Do You Swipe Office Supplies?

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An article on CNN estimates that $52 billion in office supplies are taken from employers each year. In the 18-24 age category, 20% felt that taking office supplies wasn’t wrong and 25% actually took supplies home. Comparatively, only 8% of the 65 and up group took supplies home.

I’ve taken home office supplies. Shocker… I use pens and I stick them in my pocket, I change my pants and the next thing I know I have like 50 blue Bic pens at home and no real reason. Sometimes I bring a handful into work and stick them in my desk but most of the time I just use them at home. I take notebooks to use in my classes, justified in the fact that my employer reimburses me for those classes so a notebook doesn’t really matter. In fact, I take so many notes I’ve used same two notebooks in like 10 classes. Do I take tape? I do have a dispenser at home (little plastic ones where you can’t replace the tape after it’s used up) but I don’t have anything else.

Do I care if someone takes office supplies? No. Do I think it’s wrong? If you take a couple pens, some notebooks, some post-it notes, I don’t think it’s a big deal. If you take an LCD monitor… yeah that’s stealing.

How about you?

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Do You Swipe Office Supplies?”

  1. claire says:

    My boss has actually instructed us all to stop being such prudes already and take supplies home. This is mostly because we occasionally work from home. I haven’t taken home LCD monitors, no, but I do have a pad of stickies or two and a mechanical pencil or three sitting on my desk at home. Mostly I do use them for work I do at home for my employer, but if I’m rushing to find a piece of paper to take a phone message and that’s the first thing my hand lands on, who cares?

  2. mapgirl says:

    Nobody else at the office wants the pen I’ve chewed on anyway.

  3. Kira says:

    I work in a hospital so I don’t think our office has actually bought any pens or pads of paper in a LONG time. All of my pens are drug company pens (except for a few that were given away free at the office supply store) – in my pen cup alone I have Mycamine, 2 Zyvox, 3 Cellcept, and Aranesp. All of my pads have drug names on them and so does my stapler. I actually bought a couple cap-less pens at Office Depot because I don’t like giving pens with caps to patients to sign things cause I always lose the caps. So I think my pens are what I carry in my white coat.

    At any rate, our office manager is such a tightwad that I don’t think we have enough supplies that she purchased for us to pilfer without causing a serious shortage. I used to steal paper from one of my college jobs, but it was a job where we had two enormous printers that used easily an entire box of paper during a night shift. So they wouldn’t even notice the two reams I took during my 6 month tenure.

    I did take home a bunch of candy from one job, after filling the candy jars, but nobody else ever filled the candy jars and they were usually empty for months. So again, not a big dent.

  4. Dasha says:

    Our employer used to be really lax with supples. We’ve got 6 cabinets full. However at the beginning of the school year people were actually raiding those cabinets for school supplies for their kids. Now the cabinets are in direct view of the secretaries and sometimes locked at night during the fall school season. Most people understand the virtue of moderation but it only takes a few rotten apples to ruin this for the rest of us.

  5. Matt says:

    I’ve taken pens home, but only accidentally. You know…you use a pen somewhere other than your desk, and stick it in your pocket and forget about it. I generally bring it back the next day.

    In fact, over the long run I’m more likely to be a net-contributor of pens than a net-thief, since the company I work for only supplies these really awful Bic pens, so I bring in my own Pilots from home. My office-neighbors are always taking them off my desk when I’m not here (I work nights, so I’m never here when anybody else in my department is)…probably thinking they’re company pens.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Have I taken home office supplies? Yes.

    Have I been such a geek that I have bought my own office supplies to use? Yes.

  7. Jason says:

    I have only taken minor things like paper and pens. I have, however, utilized free printing available at school and work for non school and work printing. And I mean greatly utilized it. Though in the end when you think of the actual cost of these types of things it doesn’t add up to very much.

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