Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Please, Kind Sir, May I Have One?

When I first worked at the college as a mere underling to the department head honcho, one of the sub-department heads would wander in from time to time and ask about office supplies.  Every sub-department head was given a budget and the authority to spend it as they saw fit.  Larger items required my boss' signature but your basic office supplies did not require such approval.

Julia wouldn't just come over and tell me she needed paper and pens, oh no.  She'd have to discuss the philosophy behind paper and pens.  She'd ponder the mysterious cosmos and how could it be that her department had run out of paper and pens.  She'd outline the pros of ordering more paper and pens and carefully explain the cons of not ordering more paper and pens.  After this long eyeball-rolling one-sided conversation with her she'd ask me to ask my boss for his permission to order more paper and pens.

Being the good underling that I was I questioned her budget (still intact), I questioned the office supply ordering procedure (nothing changed), I questioned if these were special paper and pens (no), and I questioned if this were an abnormal amount of paper and pens (no).

I fell for it only the one time, dutifully catching my boss later and making the inquiry.  I answered all his questions, which were the same as mine.  He was as puzzled as I was, telling me to tell her, "Of course order the supplies you need to run your department, that's why you have a budget. Don't waste my time on this." 
I passed that information on but that didn't stop Julia from coming by the next time and the next time and the next time she needed paper and pens.  I'd repeat the boss' previous answer to her she couldn't accept that she had the authority to help herself.  So to placate her I'd wait a few hours or perhaps a few days before getting back to her and telling her that it was okay to order her supplies.  I never again asked the boss for her permission.

I may have been a mere underling with little experience in the work world, but I did wonder how anyone afraid to order paper for their department become a department head.  I think of Julia often as I encounter her type of person over and over again--you know, the people who can't wipe their own ass without help or someone's blessing..

The Fine Print: Julia had children and I amused myself by envisioning her asking her husband for permission to buy food to feed them.  "No, honey, not today.  That's completely out of line."  Top card oldie but goodie stamp by Stampin' Up; bottom card newbie stamp by Simon Says Stamp; designer paper by DCWV; cardstock and ribbon from my stash; die cuts by Spellbinders and Stampin' Up.

1 comment:

Squirrel x said...

Great cards hun, loving the colours. At my old job I was in charge of stationery ordering - oooh the power! Hugs Sxx