Now, Hindutva enthusiasts may argue that their annual worshipping of their god “Vishwakarma” institutionalizes celebration of work tools. But hang on, as is the nature of religion to promote the powerful while ignoring the underprivileged, “Vishwakarma” puja also merely commemorates the heavy machinery, ignoring staplers and pencils.
Office accessories and office furniture are most appreciated by new employees, those fresh out of college. Many of us may recall the day when we first went to work and found that there were pens, staplers, tapes and notepads waiting for us at our desk. It’s great to watch a new employee fresh out of college, walk up to the office coffee machine for the first time, a little shy, exploring the different options with avid interest, often talking to herself in a low voice, and eventually going for the kill: Another great Serengeti waterhole moment. Remember, these were the stuff that we used so extensively during our college years and for the first time in our lives, we wouldn’t have to pay for them any more. There’s a certain carnal pleasure in this, isn’t it? But as with all instances of happiness in our lives, the good feeling fades within a few minutes. And the rest of our working lives, most of us keep incessantly complaining about the poor quality of office stationary, office coffee, and office chair.
Office accessories have lost their days of glory when procurement managers would spend hours selecting the highest quality of stuff from pretty saleswomen. Nowadays, most offices buy their wares from such inglorious carton boxes such as Staples or OfficeDepot. Only if Pablo Neruda had been alive, he would have by now expanded his brilliant “Odes to common things” to include poems on staplers, paper punches and binder clips. But can a modern office chair, that often looks like a Voyager spacecraft, inspire any poetry?