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Talking Time's Top 50 Office Supplies

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
My #1 was an electric kettle for making tea. This is probably the closest we're going to get to that so... Also, it means I can have caffeine or not depending on how I feel and I don't have to bother filters and everything else.
 
I get my caffeine in different ways these days in lower doses. This is definitely a vote for a beverage tho rather than just caffeine-vehicles in general. Tea doesn't destroy my body the way coffee does. And I have many people in my life who love coffee so much it's a lifestyle. I try to avoid the stuff now, but it's a big deal. Definitely should be on this list considering how important it is to offices in general.
 
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.

My husband bought decaf once (he doesn't drink coffee) and I didn't notice the difference for a week. It's all about the routine for me. I do decaf when I can but decaf dark roasts are rare and dark roast is superior.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
If I skip my morning coffee I get a headache, which is a sign I really need to reduce my intake. Some day.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I have never managed to consume a sufficient amount of caffeine to notice any impact on my body whatsoever, and believe me, I have *tried* (I am perpetually tired). As far as I can tell, it's all just hot water.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I used to be on a constant high dose of caffeine (mostly from drinking Pepsi all day but also some coffee) to the point where I could take it before bed with no problem and missing it gave me headaches quickly. But when I eventually cut out the soda, I lost my tolerance completely, and now caffeine does bad and useless things to me (I get jittery but still sleepy) so I mostly avoid it. All that is to say, I did vote for one beverage but it wasn't coffee.

I also didn't vote for compressed air, but I only overlooked it because I don't have a can handy at the moment. I've actually been thinking of getting a mechanical blower though, which has the advantage of not running out, though you do lose the neat cold-generating effect.
 
Compressed air is one of the more wasteful things we make as a species haha. It's useful to be able to blow shit out of places, but you get so little bang for your buck with compressed air. If you could bring your empty air cans to a place to get refilled the way we do propane, I would be less annoyed with the idea.

I used to drink a lot of coffee to cope with the work day. Problem is:
1) Caffiene doesn't make you not-sleepy, it just keeps you from being able to fall asleep. So I'm honestly just as physically miserable if I'm working while sleep deprived, I just have to contend with jitters on top of being tired if you drink too much.
2) Those headaches are called, "withdrawals" - if you experience them, your body is chemically addicted. I got really tired of my weekends being ruined by them, so I decided to cut coffee out of my life mostly. Removing caffeine didn't actually make it harder to stay awake and do my job; I received no perceptible decline in my ability to work. If anything, I noticed an increase since...
3) Caffiene is a diuretic, so having to use the restroom less at work and being less dehydrated on the regular was a big QoL improvement. Which also included:
4) When I was drinking coffee, it was also both an appetite suppressor (I don't need to diet; opposite in fact!) and also kept me from sleeping more than 6 hours every night. Which meant I was getting less sleep and eating less, meaning I had less energy and was more tired on the regular, which led me to want more caffeine to compensate. It was a vicious cycle, and I honestly feel better for having broken it.

I really miss the taste of coffee though.

Edit: oh, 5) Coffee stains your teeth.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#38
Calendar

Score: 55 - Votes: 3 - Highest vote: 15th (Issun)​

Hey, it's our first non-tie entry! We had to get a quarter of the way through the list, but we made it. That says something about how close things ended up here. We'll see a lot fewer ties going forward as the votes centralize to reveal some clear favorites.

Torzelbaum said:
Outlook can handle my daily scheduling needs but it is always nice to have the year at a glance that can be put on a wall and marked on. Month by month calendars and planners are OK but seem like a waste to me - that's more than what I need.

We received one vote for the page-a-day calendar and one vote for a single-page, full-year calendar (Torzelbaum, of course), but neither of those makes for as good of a visual gag. The third vote was just for "calendar."

While they're surely the least useful of the bunch, page-a-day calendars are the most fun. I got my wife a puzzle-a-day calendar some time ago, but she didn't want to advance the page until she'd finished the puzzle, so we've got May 2019 sitting on her nightstand to this day. I'm sure she'll get back to it eventually.

What's the best calendar you've ever had/seen?
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
For years I would religiously import the official Studio Ghibli wall calendar and hang it in my old office. They were really nice affairs, with two hinges so you could flip the images and the calendar pages separately to mix and match which image you wanted with any month, and a clear cover to protect the art. At some point I fell out of the habit as I used them less and the images started repeating from older ones (not to mention the things aren't cheap to import). But I still have a big stack of them somewhere; I could pull them apart and paper an entire wall with Ghibli movie screenshots if I wanted to...
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I live and die by Outlook, but don't have much use for a physical calendar, although I guess it's nice that the official printed NB government calendars shows all of my holidays, which I am typically very bad at remembering.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
Sun's out, buns(?) out!

These days I mostly use the calendar on my phone, though we do have one at home hanging by the kitchen if anyone needs to take a quick glance.

I do refer to the calendar at work often so I can remember what week of what period of the fiscal year it is, because for some reason companies can't just use normal months but instead have to corporatize time itself like a bunch of fucking weirdos.
 
We do have a paper one in lab as a quick reference for determining expiration dates of things. Solutions have 48 hour-3 months stability depending on their composition and have to be labeled with an expiration date when made.

But I didn't think of it, and don't think I can say that I use it more than the other things I voted for. Meh.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#36 (tie)
Tape dispenser

Score: 58 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 4th (Daikaiju)​

Dracula said:
I think they're full of sand? Scotch tape is vital but the dispensers are vital-er.

What is PEZ without a dispenser? It's just a fairly bad candy. But dispensers -- oh my. Now that's an industry.

I'm not saying that dispensers serve the same role for tape. However, there's a reason the iconic black dispenser is such an office staple. (Hey, I think I just realized why they gave the store that name.)
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
In my office (operating room) we take the tapes off the roll directly. But when I’m coordinating there’s one of these on the desk and it’s very useful. My kids love them too, and it’s thanks to the kids that I know that they’re are full of sand.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I only know these from TV shows/movies. I don't think I've ever seen one in real life. Taking my tape off the roll has always worked fine for me.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Taking my tape off the roll has always worked fine for me.

It works, but with the dispenser you can do it one-handed, which is super useful if you also need to be holding down the thing you're taping.

Didn't have this on my list because I don't have one in my home office, but I've used them in several previous offices.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Welcome back to the weekend! I've got another thematic pairing for you.

#61 (tie)
Fingerless typing gloves

Score: 35 - Votes: 1 - Highest vote: 1st (JBear)​

JBear said:
My hands are pretty much always cold. My mother knit me two pair, and I also have a USB-heated pair that I bought online.


#76 (tie)
Fingers

Score: 31 - Votes: 1 - Highest vote: 5th (Yimothy)​

Yimothy said:
It is said that all bleeding stops eventually, and that's true. But sometimes you want to help it stop a little quicker. Sure, a clamp will last longer. A stitch or clip is a permanent solution. Give it a buzz with the electrocautery device. Pour on some peroxide if you're sure it won't cause an embolism or pneumocephalus. The clotting cascade or exsanguination will get you there eventually. In the short term, though, press on it! You can't stick a thumb on the aorta forever, but it might just cover the trip from emergency room to operating room. For smaller bleeds a few minutes of pressure might be all you need. Don't try it on brain tissue, though. Fingers are also useful for almost everything else.

I have to admit that fingers are some of my most-used office supplies, and yet it didn't occur to me to list them. JBear is the only other one who thought of his fingers when writing his list.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I have to admit that fingers are some of my most-used office supplies, and yet it didn't occur to me to list them.
What office supply stores do both of you shop at!? Because I have never seen "fingers" at any of the ones I have used.
 
Last edited:

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
What office supply stores do both of you shop at!? Because I have never seen "fingers" at any of the ones I have used.
Counterpoint: I have never seen a store of any sort that didn't have fingers in it.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator

#36 (tie)
Rubber band

Score: 58 - Votes: 3 - Highest vote: 7th (Issun)​

JBear said:
I gotta be honest; I mostly use these to play with or to put on small travel board game boxes. But they're very useful for that, and I get them from the office!

Rubber bands are undeniably fun. They're great as projectiles, bracelets, ropes, and just general fidget material. I guess you can also use them to bundle things together, but don't do that long-term -- like, say, on a deck of cards -- because rubber bands decay easily and leave sticky crud in their wake.

Despite the name, there's no such thing as a 100% rubber band. Rubber bands require a combination of materials to get that combination of tensile strength and elongation, and clay is the most common secondary material. The bands pictured above are actually primarily silicon. I apologize for the deception.

Clippit said:
They're also known as elastic bands, gum bands, and... is this right? "Lacky bands"?
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)

When I made my list I threw in a few items fairly specific to my job along with the more generic stuff. Mostly surgical instruments, but also fingers. As I mentioned in above, they’re good for at least temporary control of bleeding, but they’re also what you use to handle almost all of the other office supplies.

is this right? "Lacky bands"?

This is absolutely right, and I had no idea this was Australianism until right now. I think it’s short for elastic band. “Gum band”, on the other hand, I have never heard before.

I didn’t list these, but I do use them at work. They’re good for holding packets of stitches together, and we also sometimes (spoiler for maybe gross medical stuff) tie them under a flap of tissue and use them to hold it open. Gotta watch out for latex allergies, though.
 
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