Connecting with co-workers over stationery can feel tricky. You don’t want to go down a rabbit that makes you out as an obsessive, but you do want to share areas of interest that can connect you with those around you and strengthen the ties that go beyond clocking in every day. Discovering that someone is into stationery can feel like you are both members of an underground organization, unaware of the other. A friend recently recounted how one of his closest pals had been hiding a voracious Field Notes habit from him for years.
The connections at work make for a ringing endorsement of stationery as a wonderful unifying force in the world.
The stationery veteran
H. is from the old school. She edits hard copies with pencil in longhand, advocating for grammatical changes . We got to talking fountain pens. Her knowledge covers the old school standards that I haven’t even touched: Parker, Waterman and the like. She detailed the purple paper of her engraved thank-you stationery. I described to her some of the new-school Japanese options.
Weeks later, from nowhere, she gave me a Pilot Vanishing Point from the 80s. So...HERO. We enjoy the occasional update in passing. “Whatcha writin’ with today?”
The hoi palloi
I have willingly become the pen and paper enthusiast on my team. My coworkers crack jokes and meme it up. They also now buy Leuchterms instead of Moleskines, ask what tools I’m using on a given day, and give me updates on their latest purchases. You might take a little guff, but what comes through in the end is a commitment to quality when it comes to tools that all of us use every day.