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Keep Your Friends Close and Your Stapler Closer

Katrina Carefoot, Mabel BlogHer correspondent, from Fickle Feline, is guest blogging while Julie recovers from the birth of her 6th baby - welcome Finian Aloysius! Julie will be back next week (talk about a whirlwind maternity leave!).

I probably shouldn’t admit this in such a public forum, but I have a thing for office supplies. Meaning, I fancy really nice, top notch pens, rulers, paper, notepads, mechanical pencils, paper clips, scissors and staplers. If my work doesn’t happen to supply my preferred brand of a specific office product, I will bring my own from home. Yes, I’m that particular, specifically about my stapler. But my stapler - it isn’t just any stapler. It has a special history. It is a burgundy, Swingline stapler. And how do I say this nicely? No, you CANNOT borrow my stapler. Uhh…I mean, of course you can borrow my stapler, just please be sure to bring it back to me when you are finished. And be gentle with it, it was a gift. A Valentine’s Day gift. Specifically, my first Valentine’s gift from my husband after we got married. But, you know, no pressure. However, be aware that if you scratch it, dent it, or ding it, I will never speak to you again. Otherwise, we’re cool. There is also the fact that it matches my Blackberry Curve perfectly. I know…that’s just crazy talk, I mean, who accessorizes their office equipment? Probably the same type of person who labels it…

The labelling thing, it started out as a way for me to keep the kids organized, to make sure their stuff came home from daycare at the end of the day. Then, I realized, after leaving my notebook in a meeting room for the 3rd time in a week (I guess my brain is still in mommy mode), that I could use some labels too. Hey, if it works for the kids, why wouldn’t I label my stuff too? That way when I leave my stuff behind in meeting rooms, the local coffee shop, or my boss’s office, everyone will know who it belongs to and everything will find its way back to me. Mommy brain problem solved, right?

So far my strategy has proven to be successful. But I might have overdone it, just a bit. You see, in an effort to ensure my highly prized office supplies (like my much loved Swingline) are always returned to me, I labelled every square inch of my desk. I have a feeling my coworkers are now afraid to borrow anything from me, because I seem a bit “attached” to my stuff. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing? Maybe my label strategy is actually two pronged - it helps people return things to me when I have forgotten them, and encourages them to not borrow things in the first place, as they will inevitably look like a thief when my visibly labelled stapler sits, waiting to be returned to me, on their desk, my name label a beacon, calling out to me in the night “Katrina, Katrina, Come Save Me!!”.

Wow. My stapler is talking to me. And I thought Izzie was nuts. I need to get more sleep.

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