Things Joe Never Thought He'd Have to Think About Regarding the Stationery Industry

Things Joe Never Thought He'd Have to Think About Regarding the Stationery Industry

Posted by Joseph Linscott on

When changing jobs, there’s always a learning curve to the ways things run. I taught for nine years (starting in grad school) and with each new school, grade level, and course came a bevy of new structures and routines that had to be learned. However, when I left the teaching profession to join Amy in the business, I had to learn a lot of things on the fly. Some of those things were easy to adjust to — cataloging cards is a lot like cataloging books in a library (both of us have worked in libraries) — but there are other things that have taken some time for me to adjust to… or that I’ve just learned to live with.

It's spelled with an e — turns out stationary and stationery are totally different things. Who knew? Did I mention I used to teach English?

More than 60,000 cards are sold in a year — Amy told me, on our first date, that she'd sold this many cards so far that year. At the time, I truly believed that this accounted for at least 5-10% of the entire market. I’ve come to find out a lot more people send cards than I ever could’ve guessed.

Paper weights — this used to mean “something heavy you put on a stack of loose papers,” usually just the stapler or tape dispenser on top of a stack of handouts or student work, or a nice heavy book on top of a pile of printed research papers. But now? Now I know what 120 pound cardstock feels like in comparison to 100 pound cardstock, and all of that in comparison to envelope paper. Sure, before I joined the business, I knew that these papers had different “feels,” as I would’ve said, but now I know what these “feels” mean, and I can attribute a number to those “feels.” It’s akin to when you find out there’s an arrow in the FedEx logo or a 31 in Baskin Robbins’.

Card sizes being the same name but different sizes (America vs. England) — so you’ve got your A2 (cards), A6 (for postcards), A7 (for small prints), etc., over here in the US, but in England, these EXACT SAME names are for DIFFERENT sizes? Why? I get different words for the same food items (chips vs. fries, crisps vs. chips, mash vs. mashed potatoes, etc.), but… that’s actually a lie, I don’t like the different names for the same foods. I say we keep fries, take crisps (the onomatopoeia endears me to it), and take mash ("why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?"). Anyways…

How sticky my fingers get — our paper packing tape coats my fingertips, leaving a thin film of tacky material that makes me feel like Tobey McGuire when he finds out he can stick to walls in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man.

Figuring out what’s trash and what’s product — so many boxes just lying around full of products or full of trash. Fortunately, Amy and I have our system of knowing which is which. (And you’ll get to play along with our next blog post.) Spoiler: the system is just knowing which spots on the ground are “trash” spots and which are “save for later” spots.

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