When I rolled over in bed a few mornings ago and grabbed my phone to do the rounds of Instagram and email checking I was excited to have received an email from a close friend and former colleague from school. This email was a call for help.
My incredible friend, mom of twins, and dedicated teacher was requesting very important details to a very coveted item that used to live on my desk.
She needed a stapler.
A person who doesn't deal with office supplies might think this is a trivial email. An email sent at 10:32 p.m. could be possible evidence of the seriousness of the issue. I mean, really, have you ever needed to staple something and the stapler you need isn't on your desk and you have to spend precious minutes locating it? Has it bothered you so much, and happened so repeatedly that you needed to send an email to a friend at night after your children have finally went to bed and you folded the laundry and cleaned dishes and maybe...maybe washed your face?!
You probably haven't had the later, but possibly you have had stapler location aggression, or stapler frustration.
Still no? Okay, well just imagine you need a stapler, can't find one but after a few minutes you finally locate one. You go to staple your pages and it jams.Jams!
So now you try pulling the stupid thing out of the paper. In the process you have also successfully created crumpled-edge-with-holes paper. Stupid stapler. Cheap thing!
Try again. You then try to staple your document (that you want to look clean and pristine) again. The second time the stapler goes down and you hear the "crunch" of the staple going in but then the stapler is stuck down.
It won't retract.
Well now you have to pull the friggin' thing. Which, of course, incurs more holes, more crumples, rips a little, and maybe it makes you want to just reprint the whole thing again so it looks professional but you want to be environmentally friendly and the whole thing that should have been easy and only take a mili-second has now become and hide and seek project with an extra round of steps, wasted paper, a broken stapler, and most importantly, a teacher about to blow their gasket.
After reading that we can probably agree that whether you need a stapler all of the time or just some of the time, having a working stapler is important.When such events happen regularly though, what you might need, is an Office Supplies Super Hero.
A great stapler is no joke. I have one very such stapler. It is a very special office item. In my previous job it lived on my desk and it wasn't a travel office object. It was the best stapler in our building. Anyone could use it but they needed to come to my desk and keep it at my desk. (A teachers desk has a lot of materials on it. Some teachers are able to have more things on their desk than others. My desk was a minimalist desk and my stapler was bright purple. I knew if that sucker was gone and I was on the hunt to have it back.)
This handy-dandy super-stapler I am referring to, of course, is an "easy touch stapler." You know the kind that has the bigger handle that can staple like 25 sheets with very little effort and come out perfectly each and every time? If you haven't had experience with an easy stapler and you have to staple something more than a hand full of times a year then please-stop reading this and go onto Amazon or drive to a office supplies store and buy yourself one. It is worth the money. Just type "easy touch stapler" then enter your budget, color preferences, and brand and you have a winner.
Back to my friend. She needed a hero and pronto.
The time stamp was an indicator that even though she really had a million other things to be thinking about and processing this one thing was bugging her. She needed something to be easy. And I did take my stapler with me to New Hampshire. I had thought about leaving it and passing it onto her but I really like my stapler and all of the magical easiness it aids with.
At 5:00 in the morning post email, I went straight to my Prime account, ordered her one, and sent it straight to her classroom. I let her know that the problem had been fixed and to be on the lookout.
It is nice to be someones hero. Especially if it takes so little time and effort. A teacher has to staple so many things. Sharing office supplies can be tricky. For some ungodly reason there is only one good working 3-hole punch there too. Maybe my next mission as Office Supplies Hero is to buy another 3 hole punch for that space. I don't know but small matters are important.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to locate a three-hole-punch so you can add a journal page to the classroom binder when you have a million other things to do. Maybe the only other more frustrating thing if to locate the 3-hole punch after a failed stapler attempt but I digress.
The truth of the matter is: there are many things that are a luxury to teachers. Time is at the top of that luxurious mountain. We don't want to detract from that experience.
So I felt helpful. I felt grateful for the mission. And now my friend has to worry no more about stapler troubles.
Brittany Courchesne is an early childhood educator, teacher mentor to teachers in training, public speaker, and blogger.