I once worked for a newspaper where we were told to clock out before we went to the bathroom, and to clock back in when we were done because the paper was in the red. I refused.
Not long after I quit, the bookkeeper and publisher were both arrested for embezlement.
I think it was a business book by Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy) that I read that talked about how draconian supply management can sometimes be a bellwether for larger problems in a company. The chain was Expensive Problem We Aren't Dealing With (i.e. overpaid management/bad purchasing/criminal activity) --> Look the Other Way, But We Have to Do Something (scapegoating people and the illusion of repair) --> Ridiculous Policy (you people are highlighting too much and wasting staples, so we're locking them up!)
He had some absurd examples.
This happens in my company (and probably most others):
Month 1 = We had record-breaking sales last year! Profits galore! Company is doing great!
Month 2 = We'll have to pinch pennies, budgets are being hit hard, projects are being cancelled and layoffs are looming.
Month 3 = Hey, lowest rung employees, do you really need your company cell phone? Company could save literally tens of dollars per year if you return your phone. Hey, lowest rung employees, on the laughably tiny chance you are approved for international travel, you are expected to fly coach*.
Month 4 = It's another record-breaking sales quarter! Company is so awesome! Stock prices are soaring!
* Flying biz class overseas is about the one exec-level perk we ever come close to seeing and it used to be a guaranteed part of international trips. Approval for said overseas travel now requires signatures from 4 levels of managers, some of whom would never be expected to fly coach domestically, much less internationally.
I am very grateful to at least have an office manager who is fabulous at her job and the nicest person ever. I think in OP's case and others, when it's possible, escalating up the chain is the only thing to do. In the case of the toilet paper shortage - that would have made a great local news story. There might be acceptance that school supplies are donated by students' families, but to be out of TP for an entire building because some guy didn't want to do his job? That is great fodder for the local "problem-solver" shows.