Sorry. You can't have it. You're not new.

Do you watch those new employees with their shiny new company padfolio and you can't have one because you've been working forever? Here's a trick that will work. It'll cost you a few dollars but you might even get a better and more useful item than what HR is giving away. With the office supply stores consolidating among 3 or 4 big ones and their merchandise consolidating and fragmenting at the same time (more on this in another post) you can't find the thing you're looking for at all. But you know it's out there because people have it. Check on eBay or Amazon Auctions or some other auction site. If you still don't find it, go to the imprint product sites and find what you want. First see what their minimum quantity is. If they won't sell you a single item unimprinted, take down the item info. Then go to a search engine and enter that product number and a keyword and go through the links until you find an imprint company that will sell you the item unimprinted. I found little padfolios to fit the mini legal pad size of 3-1/2" x 5-1/4" that way. These legal pads are pretty handy and I was tired of mine getting trashed by not having a cover. I figure there is a padfolio or folder or clipboard or something out there for every size pad of paper in existence. You might have to order from Jakarta but you can get one to fit.

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New Hire SWAG

My company stopped giving new hires little gifties (swag) when they started. I got a silly little clock and a lizard. They just started giving the new hire gifts again. And now they get a choice. Oddly enough, most people are not selecting the rather cute junior padfolio offered. They're picking the cooler (holds 12 cans of soda).

I've been Circa-ized, so I wouldn't want the padfolio anyway. But if I feel like a Junior legal pad (which are very useful) I'd just grab my Levenger Junior Office Folio which does have place for the notepad.

Which makes me think about

The year I became Chair of one of the research areas at a major world conference, all the Chairs got a spiffy leather letter-size zipped folder with the association's logo on the front, nice pad and ok pen. We were all really happy about that because they looked good and they were limited edition. Or so we thought. Until the following year, when everyone registered at the conference got exactly the same thing! And the Chairs got crappy desk clocks.

I hope the day they start giving away fluff is after I retire

I like the Jr. Legal padfolios that they're giving the new employees. I work for a newspaper. It comes in handy. I did snag one of the pens with the magnetic base that someone was tossing out. But 12pak coolers are for banks to give away. There are always people opening extra accounts they don't have any real need for just to get the swag. My bank started giving out transparent colored plastic piggy banks to the newbie acct holders. I found one at The Container Store for around $4.