Listen carefully because I am going to say this only once; and if you tell anyone that I said this I will deny everything, particularly to my friends down the pub on a Friday night (when we are allowed back down the pub that is). Ok, here we go:
I LOVE STATIONERY
There, I said it. I know it is not the coolest thing to say, and I know everyone will suddenly start to think I am like Derek Wilton from Coronation Street driving around with a giant paperclip on my car, but it is not like that. There is so much more to stationery than that; yes, it is practical and serves a purpose, and when going to meetings or using in public it can also be deemed a fashion accessory, but the fact that EVERYONE uses stationery in their daily life, either at home or work, makes it all the more powerful.
Having spent a couple of months on furlough and now working from home I have had time to indulge in my passion and choose the stationery items that I want, rather than just those that are in the company stationery cupboard, ordered by the Office Manager who always seems to go for the cheapest of everything rather than looking at practicality, durability and environmental benefits.
The best example I have is copier paper. I have a printer at home that the company allowed me to buy. It is not top of the range, but it does the job as long as I use a good quality sheet of paper to run through it. When given permission to order a box of paper to be delivered direct to home I opted for a box of Our Earth paper that I had seen advertised in this very magazine.
As a child I used to love reading the Gerald Durrell books so when I discovered there was a ream of paper that is supporting the conservation work carried out by Durrells I just had to order it. Paper, that is contributing towards helping the survival of the Madagascar Side-Necked Turtle and the Black Lion Tamarin? How good is that?
The other difference I have noticed since working at home is how many products are actually available from my local “stationery & office products supplier”. When I was in the office every day we occasionally got asked if there was anything we needed. I would look around my desk to check I had enough post-it notes, see how much ink was left in my biro and sometimes if I was feeling brave I might ask if I could get a stapler upgrade, but I never got full view of everything that is available. Now I have catalogues, website logins and have literally thousands of items to choose from.
Now that I am combining working from home the company are constantly asking if I need anything for my workstation area at home, they realise the importance of a healthy workforce and realise their responsibility, so last week they asked me if I wanted a sit-stand desk. A sit-stand desk? I didn’t even know what one of them was, apparently you can raise your desk so that you can carry on working at your computer whilst standing up – Genius!
You see, stationery is not the stereotypical dull product that people tend to think it is, it is genuinely exciting with some great products and it is hugely rewarding when you find that ideal pen to write in that slick leather-covered notebook that sits by your laptop riser and snazzy electric stapler on your desk that can be raised to the right height for working when standing up -The sit-stand desk! I still can’t get over it, my mates would love it…but I’m just not ready to confess to my stationery addiction just yet.