Thursday, August 19, 2010

Office Supplies: The Only Reason I Miss School

The other day, I went to Staples to get business card paper. Since I'm moving away from Virginia in just under 3 weeks, the need has arisen to be able to give people my new contact info. Jotting it down is fine for a few people, but I need to pass this on a lot. Hence, business card paper.

As I walked into Staples, the super-bright advertisements reminded me that it's Back to School season. The impulse buy section was covered in backpacks, water bottles, binders, pens, paper clips, and notebooks in funky colors and patterns. Usually boring Staples was decked out in all its try-to-appeal-to-the-younger-market glory. I got terribly distracted by a fuchsia water bottle with a pop top that revealed a sport top. This was amazingly, shockingly pink and handy. Plus, it matched this awesome book bag and this pretty decent notebook and sweet pens. I totally should---

And it hit me. I am done with grad school. I don't want a PhD. I no longer get to celebrate Back to School with an orgy of coordinating office supplies.

With a small sigh, I pushed along and found the business card paper. I scanned the different types and sizes, trying to find the cheapest and most basic, and discovered that the fewest business cards I could buy is 200. 200? Really? I need like 50. Once again, I scanned the shelf, convinced I had overlooked the pack of 50 or even 100.... Nope. 200 or nothing. With a mumbled obscenity, I grabbed the pack four times bigger than my need and headed to the checkout.

In order to reach the register, I had to pass Back to School Land again. I looked at it all and chose to this time not look at the bright colors and shiny pens but to look at the price tags. Man, they totally gouge you for a freaking notebook, and those water bottles are crazy overpriced. Suddenly, I didn't feel so bad about missing the opportunity to hand over buckets of money for multi-color paper clips. I was saving at least $20 even with having to buy 200 business cards.

You know what that $20 could get me? Shipping a whole box of books across the country. I'm pretty sure a whole box of books beats that fuchsia water bottle. Just sayin'.

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