Crimes against stationery – your stories

We asked you to tell us your stationery-related injustices, and we were taken aback by the suffering you have all endured. We finally decided on a winner, the lovely Emily Oldham, who will receive a 3-month subscription to Papergang by Ohh Deer – a monthly box filled with brilliant stationery and paper products. It’s the least we could do after opening up some serious stationery wounds. Except maybe start a helpline, but we didn’t have the budget. 

However, it seems there is a real demand to see all the entries together - after all sharing is caring! So here are all your criminal stationery stories. Have a hanky at the ready!


The ultimate guilt-trip

Wiccy Allsop

“My personal favourite crime is committed by me when I make a simple mistake on a page and I have to rip the page out of the book and start again. The mistake isn’t the crime – it’s tearing the heart out of the book.”



Steven Baldwin

“When someone borrows your pen but when they return it Harambe is dead.”


Too many crimes for Rosemary

Rosemary Banks

“When someone borrows your italic pen who has NO idea how to hold it and ruins the edge. And when they use your art putty rubber as an ordinary eraser. And when they write on the corner of your lists!”


For the rest of that pen’s life

Elysia Benn

“I hate it when someone borrows your beautifully designed pen or pencil and chews the end of it. It ruins the aesthetic of the pen, but you also have to stare at someone’s teeth marks for the rest of that poor little pen’s life.”


Don’t mess with colour coding

Julie Coombs

“When someone writes in your work diary and its colour coded, and they use the wrong colour.”


Fiona has been through the ringer at work

Fiona Crolley

“When a doctor, who makes way more money than me, borrows a pen and never returns it. Or, I wanted to kick him, when he takes my zebra rollerball and uses it to stir his tea! Or, someone using a marker pen on my notebook and it bleeds through multiple pages. Or, eating crisps at the desk and picking up expensive writing paper with greasy fingers – this a capital offence! Some people have absolutely no respect for stationery!”


Simple not to do, and yet a very common crime

Suzanne DA

“When someone uses your highlighter on still-wet pen ink and marks the tip.”


Been there

Jamie Dorn

“When someone says ‘it’s only a pen’ and you die inside.”


Report them to HR Sarah

Sarah Green

“Someone in my office keeps borrowing my funky fineliners while I'm not there and they never return them. And they act like they have no idea where they have gone - there's only two of us in the office and one is me!!! My 24 set is now down to 10 and they have damaged the tips on two of them!”


Solves the problem

Lyndsey Gribble

“When someone asks for your pen full stop – nope it’s not happening EVER (honestly not awkward at all).”


Good point by Hannah


“The worst is when people spell it stationary!”



Lucy Harrison

“Someone used my notebook as a coaster. Does that soft leather cover really look like a good place to plonk your mug on?!? Hooligans!”


Break up?

Rebecca Henderson

“That eye twitching and internal screaming you do when you find your partner has not only ripped out a corner of your annual diary, but used your pen and plonked it on the kitchen side with no lid on so it never holds the same way again. Found the said lid at the bottom of the washing machine, chewed and wet.”


Ham-fisted nitwit

Fiona Joy

“Someone who presses too hard with fineliners and ruins them.”


Chewing is such a common assault


“The worst offence has to be when you lend someone a pencil and it’s returned with bite marks at the end where they have inadvertently popped it in their mouth and chewed!”


We need to deal with Dan

Siobhan McGarvey

“When you reach for your Sharpie because no other pen will do and someone has taken it! You know who you are Dan!”


Couples counselling probably required

Shirley Mitchell

“Discovered one of my favourite ballpoints had been borrowed by my husband (he should know better) and found it abandoned with a bent pocket clip and a gummed up, blotchy nib. Sob!”


Absolutely harrowing

Emily Oldham

“At school me and my friend Louise took great pride in our Forever Friends tin pencil cases. Each day we'd carefully rearrange our pens, pencils and rulers, and use the inside of the tin to display stickers of our favourite pop stars/soap stars from Smash Hits magazine (it was the mid 90s). Anyway one day in Geography class a boy we sat with found that he had a lower GCSE coursework mark than me and took out all my pencils and snapped them all! I almost cried! It was a very bad stationery day!!! 20 years on I'm sad to say I don't own a Forever Friends pencil case but still love my stationery!”


Another heavy-handed plonker

Nancy Poller

“Someone wrote in my notebook REALLY HARD so that several pages are now embossed with their, quite frankly, messy handwriting. No.”


DIY dumbo

Polly Scott

“When someone uses your pencil to stir a pot of paint!”


Rulers are victims too

Sue Sharrock

“When someone takes your favourite ruler and uses it to cut a straight line with a craft knife, except that they cut into it which ruins it and they then just put it back in the desk drawer! Grrrr!”


Double trouble for Pam

Pam Smart

“1 – When your husband wants to use your beautiful letter opener as a screwdriver or lever. 2 – When a work colleague pinches your pen, pencil, ruler etc., and then writes THEIR name on them.”


Sharpie crimes are on the rise

Prints Of Heart

“My fiancé went into my office to borrow a pen. I later found out he’d used my best black Sharpie and blunted it.”


Post-it notes

Molly Rimmington

“Pulling too many post-it notes off and then sticking them back wonky.”


An inside scoop

Jay Sterling

“I work at a stationery shop and see these crimes happen every day. Pens left out with their caps off, people testing erasers and, my biggest pet peeve, people that buy refills for chewed up nasty old pens. Just buy a new pen! I don’t care if you got it in a magazine 50 years ago, it’s dead! The refills cost as much as a brand new pen, please just throw it out.”


Put them back properly folks


“When you’ve got a fancy box or fine liners or felt tipped pens and having taken several out at once, the person who borrowed them puts them back IN THE WRONG PLACES. Since when does brown go between orange and pink.”


A cruel friend

Sam J. Whyte

“I bought a lovely little notebook a few years ago. It was small, unbranded, very minimal. Clean and beautiful. I had it on my desk at art college. My cruel, cruel friend spotted it and decided it would be hilarious to put a large black dot on the front cover with a marker. We are no longer friends, and the notebook is now used to prop up a leg on my broken, wonky desk.”



Tom Wilding

“When you let someone a pen, possibly a good pen, a pen that you cherish and admire for its smooth writing ability, and it comes back with the top chewed. UNACCEPTABLE!”


Rubbery mess

Tasha Katy Woodbridge

“When someone borrows your rubber and it’s returned with pencil marks all over because they’re so heavy-handed with it, or they have used a sketching pencil. The worst part is when you don’t realise they have left your rubber in such a state, and you then try and rub something out. It looks like you’ve completely given up with your mistake and massacred the page with a rubbery pencil mess!”


No visit from Santa for these kids

Kelly Young

“When my children borrowed £100 worth of markers and ruined the nibs on both ends! They’ve never been replaced.”


John Pelosi
13 Oct 2016 18:43
It took a long time to work through all our business cards on which we printed our home postcode, not our business in one. Guilty as charged!! In my defence, I'd like to point out that there is only one letter different in the postcode...
17 Nov 2016 16:58
25 Feb 2017 12:41
great blog - very funny
Bryony Bishop
24 Apr 2017 14:17
How funny! Jamie Dorn has got it so right!

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