A Replacement Andy? Better check the catalogue for that.


Despite plastering his office with homemade sticky notes, Andy had managed to redeem himself. Beneath the layers of gluey paper was an idea he’d had to recycle unwanted printed pages and set about making scratch pads out of misprints.

“Do you need a scratch pad?” Andy was obviously delivering door-to-door, also.

“Sure, I’ll take one,” I grabbed the top pad from the stack he held. “What’s your next project?”

“Finding the perfect pen,” his pile of pads started to slip and he clasped them to his chest.

“And how is that going to benefit the department?” I asked as I realized that the glue hadn’t dried on the pad and it was now attached to my palm. Andy juggled the pads against his shirt and noticed that they had stuck to that, too, “have you seen our office supplies’ cabinet? We’ve all kinds of odd pens kicking around. I thought it would be better if we chose one and then ordered them in bulk.”

It was hard to take him seriously as he tried to separate glue from fabric, but I was saved from laughing by Brigid, who appeared behind him with a colourful flyer in her hand.

“Aditi asked me to give you this,” Brigid pushed past Andy, further cementing the pads to his clothing.

I grabbed the Office Plus flyer and flipped through to the pens.

“What did you do to yourself?” Brigid, although a recent hire, had taken a mentoring role with Andy.

Andy was a mess of paper and glue with a drift of unglued pages at his feet.

“I didn’t let them dry long enough, sorry,” Andy looked depressed. His one good idea lay in tatters at his feet.

“Why don’t you check out the pens in here?” I pointed to the pen page.

“InkJoy? Oh that’s a new line from PaperMate®,” Andy stared at the pictures.

Brigid looked over his shoulder, “I’ve heard of those. They use specially blended, low viscosity inks…

“…viscosity?” Andy confused resembled a colicky toddler.

Brigid picked up a page from the floor and slapped it against Andy’s shirt, where it stuck, “viscosity is stickiness, but with these pens it means that they start writing straight away with no dragging, and only need a little pressure in order to write.”

“And look!” Andy pointed at a price, “you can save if you get these ones in boxes of 12, which is exactly what we need. I’ll get on it right away.” And with that, he left, picking up a few sticky pages on his shoes.

Brigid watched him leave, “have you ever seen a replacement for Andy in that Office Plus flyer?”

“No, but I haven’t looked through the whole catalogue yet.”

Andy Sticks to It or Vice Versa?


Brigid, a recent hire, hovered hesitantly in my doorway.

“Rona, what’s wrong with Andy?”

“I’ve an alphabetized list if you’ve got an hour or two to spare,” I waved her to come in.

“He’s moved all the recycle bins and the paper trimmer into his office, and there’s a very strong smell of glue seeping from under his door.”

I smiled at her sympathetically—I didn’t want to frighten her because she was already twice as efficient and productive as Andy, “he can be…quirky. Did he mention what he was doing?”

“All I know is that he didn’t react well when our boss Aditi complimented me for saving money on that last mailing to clients…Would you come and check on him? I don’t want to go straight to Aditi and get him into trouble.”

Sighing, I trudged towards the aroma of adhesive.

I knocked on Andy’s closed door, but he wasn’t listening…too busy swearing. So, I opened the door and marched in.

A paper blizzard had stormed through Andy’s office. The walls were feathered with all sizes and colours of square-ish, paper cut-offs—there was printing on one side. I recognized some of my own memos Andy must have salvaged from the Blue Bins. Bottles, cans and sticks of all kinds of glue clung together on his desk, next to an avalanche of paper shreds that had buried our paper trimmer.

My look of inquiry was enough to halt him tearing a quarter of a Gantt chart from his shirt sleeve.

“I was making sticky notes;” he was more pathetic than a spaniel that’d punctured his ball.

“And how’s that working out?” I poked through the fire hazard on his desk and retrieved a familiar flyer.

Andy coughed and waved glue fumes away from his face, “I think I’m going to get fired. I was trying to do something great to balance out all the mess-ups I’ve had…”

“…And you’ve spent the whole morning proving,” I wagged the latest Office Plus flyer at him, “that you can’t make one usable note.”

He took the flyer from my hand.

“Check out that deal! In minutes, you could have ordered 12-packs—that’s 1,200 sheets—of genuine Post-it®s!”

Andy read, “they’re all neatly cut, 3” x 3” and repositionable! It’s not easy to do that.” He suddenly smiled, “Look, I can redeem myself a bit. There’s a $10 rebate on each multi-pack.”

“Go for it! And then clean up and air out this room,” maybe he heard, but he was already adding up his savings.