when all you wanted was one stinking paperclip in the first place. This also applies for binder clips, copy paper, post-it notes, highlighters, and the like.

3. “Filing cabinets are so great… I really should get one at home.”

One of my days at work this week was primarily spent filing, or organizing current files into more organized, more current files. I’ll be the first to say I’m a fairly organized fellow, and if you’ve met me, you know that’s true. People like me tend to think there’s a reason organization has the same first four letters as orgasm, because we often feel the same way about both. So to me, there’s nothing better than pure, unbridled coordination encased in metal pull-out drawers and green hanging folders, ready to be rifled through at any given moment. The office I work for has a seemingly unlimited supply of those hanging folders, as well as the binder subject separators with colorful plastic tabs that you used to get in school. We’ve got a whole drawer full of ’em. When I first opened that drawer, I got so excited I think I peed a little.

4. “This email seriously has nothing to do with me– why was I put on the Cc line?”

This is another symptom of the typical office job– the flooded email box. Honestly, most people I see working around the office all day are doing nothing more than reading and writing emails. And as an APU staff member, I also get the privilege of being included on the “APU Everyone” email list. This means every time there’s a retirement party for some adjunct professor in the science department, or someone lost their keys in the women’s bathroom of the Ronald building, or there’s a prayer request for a random secretary’s college roommate’s son who broke his leg, I get an email about it (all of those are actual examples from the past three days, not exaggerations). As lovely an idea as it is, I get two-to-four emails a day from the staff prayer request line, and dozens more from other miscellaneous APU departments that want to create “campus-wide staff community” while I’m still trying to remember the name of the lady who works in the office next door.

5. “This is just like that one episode of The Office…”

I think this daily. Maybe even hourly. Honestly, working the type of job that I do makes that show a thousand times funnier. Everyone who works in an office, myself included, fits some sort of stereotype that’s made fun of on that show. Unfortunately for me, about 90% of the people who work in my office fit the same stereotype- Angela (the anal, church-going, cat-loving, sweater-wearing party-planner, for those of you who haven’t seen the show). The other 10% is where the real fun kicks in, though. Wednesday I was asked to help move a table into someone’s car with John, one of the other guys in the office. From the office to the parking lot, a span of no more than a minute and a half, I was treated to three of John’s celebrity impressions. Arnold Schwartzenegger, Borat, and Keanu Reeves, back-to-back-to-back. This guy’s a real winner.

If this is a real office job, I guess it’s about half exactly what I expected, and half exactly the opposite of what I expected. I assumed there’d be the minutiae about office supplies, I guessed there’d be the unnecessary emails, I just never figured it’d be as extreme as it was. Honestly, though, it’s that over-the-top quality to all of it that makes it bearable at times, so I guess it’s good that I didn’t expect it to be that extreme, or else I’d probably get bored. And as for John? Well, I certainly didn’t expect John.


2 Responses to “Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…”

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