My first job out of college certainly had its flaws, but one thing they got right was the attitude that it’s not cost-effective if employees don’t have what they need in order to get their work done. As such, every floor of every building in the company had a well-stocked supply closet. Employees could just take what they needed.
When I traveled to India and worked from the office there, I found myself in need of a notepad. I asked a coworker, and he told me where the supply closet was. So there I went.
When I opened the door, it was pitch dark inside. So I turned on the light. And then nearly jumped out of my skin, because sitting there in front of me was a man.
Apparently, in the Bengalūru office, the office supplies weren’t the free-for-all they were in the US offices. Instead, employees had to sign out the supplies they needed. And I guess the company found it cost-effective to employ a guy to sit (in the dark) in the supply closet all day to make sure nobody walks off with office supplies without signing for them.
I wanted to ask him so many questions, but I was still coming down from fight-or-flight so I just told him I needed a notepad and a pen, signed his sheet of paper, and took my supplies back to my desk.
It made me appreciate even more the well stocked (and unmanned) supply closet back home.