Doesn’t Even Sound Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2018

I work in a small, open-plan office in a fairly small company. The husband-and-wife owners of the company don’t seem to want to update anything or invest any money in the company; the windows don’t fully close unless someone pushes on them from the outside, the blinds are damaged so you can always see in, and the computer system is over some early version of Windows with limited processing speed, which crashes on a weekly basis.

One day my boss gets an email — they can’t work out group emails — to say the wife has decided we are using too much stationary, she refuses to buy any more, and she wants us to be a paperless office. This is all despite us lacking the resources to be paperless, and the husband’s insistence that we keep a physical paper trail of every order, invoice, or query the customers have.

We make do as best we can, but eventually I bite the bullet and buy a pack of paper, pens, and a few nice post-its, etc. It’s not much, but when you are earning minimum wage and buying resources which work should be providing, it’s more than I want to spend.

I put all my stationary in my desk the next morning. I come back from lunch to find all of it gone, including a monogrammed pen my mum bought for my birthday. I eventually track it down to the female owner’s office, where she is happily using them. When I confront her about it, she repeats, “Paperless office,” like she is a parrot who has learnt a new phrase. I bite my lip and ask how we are meant to be paperless when we are also expected to keep written notes and print records of all our work. She eventually relents that she might, maybe look at a stationary order, “if it’s such a big deal.” I thank her, take my monogrammed pen from her hand, and walk out her office.

The next day, I replace the stationary and replace the lock on the desk, secure it before I go for lunch, and come back to find my coworkers giggling. Apparently, the female owner had heard I had more stationary and spent five minutes trying to pry open my desk before snatching the post-its from my desktop, screaming, “PAPERLESS OFFICE!”, and storming out.

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