Now, the thing is that I dig office supplies. Not just the cute ones but those that serve more than one function. And since I am a Marketing major, I may find my way back to retail real soon, so I write this with love.
Anyway, I worked at one of the first major office supply companies to arrive in the L.A. area back in the late 80s. I wasn't even old enough to drink but they did give me a back cash office/bookkeeper job that I actually loved. There was even a slight sense of family as most of us - regardless of age, race or background - got along well.
Now I didn't care for my boss telling me that he could boink anyone in the office he felt like (and I think he really did say "boink") or that one person charged in demanding money like it was a stick-up. But I learned a lot during my short time at WorkPlace in WLA.
Fast forward yrs. later
After my new boss at WorkPlace took over, it all fell apart as what would later be known as Staples bought them out. My bosses were gone, morale was low and I learned to trust my instinct. Without going into great detail, the building closed but the coincidence was that it re-opened as OfficeMax at the same address but different location.
However, it was far from my glory days at WorkPlace. Some of my bosses were younger than me (28) and despite being "college kids" some of them had the communication skills no different than the welfare (not knocking it) mothers who were there because they didn't "have shit else to do".
The internet was new but with no computer, my yearning for a new career (graphic/ad design) was constantly placed on hold. This meant being placed on the floor, in a uniform and I was pretty damn disgusted.
Though the nearby In-and-Out Burgers was a temporary cure, it didn't help that I really hated my life. I was worked like a horse, cheated out of overtime and when they "forgot" to pay me, I was done.
While things worked themselves out, I swore I would never step inside another OfficeMax. When Office Depot became more popular (and it didn't hurt that I was eligible for discounts through a number of organizations), I promoted them whenever I could.
After a while, I stopped hearing about OfficeMax and even felt kind of bad but the truth was that they were closing years before L.A. was affected by a recession.