I don't know if you ever noticed, but in every church there's always a small squad of usually older women who take it upon themselves to do things like make sure there's flowers on the altar, toilet paper in the bathrooms, and that things get dusted regularly. Can't have Jeebus looking shabby, now can we?
In the same general way in any office there's always someone who makes sure that the little things get done. There's always a person, guy or gal, who makes sure that the kitchen always has plenty of those plastic stirrer straws, the copier is always full of paper, and the fax machine doesn't run out of toner. That person quietly and without a lot of fuss always makes sure that the little things are taken care of. On Torchwood that guy is Ianto* (pronounced YAN-toe.) In my office I'm that guy.
I'm the guy who comes in the mornings and makes sure the A/C is on and set right, I usually start a pot of coffee tho I don't drink the horrid stuff, and I make sure that all the printers and fax machines and the big monster copier has paper. Oddly enough I also handle all the medical supplies for the office nurses. It's what I do. It appeals to a recently developed personal sense of 'a place for everything and everything in it's place, and always enough so you don't run out.'
I wasn't always this way, honest. It's something I grew into in the past, oh, decade, probably. Since becoming a parent, certainly. It's simply easier to live life when you know that there's toilet paper in the house in case of emergency, there's a new stick of deodorant under the vanity for when that almost-empty stick really IS empty, and the milk is about to expire but the grocery shopping trip is tomorrow so that's covered, too. It just Makes Life Easier, and frankly at this point in my life I LIKE my Life to be Easy.
My gripe (you knew there'd be a grip, right?) is, like before, when the system falls apart around me due to...whatever. Inattention. Failure to communicate. Lack of the "give a shits." It's hard to make sure the copier has toner when no one orders it, even though you've reminded her to order at least TWO big containers of toner three weeks in advance so we don't run out. It's worse when you've reminded her four times and she doesn't order until... wait for it... we're out. Utterly out. Kids, we're talking about an office whose copier alone goes through seven reams of paper a week and a ton of toner. We need this stuff. Last time I reminded her for the course of a whole month that we needed to make an office supplies order--colour toners for the colour laser printer, file jackets for discharged patient charts, and of course cases of paper. Lots of cases of paper. VW used to order six cases at a time at least once a month without fail and we never ran out. Well, this time we ran out of paper.
She simply never ordered it. Bedlam ensued.
When I operate my medical supply room I make sure I have what the nurses will need. I maintain about $15,000 worth of supplies in there at any one time, and I carefully monitor their usage day to day and week to week so I can make sure that there's enough Aquacel Ag dressings in the 6" x 6" size when someone comes yelling that they have a patient with a wound that's riddled with bacteria. I know that if a wound care patient suddenly erupts into weeping sores I've got 30 rolls of sterile crinkle gauze to wrap her in until we can take steps to heal the problem. The needs of the nursing staff are met where I'm concerned unless someone comes up with some off-the-wall requirement, and then I have the entire Corporate Supply Management team on tap to help me get what I, they, and the patient needs.
Why can't our office manager, she who is supposed to KNOW this, keep us in paper and toner and No. 10 envelopes? Especially when she has someone as retentive as me around to remind her that we need A, B, and three cases of C by the end of next week? It's unthinkable that we should ever be OUT of anything. It's also aggravating to a person who was taught to make sure to communicate to the management, to talk to people, to let them know when we're running low on left-handed black ink pens and they either don't listen, don't believe or simply don't really care.
Wait, what? The word for today was "Surprise" and not "Supplies?"
(I LOVE this movie. I also love a good spot of wordplay.)
Happy Friday, you guys.
* I'm not nearly as sharp a dresser as Ianto, nor am I shagging the boss, nor do I have a cool British accent but I do like to make sure that the pterodactyl stays fed.