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Article: Better Posture Means More Energy at Work

The always-darling folks over at LifeHacker have linked me to an interesting article that says that, among other things, slouching or otherwise holding poor posture can deprive the body of up to 30% of its oxygen.

Next time you you’re feeling a little down in the dumps or need a little boost at work, check to see if your chin is up and your shoulders are back (or try other methods to fix your PC posture). It could mean the difference between making your workday frumpy or fabulous.

Check out the rest of the energy saving tips from Real Simple, and of course, thanks as always to LifeHacker.

OnTimeSupplies.com Selected to Prestigious Inc. 500 List

So cool to see us in the news! Over at PRNewsWire, there’s a press release about our parent company, OnTimeSupplies.com.  Now normally I try to downplay that relationship and stay focused on the latest in office supply news, but this is a pretty big deal. Plus, it came through my inbox from one of my various news aggregators! This is news, people! Below, the release in its entirety:

Atlanta-based OnTimeSupplies.com credits its customer service and competitive pricing for being recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the nation’s fastest-growing privately owned companies.

(PRNewsChannel) / October 23, 2009 / Atlanta, Ga. / As the country tries to pull itself out of one of the deepest recessions of the last century, it’s hard enough for business owners to keep their companies afloat. OnTimeSupplies.com, based in Atlanta, has done more than that, however; culminating a fantastic fiscal year with a selection to the distinguished Inc. 500 list and recognition as one of the country’s fastest-growing companies, the company announced today.

Working with everything from small and large businesses to charitable organizations and government state agencies (GSAs), OnTimeSupplies has serviced more than 70,000 customers nationwide in a little more than four years in business. According to Miles Young, president of OnTimeSupplies.com, the secret to his company’s remarkable growth has been its pledge to “make every customer a reference customer.”

“We thrive on referrals and that all starts with our customer service,” says Young. “We’re not satisfied with just making our customers ‘happy.’ We want them to be so excited that they will tell other people about our business. We’re driven by our customer service and it’s really paid dividends for us.”

In fact, the online office supplies outlet has built upon that customer philosophy to enjoy its most successful fiscal year in company history. OnTimeSupplies grew by more than 830% and saw its revenue increase by more than $2.3 million to earn a spot on the prestigious Inc. 500 list.

“We’re excited to be recognized,” says Young. “It’s a tremendous validation of the consistent hard work that we put in to ensure the best possible experience for our customers.”

Young and his company were officially recognized as one of the country’s 500 fastest-growing privately held companies by Inc. magazine at the Inc. 500|5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony held in National Harbor, Md., in September.

About OntimeSupplies.com: Founded in 2004, OnTimeSupplies.com is a full-service office supply store that prides itself on its customer service and fast, reliable delivery. The company offers everything from GSA office supplies to office furniture and even offers creative pricing options on bulk office supplies and discontinued clearance items to help in this tough economy. OnTimeSuppiles.com has serviced more than 70,000 customers and experienced remarkable growth in 2008.

Contact:
Email:
marketing@ontimesupplies.com
Phone:  (866) 501-6055
Web:
www.OntimeSupplies.com

Just an fyi, getting selected for the INC 500 is no small deal. This is just one of those things that makes me happy to work for a reputable, reliable company that takes care of its customers: you guys take care of us, too. Thanks for the support, and look for more exciting changes in the near future!

Opinion: Skip the Black Friday Mess by Shopping Online

We all know Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, long-held to be one of the best times to get great deals) is almost upon us. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with this tradition, though, and it boils down to one statement: “PEOPLE ARE FREAKING CRAZY.”

You might remember the Wal-Mart worker who was trampled to death during a Black Friday “doorbuster” rush. Maybe you chuckled over people physically fighting each other over the last Xbox 360. All in all, it seems our deal-hunting culture sometimes trumps our common sense.

So here’s an idea: why not stay home? Find yourself a nice cozy computer and cuddle up with some every-day great deals from your favorite office supply company. All of the major office big-box stores are going to try to tempt you with dubious deals to get you in the store on a chilly November morning. Either you camp out in the cold to save a couple bucks on pens, or heaven forbid show up late to find all the good stuff cleaned out, and resign to pay their overinflated prices on regular goods so you don’t feel like you “wasted a trip.” I say SKIP IT.

How does reliable service, huge inventory, and free shipping on orders over $75 sound? It just so happens I know some guys…

Blurb: 3M Recoups Shrinking Sales with Flu-Fear Products

Now maybe “fear” is the wrong term, but it’s as valid as any. MinnPost.com is reporting that 3M, long-plagued by shrinking sales in the new economy, is making back some lost profits with record sales of flu masks and other health and safety gear.

3M’s third-quarter profits of $971 million beat analysts’ predictions and prompted the company to raise its outlook for the fiscal year.

Health-care sales increased 4.7 percent to $1.1 billion, while its consumer and office division saw sales fall 4.8 percent to $923 million. Office products saw double-digit sales declines, the company said.

‘Tis the season to get sick, folks. There’s nothing wrong with a little caution, and 3M and the rest of the gang over at On Time Supplies are happy to help out with masks, hand sanitizer, and everything else you need to stay healthy and happy this fall.

The Snackbot: King of All Office Supplies

Man, I need to get me one of these. GadgetReview is showcasing the newest in must-have office supplies: The Snackbot.

This may well be the king of all office supplies.  No, it’s not one of those sweet executive ball-clacker deals (even though they are sweet).  Nor is it a dartboard or a Blackberry or anything like that.  No, the unquestioned king of all office supplies has to be Snackbot.

Snackbot is a big talking yellow and white robot that delivers snacks directly to your desk on command.  There’s a downside, though…there’s only ONE SNACKBOT, and he’s currently being held at Carnegie Mellon University, where it’s basically under construction as a way to find how an autonomous robot can operate within the busy, highly complex operations of a modern office.  Apparently there’s a lot of programming involved for a robot that can successfully make snack runs throughout a typical office building.

Hopefully, one day, Snackbots will be as ubiquitous as the coffee maker in most offices, but until then, you know Carnegie Mellon will be getting loads of snacks out of this.

EXPO Spotlights “America’s Most Inspiring Teacher”

How about some good news for once? Just posted on Reuters, EXPO® (perhaps best known for their dry erase products, and falling under the same Rubbermaid corporate umbrella as Sharpie®, Rolodex® and more) announced that Peter Torres of Davie, Fla., was the grand prize winner of the EXPO Extraordinary Educator Award.

What makes me so happy about this story is they picked a teacher who works to instill grammar basics (which I find awesome!) and break “text speak” such as using “u” for “you” and so on (which I find infuriating!) in a class full of seventh-graders.

According to Torres, there is a time and a place for “text speak” – using a
shorthand “u” for “you,” for instance – in today’s cell phone-wielding world.
But in the classroom, he says students’ increasing use of text messaging to
communicate has taken on even greater concern as it may also stunt their
academic growth. He adds that many students are putting “text language” in
their written materials and presentations.

“Kids these days do not know how to speak in front of people,” said Torres.
“They can express themselves in a social setting outside of school, but they
have trouble communicating in writing or when asked a question by an adult.”

Torres, who DJs professionally on the side, uses his entertainment skills to
keep language arts units dynamic, engaging and focused on the fundamentals.
His lesson plans include everything from challenging students to correct the
grammar used in rap lyrics to using well-known wizardly novels to get them to
unlock the hidden meanings of select prose.

The article goes on to say that Torres was chosen from hundreds of teachers nominated by students and parents nationwide. He will receive $5,000 in cash, a year’s supply of EXPO products for his school, a $900 mimio® Interactive Plus Capture kit and a “field trip” for two to Los Angeles or New York to attend the taping of an NBC Late Night Talk Show.

Teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year on school supplies – an average of $523 and $465, respectively, in large and medium school systems, according to a 2001 study by the National Education Association. The EXPO Extraordinary Educator Award is EXPO’s way of helping teachers defray some of those costs, and we salute them.

More Office Depot Chair Recalls

According to attorneyatlaw.com, Raynor Marketing is voluntarily recalling the Quantum Realspace PRO™ 9000 Series Mid-Back Multifunction Mesh Chair and Multifunction Mesh Chair with Headrest, both manufactured in China and sold exclusively at Office Depot.

Importer Raynor Marketing has received 33 reports of the seatbacks on the chairs coming loose and detaching, including 14 involving bumps, bruises, and other injuries, the CPSC said.

The falls occurred when bolts holding the seatback to the chair frame came loose and came off, officials said.

Quantum Realspace PRO™ 9000 Series Mid-Back Multifunction Mesh Chairs with SKU # 510830 and the Quantum Realspace PRO™ 9000 Series Mesh Chair with Headrest carrying SKU # 690690 are included in today’s recall. The Realspace PRO™ Mesh Guest Chair is not involved in this recall, the CPSC said.

The chairs sold for about $300 without headrest and $350 with headrest. If you own one of the two chairs seen below, check the SKU and contact Raynor to receive a repair kit. The contact information, as well as the full details of the recall, can be found in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s official release. As with the last recall, I am not trying to use this as a jab at the big office companies; just getting the word out. They’ll give me plenty to jab at them with later.

Oops: Missouri Lt. Governor Awards Contract to Company Under State Investigation

One of those head-scratchers. According to ksdk.com:

Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor is calling for the immediate cancellation of a state contract after the I-Team exposed an embarrassing issue for Governor Jay Nixon’s administration.

The state awarded the estimated million-dollar contract to Office Depot, a company under investigation for allegations of bait and switch, deceptive pricing, and over-charging. Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the General Accounting Administration, the Department of Justice and the SEC, have investigations into the office giant.

According to its 2009 second-quarter report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office Depot is under investigation in Florida, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, California and Ohio.

So basically, the Lt. Governor went ahead and offered a million dollars to a company that was being investigated for fraud…in that state. While the state has halted the contract pending further investigation, it’s still a bit of a black eye for whoever authorized that purchase order.

Oddly enough, Office Depot crusader David Sherwin appears in the article as well, saying basically the same thing. Maybe he should come work for us.

Office Depot Whistleblower Seeks Fla. Supreme Court Investigation

Our old friend David Sherwin, the Office Depot whistle-blower, is back in the news again, according to an article posted on news-press.com. Sherwin, who has been granted whistleblower protection by the state, is preparing a petition to have a case heard by the statewide grand jury that Gov. Charlie Crist hopes to impanel:

Crist has requested the Florida Supreme Court seat a statewide grand jury to investigate and review a number of alleged acts of public corruption in South Florida.

David Sherwin of Fort Myers was granted whistleblower protection in 2007, after coming forward with allegations that the office supply company overcharged taxpayers in six states of hundreds of millions of dollars. He is also alleging bid rigging, kickbacks, official misconduct, fraud and corrupt acts by Office Depot involving at least 12 South Florida government entities, including the City of Cape Coral, the City of Fort Myers, Lee County Port Authority, Lee County Board of County Commissioners and the Lee school board.

Sherwin says he hopes to present “detailed allegations of criminal wrongdoing” to the governor’s office as well as the state attorney’s office. As in every crusade where the little guy stands up against corruption, we wish him all the best.