Are your files in disarray, recipe cards dog- eared and the magazine articles you clipped, strewn everywhere? There’s no need to fear, “Office Supply Man” is here. He’ll organize your file drawers in a single afternoon, laminate your recipes before you even miss them and labels everything not nailed down. If there is a printer cartridge shortage, or a need for poster board, my husband comes to the rescue.
Help…if these are the joys of early retirement, let me off the bus. My husband, a former corporate executive, decided to pursue his dream of working from home.
I stumbled into the kitchen one morning as empty boxes and papers cascaded out of his office door. It looked like New York after a “ticker tape” parade.
“What in God’s name are you doing?” I asked, still perturbed because he had woken me up with his incessant racket.
“I’m organizing my office. If I am going to start consulting, I need to be more efficient.”
This coming from a man who can’t even find the dishwasher, or laundry basket.
I made a decision to run errands before he attempted to recruit me. Hours later, I entered the house, immediately sensing a “neat freak” in our midst. My desk was clean and orderly… having succumbed to his organizational whirlwind. I grabbed a phone to make a distress call to my friend when I noticed the label, “kitchen phone”.
I felt a chill creep up my spine as he silently snuck behind me and ominously said,
“You should see what ‘else’ I labeled.”
I warily ventured into his office and was shocked by the systematic order. Everything on his desk had white labels attached to it…Dad’s stapler, Dad’s phone, dictionary, TV and yes, even Dad’s computer.
I turned around to see our daughters both sporting name tag labels.
He never could keep their names straight.
The dogs slinked by, tails tucked, looking mortified that they had been sticky tagged as well. I was afraid to go upstairs for fear he had marked “his” and “her” sides of the bed. My shoes and underwear, as I found out, had already suffered the same fate.
The dogs had historically eaten out of each other’s bowls and stolen the other one’s toys. Next meal time came and their bowls and toys were color coded.
Too bad dogs are color blind.
One time I was in the pantry, cursing because an expired soup can had fallen on my foot. The next day, it was orderly and every item was bar coded by date, category and country of origin.
I was living in the Twilight Zone!
A few days later, and several more trips to Office Max, a laminating machine mysteriously appeared. Plastic shreds littered my kitchen counter. He proudly demonstrated how he had even laminated one of the dog’s baby teeth for the scrap book.
I wasn’t aware we owned a “doggie’ scrap book.
One night, preparing to make Granma’s apple pie recipe, I ran out of cinnamon. Returning from the store I found my recipes magically laminated and meticulously filed by category.
As a writer, I constantly am searching for a way to compile my “works in progress”. I made the mistake grumbling about it over a cup of coffee one morning.
He disappeared into the hall closet and reappeared as OSM…“Office Supply Man”. A funnel cloud whirled past me and the next thing I knew, OSM was streaking down the street, a man on a mission. I had created a monster.
To my dismay, he reappeared an hour later, lugging another big box. I could tell by his smirk he felt he had hit the mother lode.
“Look what I bought you”, he said proudly, “Now you can bind your work, and I’ll even laminate it for you.”
It was a super, industrial binding machine.
This was getting out of hand. We would need an addition to store everything. He had blown through savings to become a major share holder of Office Max stock. Frustrated I grabbed one of my magazines only to discover he had laminated that too. Hero or not, if he starts laminating the toilet paper, he’s out of here!