Small Whiteboards

Small Whiteboards

Small whiteboards can be the centre of a productive day. You may not realise how … until you imagine a world without them. Find out more.

Small whiteboards: can you work without them?

A day without small whiteboards

Hi there, I’m Steve. Recently, I underwent quite a strange and difficult experience and not one I really could have expected.

It happened last Wednesday. I woke up to a seemingly normal day. I got up at 7:00am as usual. I padded downstairs for my (usual and entirely mandatory) coffee … but the kitchen didn’t seem quite right.

At first, I couldn’t quite see what was amiss so I carried on making my cuppa. It was only as the caffeine started to seep into my mental circuits that it hit me: the small whiteboard on our refrigerator was gone. Maybe one of the kids had taken it for some reason...

This seemingly small detail was actually a big deal in my world. You see, my wife had written down our grocery list on the whiteboard the previous night. It was my turn to go to the supermarket.

Now, my wife is a fair woman but excuses don’t fly in our house. I knew I was in trouble if I could not find the list.

I decided to check upstairs in the room of my 7-year-old, Alice. When I walked in, I found her (remarkably) already awake. She was turning her room into a dumpster trying to find something.

Apparently, she couldn’t find the small writing whiteboard she used for handwriting practice (and a lot of drawing). As she’d been practicing her writing the night before and had been promised extra pocket money for the task, the missing mini whiteboard was a big deal to her.

I helped her search for 10 minutes. Nada. The morning was fast becoming a puzzling rush. I finally convinced Alice to get ready for school with the promise we’d look for her writing board again that evening.

By the time I arrived at work, I was thoroughly flummoxed. What had happened to the house whiteboards?

Putting it out of my mind, I headed for my office to get ready for our team’s weekly brainstorming session.

Now, all employees receive a small whiteboard at orientation. This board is to facilitate sharing ideas. The boss is a big believer in teamwork and collaboration.

Yet, as I went to retrieve my small brainstorming whiteboard, I was brought up short. It wasn’t where I usually kept it. Nor was it anywhere else around my desk. When I checked with my coworkers, their small whiteboards were missing too!

Well, as you can imagine, that weekly brainstorming session was a lot more subdued than usual. Employees who were usually the first to share and discuss ideas were now silent. The boss was the opposite of happy.

Just when I thought my day was disrupted enough, I went to the staffroom to check the staff-in and staff-out whiteboard. At work, we use this board to show which employees are currently out of the office and what time they’ll be back.

I knew my supervisor was out and about, but I had a question that needed her presence to answer as soon as she stepped back in the door.

I’m sure you can see where this is going … yes, the in-and-out whiteboard was missing.

I was left no option but to guess as to the best way forward with my problem. I could only hope it was the right decision and that my supervisor would agree with my course of action.

An exhausting day…

As work ended, I went home. After the nighttime routine was done, I went to bed. As I lay there, I thought to myself how this weird day without small whiteboards had been so difficult.

It was amazing to me just how big an impact not having something so small had been. And the mystery of what was going on troubled me until I dozed off...

Then, when I woke up on Thursday, boom: everything was back to normal. What a relief. So, here’s to never experiencing life without small whiteboards ever again.

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  • Greg Appleby