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Talking Time's Top 50 Office Supplies

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Bulgakov also explicitly voted for "second monitor." I'll update the listing!
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#41 (tie)
Tablet

Score: 53 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 9th (Ixo)​

Whoops! I rolled up a vote for the mobile device with the vote for the product in the image above. My bad. Here's Bulgakov on the former:

Bulgakov said:
This thing is a perfect size and scope for work when I'm not at my desktop computer

And Ixo on the latter:

Ixo said:
Mine is very old, I've never quite got the hang of it, and I'd love to upgrade to something that allows me to draw directly on a screen display, but I can't deny it's usefulness within the limits of what the hardware can do.

Now, had anyone voted for slabs of stone or for a specific form factor for medicine, I can neither confirm nor deny whether those would've been rolled up into this entry, too.

Clippit said:
In Scotland, "tablet" can also refer to a confection made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter that vaguely resembles an eraser if it were made of butterscotch. Hey, that gives me an idea...
 
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Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
ON the mobile-device version, I held off on getting one for a long time until I ended up with an iPad as basically a bonus from my cell plan due to a special deal, and I quite like it for web-surfing and such from a comfy couch - more screen real estate than a phone but less bulk than a laptop hits the spot sometimes. But I don't really ever use it in my office so I didn't consider it for this list.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
My current tablet (the latter) is a Wacom Bamboo from nearly a decade ago. Like my little blip up there mentioned, I've never taken to it and need to upgrade to something that will allow me to draw directly on the screen. I've been considering saving up for a previous gen iPad that can run ProCreate (and serve double duty as a comics reader), but all the 12+ inch models are so dang pricey.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
I'm bad about weekends. Last weekend was Father's Day, so I kind of had an excuse; this weekend, I just plain forgot. As an olive branch, have two for the price of one, and we'll be back tomorrow with our regular entries.

#57
Badge reel

Score: 40 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 9th (JBear)​

I love badge reels. They're the responsible adult version of a tape measure.

Torzelbaum said:
My work requires a physical ID badge for people in the office and it is used to unlock doors so this saves me from having to unclip my badge all of the time. And they can be fun to mess with.

JBear said:
They're like the stealth fidget spinner. If one of these is nearby, I am never not playing with it.

If it weren't for the "zwip!" action on these, nobody would have even cared.


#54 (tie)
Toys

Score: 45 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 9th (Kirin)​

Some of us are less ashamed of our actual preferences, though, and aren't shy about admitting that we really just want something we can play with on our desks.

Kirin said:
i liek mudkips
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I thought about putting my badge reel on my list! But, I forgot when it came to actually writing it. And yeah, it pulls double duty as a fidget spinner.

In my cubicle at work I have two big tranformers a SD Trypticon with tiny Megs and a SD Omega Supreme w/ tiny Optimus.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Some of the bits and bobs related to my actual work (mostly mill fixturing elements with screws and vice components) make decent fidget toys, but I always have several actual random plastic toys around my desks somewhere as well. The fidgets cannot be denied.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I would absolutely not be caught dead with an actual physical toy in my office space. But I apply a similar principle when decorating my home, so I think that's more a personal hang-up than the corporate culture of my workplace.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Ooh, I didn't think of the badge thing. The switch from physical keys to badges was magical.
Since knowing how those badges work (sort of) is some of the random knowledge in my head I could ruin the magic for you and everyone else. If you're interested.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
A bit of administrative business: you may have noticed we're off-schedule already this week (or maybe you're like me and don't really notice the update cadence, in which case, go ahead and skip to today's entry). I'm doing some travel this week and next, so we've got a little more schedule instability in the near future. What this means is that we'll update T-Th-Sat this week, and we should probably hit M-W-F next week as usual with the bonus weekend update as usual (provided I don't forget again).



#41 (tie)
Paper trimmer

Score: 53 - Votes: 3 - Highest vote: 6th (Yimothy)​

Apparently also called a guillotine:

Yimothy said:
A larger version of this device is highly placed on my top 25 revolution supplies list, but here I'm talking about the one that lets you make straight cuts in paper. Very satisfying, but watch your fingers.

Dracula said:
I miss these. My current office doesn't have them.

It's difficult to find an office supply that competes with the paper trimmer on the capacity for a power trip. Got frustrations to take out? Don't take them out on your co-workers! Take them out on paper. The feel is great, the sound is great, and it cuts your paper in such neat lines! Just don't try to trim a thick stack, because you won't get the neat lines or the satisfaction. Have you used one of these?

SHUNK
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I didn't include this one on my list since I never really have cause to use the one in our office, but I still thought long and hard about listing it anyway, because it is indeed intensely satisfying.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh yeah, I didn't think of these because it's been several years since I've used one, but they're awesome. I think we probably had one around the last time I was helping run a convention, because there's all kinds of call for slicing paper into different form factors there.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I won’t have one in my house because I value my kids’ fingers (even though it would be great for converting A4 paper to squares for origami), but I use it fairly often at work whenever I need a straight cut.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Ooooops I missed some posts! Catching up...

Tablets:
I've only owned one tablet, coincidentally (I promise) called the Asus Transformer. I got it specifically because I was a journalist and it was getting really troublesome to lug my laptop around to places to take notes. The Transformer was called that because it had a removable keyboard attachment that effectively turned it into a tiny laptop. It was great! It's now too old to function well, but it served its purpose. I've thought about getting a new one, but I'm not sure if I'd get my money's worth out of it.

Toys: I didn't think to vote for this, but I probably should have. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that my desk is covered in toys. Actually, at my last job, one of the first things that happened was I got a request from management to tone down the stuff I had on my desk. They requested that I limit my decorations to "three personal items, at most," which was not only ridiculous but also hilarious to my new coworkers. We joked about that for years. I slowly added stuff to my desk area until it was almost the same level of decor I had when I arrived. My current office situation has no compunctions about decoration. Maybe if I made it a shrine to our lord and master Satan, but they seem fine with the toys.

Paper Guillotine: At my last job, I was often responsible for the printing and production of proposals, and that involved a lot of paper cutting. We actually had a special super paper cutter, the kind where you seal the stack of papers in a box and a mechanized blade comes down and chops them up. It could cut through hundreds of sheets at once, but it was pretty hard to use, and more than a little terrifying.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#41 (tie)
Photocopier

Score: 53 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 4th (Ixo)​

How do copiers work? Is it magic? It's probably magic.

Ixo said:
When the machine can staple, fold, collate, insert special pages, etc it's just nice.

I've never used one nearly that fancy. I'm impressed when a copier can print in color. I must admit I am intrigued, though.

Today's image is on the subtle side.
 
Tablets: Be they mini computers, or drawing tablets, I've found very little practical use for them in my work settings. They're fun toys to me and not much else.

Badge reel: I dislike these. I dislike having to wear your IDs or keys like an accoutrement. It has always felt dehumanizing. If I need to prove my identity or unlock something, I will brandish the appropriate items from my pocket. NFC locks are neat, I enjoy them a lot. But usually a little device I can attach to my keychain is more than sufficient; don't need a badge reel for it.

Toys: Don't serve any practical purpose in a working environment, so I doubt I'd count them if I were to have made up a list. But they're still neato. At my work, toys are actually part of the job sometimes, but we'd try to keep them educational and thought provoking like board games or puzzles.

Paper trimmers: Incredibly obnoxious, IMO. They're a necessity in my line of work, but the problem with them is that they're essentially large communal knives. And like most communal property at the office, people tend to abuse them and render them useless. Because taking care of a knife is an art, and a hundred different stressed out, over-caffinated, over-worked teachers all using the same knife is going to lead to your knife very quickly going dull, getting knicked, getting bent, etc. Every teacher worth a damn buys their own and hides it from everyone else.

Photocopier: Quintessential for educators, but IMO quickly becoming obsolete. At least in the traditional, self-serving variety. A well run/funded school will have a print shop, where the photocopying gets done for you if you put in a job order. The nicer ones I've worked with, let you upload files remotely instead of giving them something physical to photocopy. Which is just straight up magical, especially for a modern educator. It's so nice to be able to upload a test or worksheet or whatever remotely, give the print shop detailed instructions of what you want, and then just have everything printed, collated, and even stapled, ready to be picked up when you show up for work the next day. It saves SO much time and headaches and I bet even money. Especially since you have pros handling the equipment instead of letting before mentioned stressed out, over-caffinated, over-worked teachers, most of whom don't know how these machines work, fiddle with and kick/slam expensive and delicate communal office equipment, and you're redistributing the labor to increase efficiency and job satisfaction.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
A well run/funded school will have a print shop, where the photocopying gets done for you if you put in a job order. The nicer ones I've worked with, let you upload files remotely instead of giving them something physical to photocopy. Which is just straight up magical, especially for a modern educator. It's so nice to be able to upload a test or worksheet or whatever remotely, give the print shop detailed instructions of what you want, and then just have everything printed, collated, and even stapled, ready to be picked up when you show up for work the next day. It saves SO much time and headaches and I bet even money. Especially since you have pros handling the equipment instead of letting before mentioned stressed out, over-caffinated, over-worked teachers, most of whom don't know how these machines work, fiddle with and kick/slam expensive and delicate communal office equipment, and you're redistributing the labor to increase efficiency and job satisfaction.
Ah, the dream of a school with halfway adequate funding. Must be nice.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#39 (tie)
Compressed air

Score: 54 - Votes: 3 - Highest vote: 12th (JBear)​

JBear said:
Keyboards get dirty, yo.

To me, the magical thing about a can of compressed air is that it gets colder as you use it. I mentioned in the previous entry that I was pretty sure photocopiers function via magic, but I am absolutely certain that refrigerators operate by way of wizardry, and that extends to these little cans. I've never found them to be essential, but then I'm on record as being a "hold your keyboard upside down and shake" guy. How about you?
 
These were banned at my old company because our (very dumb) safety officer tried to puncture one before throwing it away and hurt herself. Somehow that meant no one else was allowed to use them?

I try to minimize use for environmental reasons, but the house nitrogen just doesn't work quite as well sometimes or reach to the little finicky spots this can.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I don’t really use these cans of compressed air at work, but I do use a lot of other compressed gasses. Most often cylinders of oxygen or carbon dioxide. We also have sockets on the wall for those and medical air. I used to have to clean our hair clippers between cases, part of which involved blowing them out with air, but now we use disposable clipper heads.

the magical thing about a can of compressed air is that it gets colder as you use it

I had a difficult case recently where we went through a whole cylinder of gas in about an hour (usually one cylinder lasts for days). It was covered in condensation afterwards and although I had to connect a new cylinder straight away I had to wait to remove the old one because it was too cold to pick up.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I'm on record as being a "hold your keyboard upside down and shake" guy. How about you?​
So am I, but that often doesn't cut it. Before compressed air, I used to routinely dig around grooves with pins and pry off keys. This is much easier!
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#39 (tie)
Coffee

Score: 54 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 5th (Issun)​

Let's be real: this isn't a vote for the beverage so much as the substance, right? Caffeine, that is. Rather than maintain a healthy, sustainable sleep schedule, the overwhelming majority of us have elected to create a chemical dependency in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for the conversion of our time and energy into societal value. It's fine. We're fine. Everything is fine. Send help.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
My caffeine stream sometimes has blood in it, so I completely understand.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
My vote was for coffee makers, but it's all part of the caffeine delivery process.

Although really, for me it's less about the caffeine and more just that I really love to start my day with a cup of coffee. Black usually, though if it's a hot enough day I'll have it iced, in which case I have some milk in it.
 
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