I work in a smallish company. I'm one of the 25-30 employees at headquarters, while we have another 25 - 30 working at client sites and from their homes. I repeatedly ask HR for some supplies and if I get them it takes days in the best scenario.
Yesterday, I stopped by the HR person's desk. The ladies' room on my remote wing of the building was basically out of soap. There are only two women that use that facility. The other female employee is the daughter of one of the owner's but they are on a family vacation currently. I did get a new bottle of soap today, but only after the HR rep whined that she'd just given me soap. (I checked the calendar and it was at least six weeks ago.) The HR rep suggested I just purchase a bottle, but the company won't reimburse me for that.
All my pens are ones I've found left in the conference room or picked up at hotels when picking up new remote employees who are in for training. I'm just about done with my legal pad and know it will take at least a week to get one, once I show her my cardboard bottom. (I take paper out of the copier or printer to make due until I get another.)
From conversations with others, I've learned that the HR rep doesn't just do this to me. Other women and lower tiered men have the same problem. My boss is useless about this. (He's a remote employee and when he does come to the office, he only associates with the officers (or if he has to, his staff). In fact he thought my repeated request for a highlighter was hysterical. He actually laughed at me. I audit about 500 call center tickets a week for finite data encapsulated in prose, so a highlighter is a pretty useful tool.)
I'm not asking for soap hand milled by French nuns, Moleskin notebooks, or highlighters that dispense gold filigree. I've already purchased my own highlighter, scissors and notecards (which live in my purse, so they don't get mistaken for corporate property) and not been reimbursed a penny for them.
Can I get some advice -- should I go to the HR lady's boss? The HR lady has been here 10 years and gets the partners anything they want. Should I suck it up and buy my own supplies until I can find another position? (What kills me is that the office has regular outings that are far more expensive than soap and highlighters - frequently cocktail hour out, mostly on Tuesdays. I go about once every three outings because I really don't want to spend my personal time on work stuff. My point is that the company is very generous at outings (no drink limit for adult beverages) but won't get me soap for the washroom unless I beg multiple times.)