Cue trombone sounds.

From 2005 to 2008 I maintained a blog about my experiences working in the drug test industry. Every Sunday I revive one of those experiences here. The following was originally posted July 20, 2007.

Cue trombone sounds.

I’ve been handling supply orders in the office for the past month or so. The girl who did the job previously did alright with them, but she didn’t have a system or anything resembling organizational skills. She would wait until someone ran out of something (letter openers, paper towels, whatever) then place an order for that particular item alone, plus however much copy paper would put the order over $100 so we qualified for free shipping. The end result was we usually had enough of everything to go around, but we’d run out of random things constantly. Except copy paper. We always had stacks and stacks of copy paper.

In any case, I whipped up a decent inventory system, moved all the office supplies out of the giant junk drawer and into a cabinet outside my office. I’m proud to report that we haven’t run out of anything since I took over, largely because I actually take the time to do the inventory each week and place an order for things we’re about to run out of. Everyone else has adjusted pretty well to this new system, and if I’ve done my part to make things around here run that much more efficiently, more the better.

Of course, I still have to have conversations like this one every few days:

“Do we have any more of those things?”

What things?

“Those things.”

WHAT things?

“The things that go in the machine, up front.”

What machine?

“The one that, where you slide, you know, MasterCards.”

“The credit card machine.”

“Yeah yeah.”

You need receipt tape for the credit card machine.

“Yeah. Do you have them?”

They’re in the supply cabinet, with all the other supplies.

“I can’t find them.”

They’re on the top shelf. There’s a huge pack of ten.

“They’re not here. I’ll go look up front.”

No. They’re in the cabinet, on the top shelf. There’s a huge pack of them. Just reach up there.

“Which one?”

Top shelf.

“Yeah but where?”


“We don’t have them?”

Here. They’re right here. Exactly where I said.

“Oh! Well that’s too tall.”

I’ll move them to the middle shelf.

“Oh, we have highlighters! We needed some, I didn’t know we had any.”

I know, I know… my co-workers are dummies har har har. I wish it were that simple. This woman is not stupid. She knows where I keep the supplies. She knows she needs neither my permission nor my assistance to take whatever she wants. She simply prefers to be catered to, and if she can get away from her responsibilities up front by dragging the transaction out for three minutes, by golly, that’s just what she’ll do.

So, I figure I spend three minutes blogging about it, and the world keeps on spinnin’. Thank the Good Dude it’s Friday.

This lady is shorter than I am, but not so short she can’t reach the shelf her supplies are stored on. Even if she was, there’s a footstool floating around back there with the specific purpose of enabling people to reach high-up shelves. Some people are just driven by an innate need to be difficult.

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