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Talking Time's Top 50 Office Supplies

Working in education, three hole punch is a necessity. One hole is good on the rare occasion things need adjusting or something, but the vast majority of the time you'll want three holes at very specific widths, and you'll want to be able to mass-punch holes in things as well for efficiency sake. I think I would go insane having to manually punch holes with a single-punch for my work.

I talked about school print shops before, but I cannot stress to you how nice it is to be able to work at schools where the print shops can hole punch on demand. Especially when you're printing off thousands of pages, getting them all hole punched in advance for you saves so much headaches and just makes things easier for the kids. There's nothing worse than trying to grade the notebooks of a student whose notebooks are a wreck because they just use the rings in their binders to make holes in their papers. And it avoids the inevitable problems of some butterfingery kid dropping the hole punch and releasing a confetti bomb all over the classroom.

Those industrial hole punchers are so neat btw. Gigantic machines that are basically hydraulic presses that can punch holes through several inches of stacked paper at a time. Technology is cool!
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Given a lot of the mid-list results here, I'm honestly a little surprised by just how many of people's office jobs evidently still involve a whole lot of paper.
My job doesn't really involve much paper at all but I do have a lot of nostalgia and fondness for some of these supplies.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
Given a lot of the mid-list results here, I'm honestly a little surprised by just how many of people's office jobs evidently still involve a whole lot of paper.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
Paper? My company still has us writing in cuneiform on clay tablets. I've tried convincing my boss that the savings from turning off our kiln will be well worth it, but he's convinced that our receipts need to last for millennia.
 
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Given a lot of the mid-list results here, I'm honestly a little surprised by just how many of people's office jobs evidently still involve a whole lot of paper.

We still have to retain paper copies of just about everything for FDA audits. Depending on the document it's 3-7 years. My old company still doesn't do electronic signatures, and getting approval for the electronic PDF signature at my current workplace is a huge process requiring reading a bunch of Standard Operating Procedures. Digital manipulation is too damn easy to do and too hard to catch, I've seen things move back to paper. Also it seems like a lot of non-US companies aren't as into adoption of new tech as the US in general is.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I work for the government. Of course we still use paper, and too much of it at that.

Anyway, as someone who uses a 3-hole punch all the time but hasn't uses a single since grade school, I'm glad that you elected not to combine them.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
One hole? Three hole? What are you people talking about?

Two holes. Always two.

Maybe this is a paper size thing? Are you all using foolscap instead of A4? I should have thought of one hole punches, but three holes is right outta nowhere for me.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Is... is this a bit? Or does Australia really bind paper with a pair of holes? Wild. I have never seen a sheet of paper with precisely two holes punched in it.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I work for the government. Of course we still use paper, and too much of it at that.

This!

Oh the joys of paper sizes. As someone who enjoys notebooks this is a rabbit hole I've gone down plenty of times...
 

Droewyn

Smol Monster
(She/her, they/them)
Paper? My company stuff has us writing in cuneiform on clay tablets. I've tried convincing my boss that the savings from turning off our kiln will be well worth it, but he's convinced that our receipts need to last for millennia.
...does your boss regularly cheat people by producing sub-standard copper ingots?
 

Droewyn

Smol Monster
(She/her, they/them)
Re: hole punches. I don't generally use either variety for work since I operate pretty paperlessly, but for posing Nendoroids?





 
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Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
As Torzelbaum said, the two hole punch thing is not a bit. I’ve seen paper prepunched with like ten holes down the side for different punching systems, but a hole punch has always had two holes for me. Three holers must be huge!

I’ve always seen one hole punches as novelty items. Nice and compact, but how are you meant to get the spacing right? Even when I do just want one hole I usually use a two hole punch with one end held off the paper.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
imho the only practical purpose for a single-hole punch is if you want a bunch of notecards looped around one of those keyring-like things
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#28
Mouse

Score: 77 - Votes: 3 - Highest vote: 7th (Bulgakov, Dracula)​

Bulgakov (Logitech M100 Wired Optical Mouse) said:
KEEP MY MOUSE SIMPLE AND RESPONSIVE. Wireless optical mice are the devil and just delay me from doing what I want to do.

Those who use computers on a professional level swear by the keyboard: if you've memorized all of the arcane shortcuts, you can get things done so much faster than with a mouse. Part of that is that you're no longer switching your hands from the keyboard to the mouse; part of that is the precision of the digital keys over the analog mouse movement. And yet--

The mouse has its roots in the trackball, invented in 1946. You can still buy trackball mice, of course, but two decades later, someone realized that if you turned the apparatus upside-down, you'd get something much more usable. Even so, computers were commonly mouseless until the 1990s, despite various pushes to integrate them (for example, Microsoft Word was mouse-compatible as early as 1982). It's surprisingly difficult to get concrete information on this. If I had to guess, I'd say it was probably the Macintosh that pushed the mouse to popularity, with Windows 95 really tipping the scales. As early as 1984, the Macintosh shipped with a mouse as a standard peripheral -- with just the one mouse button, of course. This was an Apple innovation, as other contemporaneous mice had two or more, and it's famously one they'd stick with well past the point where it made any sense.

Dracula said:
I liked to pop out the ball and clean out the gunk these would accumulate inside.

These days, you probably have an optical mouse. The first optical mouse was created in 1982, but it required a special mousepad to function.

But history repeats itself, and as the most popular PCs of the 1980s were mouseless, so too are our most popular modern devices. The need for a pointing device has been proven, but these days, it's your finger. The mouse isn't on the way out just yet, but it has been supplanted.

That said, you'll pry my mouse out of my cold, dead hands. I use the PICTEK wired mouse, which fulfills all of my most important criteria:
  • It has back/forward buttons on the side.
  • It has a nice scroll wheel.
  • It glows in the color of your choosing.
 
A lot of "wireless" mice use generic, bad, 2.4GHz radio frequencies thru cheap dongles that are indeed incredibly bad. They are often very finicky and drop signal when you so much as exhale onto their line of sight with their receiver dongles. But wireless mice aren't all created equally. Most that use honest to god Bluetooth 5.0 or better I've found to be pretty reliable and stable. Bluetooth ain't perfect by any means, but it's largely pretty stable and solid, especially if you're just keeping your mouse close by your computer.

My brother bought me a wired/wireless bluetooth mouse for xmas last year, and it's been tops. Use it wireless most of the time, but it can recharge via usb cable and can operate offa that usb cable as well if need be. It's been life changing. Eliminate as many cables as possible as far as I'm concerned.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Same as keyboards and monitors, I didn't put mice on my list, but I still use them on all my desktop machines, of which there's three in my house - all wired optical models, one apple and a couple miscellaneous old PC ones. Currently visiting my company's main office, though, where I'm working off my laptop, so it's track-pad only for this week.

They all show up for me, but I know the forum is flaky when it comes to google photos
For me it looks like they might be google cache links rather than permanent URLs? I can't see them even in a new tab loading just the image URL. I wanna see the hole punch nendoroids!
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
#71 (tie)
Patience

Score: 33 - Votes: 1 - Highest vote: 3rd (Bulgakov)​

Bulgakov said:
I work in customer service. This is invaluable.

This is my actual favorite entry to the list. An invaluable office supply that is always short in supply.


"Hey, do you have a weird patience-related story?" Sorry, no. I mean, maybe I do somewhere in the depths of my memory, but it would take a long time to think of a story like that.
 

Droewyn

Smol Monster
(She/her, they/them)
For me it looks like they might be google cache links rather than permanent URLs? I can't see them even in a new tab loading just the image URL. I wanna see the hole punch nendoroids!
Try it now. I threw all the images into discord and copied/pasted from there.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
A wired mouse is the thing for me. I just don't care for the wireless ones. I'll take the cables - they don't bother me.

  • It has back/forward buttons on the side.
  • It has a nice scroll wheel.
Back and forward buttons are great and I wish more mouses had them.

Nothing annoys me more than when a website does not work with the scroll wheel.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
maybe I do somewhere in the depths of my memory, but it would take a long time to think of a story like that.​

Most of my use of patience involves waiting for the person on the other side to finish talking. It's amazing how much letting someone complete their own thought will lead to a better outcome when you reply, no matter how much they share that's irrelevant or insulting. However, my best patience story with a customer is not one of listening endlessly, but one of silence.

When you work customer service long enough, you eventually realize that a certain small but memorable number of customers will be impossible to please; they'll either want something that you can't give, or they'll be dissatisfied even if you give them exactly what they say they want because what they really wanted was to express their frustration and leave the conversation feeling righteously indignant for the slight against them.

This customer was one of the former. I sell tickets to performing arts events. She wanted a product I did not have (an opera my company was not producing that year), sold to her in a way that I could not sell it (as part of a subscription, despite the fact that she only wanted this one show), at a price that was not available (discounted because we hadn't put it in our season in the first place), delivered in an unrealistic timeline (because we couldn't produce an opera at the drop of a hat for one patron). She also wanted a seat in the front row in a "seat" that was actually a space for a wheelchair, because she was upset that this seat had been turned into a wheelchair space to comply with ADA regulations several years back.

When I told her what she asked for wasn't something that we could offer and listed the alternatives, she was enraged, and demanded I change the Opera seasons. I gave her the contact method for the Director of Opera, who made final programming decisions, and she said "Thank you, now change the shows, please."

Me: "I'm sorry ma'am, I can give you the contact information for the Opera Director, but I have no authority or ability to change the shows we're presenting. I can only sell tickets to the shows after they've been determined."

Her: "I'll wait."

(at least 60 seconds of silence)

Me: "Ma'am, are you still there?"

Her: "Yes, have you changed the opera yet?"

Me: "No ma'am, that's not possible. I can transfer you to the Director of the Opera's voice mail if you'd like to leave a comment."

Her: "That's all right, I'll wait."

Me: "...I'm a little confused, ma'am. I'm happy to sell you tickets to any of the shows we are presenting, but I can't change the season and there wouldn't be any point in waiting."

Her: "I'm happy to wait for you to do your job, and if you can't I'm happy to take your job instead."

At this point it was clear that the woman wanted me to hang up on her so that she could complain that I had done so, and presumably use that as the start of a personal campaign to get me fired. (This was completely irrational and impossible; I am the director of the department that runs our box office, she had been escalated to me through two other layers, and the Executive Director who would ostensibly fire me knows exactly who I am and how I operate, and she nearly fell out of her chair laughing when I shared this incident with her later, because WHO WOULD GET FIRED FOR NOT SELLING A THING THEY DIDN'T HAVE?).

But I was also not about to let her break me for being completely reasonable. So I responded: "That's absolutely fine, ma'am. If you'd like time to look at your options from the shows we do have, I'm happy to stay on the line with you until 5pm today when we close. I will be here and I'm happy to answer any of your questions, but I do want to be clear that we won't be changing any of the shows today and I have no ability to make that happen."

Her: "So you refuse to change the show?"

Me: "I'm afraid it's beyond my ability."

Her: "I've got time."

Me: "All right, let me know if you have any questions."

I put the woman on speaker and went about some other work that didn't involve patron calls. After five minutes, I asked "Ma'am, are you still there?" and she responded with a "yes" that was dripping with venom. "All right, let me know if you have any questions."

We danced this dance, I kid you not, for over 30 minutes (this was after at least 20 minutes of discussion with me prior to the abusive silence). After the third five-minute check-in, I let her know that I'd let her tell me when she was ready to continue. Somewhere between minute 30 and 40, out of nowhere, she yelled "WELL THIS IS RIDICULOUS!" And hung up the phone.

I couldn't have agreed with her more.
 
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