It’s good to be back in the office after that wretched enforced Christmas break, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love the festive season, I don my Christmas jumper on the big day like everyone else – this year it was a particularly fetching gift-wrapping jumper, knitted by my grandmother and featuring rolls and rolls of Sellotape. And yes, before you ask, it is Sellotape. My gran is very particular about detail (definitely my blood relation) and made a point of including the Sellotape logo on the inside of the core of the roll. She knows that I would only use proper Sellotape. None of these cheap imitators. I love my Gran.

Other than that, it was a typical Christmas in our household. Carrots and whisky left downstairs for Santa the night before, stockings on the bedroom door, wake-up early and open the stockings – all the usual: socks, chocolate, new stapler, pack of pencils, writing pad, refills for my Pentel Energel pen, a Staedtler laundry marker to write my name on my hi-vis jacket at work and endless other stationery items. After breakfast we open presents by the tree, my brother Steve rather sadly failed to hide the disappointment of his gift from me, a rather expensive GBC C210 Comb Binding machine with 100 combs and 50 covers – I didn’t have to include the accessories you know, and almost wish I hadn’t now.

We then have a big Christmas lunch, everyone sits on the sofa, groans that they have eaten too much, complain about the repeats on television, grumbles about how much money we all spend at Christmas – “all that money and effort, for just one day” – and then fall asleep for what I can only assume is a pre-planned snoring competition.

Thankfully that is all over now and I am back in the office carrying out my essential duties looking after all things stationery for our business. I say stationery, but it is much more than that nowadays. Just before Christmas Isla in the Purchasing Department was heard screaming one afternoon. We all wondered what had happened, at first, we thought it was just Old Bob up to his usual tricks, but the screams went on for several seconds, so it was more serious than that. It turns out she had seen a mouse run behind one of the filing cabinets. Our maintenance guy was away for the week, so I actually felt a bit of a hero when I stood up and declared, “Leave it with me. I can sort this out. Our supplier of office items can help.”

They all thought I was mad and started to take the mickey. “What’s he going to do, shoot it with a staple gun!” laughed Jess. “Nah, he’s going to twang it out of the window with his ruler,” laughed Jane. “Maybe he is going to try and stick it to the floor with a Pritt stick” added Harry.

The next day I put down the humane pest control delivered by our office products supplier, caught the mouse, sprinkled some deterrent around to make sure no mouse friends come back (again delivered with our stationery) and even sprayed a little air freshener to get rid of the smell (you know where that came from). I smugly picked up my things once done, smirked at Jess, Jane and Harry as I left and went back to work. 1-0 to yours truly.

That was not my only moment of smugness on this particular day. Paul in accounts tasked me with shredding thousands of sheets of documents from the archives that no longer needed to be kept but needed to be disposed of securely. “That will keep you going for a few weeks” he laughed. How wrong he was.

A quick call to my supplier contact and the very next day they sent around a mobile shredding van to destroy all the documents quickly and securely. It was all done onsite so I know that we met our GDPR requirements and there would be no data leak, and I also know that all the paper shredded will be recycled to help prevent any unnecessary future destruction of trees. Paul couldn’t believe it when I told him the next day that it was all done. I often surprise my work colleagues with what I get done. Although they think I am a bit of a jobsworth (which I am, and proud of it), they also think I am a bit of a hero, which I’m happy with too. But I’ll let you into a secret. It’s not me that is the true hero. It is my local office products supplier, there seems to be nothing they cannot do, and if it makes me look good in the process, hurrah to that.