Get to know us better.

At Wj Office we want you to get to know us better.

We’ve created 10 questions to give you an insight into the people who make up the WJ Office family.

You’ll discover the people behind the imagery and be intrigued with who we are. You’ll meet the emotion behind our motion. And with each introduction, which we’ll be doing each month, it will make you want to read more.

10 Questions for Neville Chaney – President

  1. What is your best childhood memory? Summertime as a 14 year old. I had a friend with a swimming pool. His neighbor had a croquet course in his back yard that was always set up, a pool table, and a ping pong table. He gave us his permission to use all three and kept his basement door unlocked for us to come and go as we pleased. Each day I would go to the friend’s house with the pool (along with two other friends). The four of us would swim for a while, play croquet for a while, and then play pool and ping pong all day long. THAT was living!
  1. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently? I would have been less trusting of a business partner that I had (not WJ Office) who was not honest.
  1. What do you feel most proud of? My family. I selected the love of my life (and she says that she selected me) who has been a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother. We have raised two sons who have integrity, work hard, and have selected the spouse that I would have chosen for them if that were part of our culture. They have provided us with grandchildren that I love to be with and they are good parents as well. Though there has been adversity, God has granted us so much to be thankful for each day.
  1. What is your favorite music? I like the rock ‘n roll of the 60’s and 70’s. Good sing along and dance music.
  1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why? I’d like to travel in the western states, visit the wine country, the mountains of Montana, the forests of Washington, and the canyons of Utah and Nevada. I’d like to visit the national parks and hope to do that before too long.

      6. What do you want your tombstone to say? “Loved his God, his family, his fellow man.”

  1. How do you spend your free time? Watching sports, reading, learning, church work, golf, exercising, and hiking.
  1. What was your most embarrassing moment? For most folks who play golf, it was on a golf course. I’m no different. On the final hole of a golf tournament, with a gallery of 60-80 people watching, I swung at the ball and somehow hit it about head high. My divot went about 25 yards and my ball came straight down into the hole that I had created with my club. I wanted to crawl into the hole after the ball.

9. If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be?                      Peace on earth. Historically, man has always had the desire to conquer another. In the Bible, one passage remarks that “now it was the season for war.” My question is why? Why do we have to conquer and dominate each other. Why cannot we live in peace with those who have an opposing view? I would love to be able to witness a point in time where all races, religions, and nationalities can understand that we were made to live peacefully and love one another.

10. How would your friends describe you? It would depend on which friend you ask. Your questions are very thought provoking, but I really don’t have an answer for this one. I would hope that they would be charitable with their comments.


Photo: This is with Nate’s son, Samuel! Samuel Alson Chaney. He’s a fourth generation “Alson”

Reflections – After 39 years

“The one thing that we can count on is change.” I don’t know who said that but for me and my career in business, nothing could be more valid. I entered this industry when electric typewriters were still being used and just after IBM introduced the Correcting Selectric element based typewriter. Office supplies were ordered from a catalog and a door-to-door sales rep. No one had ever heard of “ergonomic furniture” and most of the copiers in businesses used electrostatic paper. Only the largest businesses had computers and they were leased (not owned) from IBM. The internet was not even a dream yet.

Great customer service was the buzz word, but as big box stores opened, the need for great customer service was certainly challenged. The proof was the packed parking lot of the local big box. WJ Office began with an 1,100 square foot building on a back street in West Jefferson. Three employees (including me) worked hard to keep up the pace and keep business coming in the door. Our main competition was mail order and a local company – Carolina Business Machines who was far larger than most folks realized. They were able to buy product directly from the manufacturer at far better prices than we could. We decided to compete in the areas that we could and forego the $1 per dozen ball point pens.

Moving to Boone gave us an opportunity to grow. Most of our commercial business was coming from Boone anyway. Our 1,100 square feet doubled to 2,200. Slowly we expanded our store footprint to extend up Depot Street all the way up to King Street. When personal computers hit the market, we sold computer furniture. As time went on we responded to the requests of the customers. I added a delivery person, a purchasing person, and more retail clerks. We continued to focus, however, on commercial business rather than the consumer side of the business.

After more than 20 years we had long outgrown the Depot Street store. Brendle’s closed and we were able to secure 12,000 square feet in the Greenway Business Park. Retail business spiked. Folks could park in front of the store and we enjoyed brisk retail traffic with a 3,000 square foot space. We expanded into computers and copiers. Furniture also began to grow into a larger percentage of our sales. Then, it happened – the dreaded big box invasion. Walmart and Staples opened within six months of each other. Promotions galore. Lots of the folks that promised loyalty while their buildings were going up succumbed to the lure of those introductory prices. 80% of that walk in traffic walked in somewhere else. That’s interesting, especially when you realize that office products make up less than 1% of the expenses of most businesses. Thankfully, we had a number of very loyal customers and we never lost sight of the fact that we were a COMMERCIAL office supplier. Business to business.

At the Greenway location we found after several years that we needed more warehouse space. We had to rent trailers to store furniture that was waiting to be installed. Our business had changed. Furniture was continuing to grow and required more space. In 2005 we moved into our present corporate headquarters just off Deerfield road about two miles outside of Boone. Now we had almost 16,000 square feet and 10,000 of it was warehouse space that was badly needed. Over twenty years ago we joined an office products buying group that now combined our purchases with those from over 500 other dealers. Our buying power continued to grow. We were now in a much better position to compete with the big boxes since folks were realizing the true cost of driving to the store to pick up goods and the frustration of dealing with an 800 number when questions needed to be answered. Each area of the business continued to grow. WJ Office became a destination for vendors who were looking for a strong partner to represent their product line. We have survived and in many ways, we have thrived!

As I look back, I see many competitors gone. Carolina Business Machines is no longer. Many of the contract stationers of the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s are gone including Boise Cascade, Corporate Express, US Office Products, and several others. Some were acquired. Some didn’t adapt to change. Office Depot and Office Max couldn’t make it on their own. They have merged and it looks like that they cannot make it together. They are trying to mate with Staples. All of them have so much real estate with bricks and mortar, and they cannot adapt to the internet economy. It’s tough. The local Staples store has decided to shrink their store. The Staples store in Lenoir is closed. Customer loyalty for all businesses is extremely sketchy. But in an era that our competition is shrinking, WJ is expanding its footprint to new geography and into new industries.

Office furniture has continued to grow and with the relocation of my son, Nate, WJ Office now has two reps in Winston-Salem and has been steadily developing a whole new commercial following with many of the leading design and architect firms in the area. With the recent construction of Chestnut Ridge, WJ Office will be furnishing the bulk of that facility here in the mountains as well.

My younger son, Jake has been heading up our ever growing facility supplies division. With certified “green” products, WJ Office has been making its mark with schools systems, hospitals, urgent care facilities, universities and large commercial entities with innovative products such as a floor care product that eliminates stripping and waxing of tile floors! For facility directors, that eliminates a huge expense. We now have customers from Asheville to Raleigh and each day opens a new potential opportunity.

Change. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s good. We’re going to embrace change and make it work for us and our customers so that we’re here for the next 39 years.

Neville Chaney

5 Posture Tips for a Pain-Free Day

Mom was right to tell you to stop slouching and sit up straight. Not only does good posture make you look taller and more confident, it also increases energy, improves breathing and keeps your back pain free. Good posture ensures that you’re placing the least amount of strain on muscles and tendons. Whether sitting in front of the computer, standing, walking or lifting, always practice good posture.

1. Standing. Keep your feet a comfortable distance apart, typically no more than the breadth of your shoulders with equal weight distributed on each leg. Imagine a vertical line drawn from the center of your head through your shoulders and down to your pelvis. This is your perfect standing posture. If your job requires you to stand for prolonged periods of time, consider using a foot rest to ease strain. If you need additional back support, steady yourself with a table or countertop, remembering to keep your head raised and spine straight. Individuals standing in the same spot all day should use a rubber mat on the floor to improve comfort.

2. Walking. Notice how people walk and you’ll see that many of us lean forward, creating stress on the back. Walk without tensing neck muscles, while keeping your pelvis straight and head level. With good posture, your head should almost feel weightless. Avoid flat-footed, “stomping,” but instead land softly on the heel, transferring weight onto the ball of the foot and finally the toes. Use purses, bags and backpacks designed to minimize back strain.

3. Sitting. With so many of us sitting at a desk all day, it’s natural to get tired and start slouching without even noticing it. To counter that, take full advantage of the chair’s features with your buttocks pushed all the way to the back of the seat. Once your pelvis supports your weight, you’ll notice how much easier it is to maintain good posture. Your knees should bend at a right angle and be about the same level as your hips. Use a small foot rest under your feet to achieve proper position if needed. Avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders or tilting the head. Give your shoulders and back muscles a break by using the arm rests.

4. Lifting. Incorrect lifting can contribute to severe, long-term debilitation. With that in mind, always plan before you lift. Keep objects close to your body rather than carried with outstretched arms. Even with light objects, maintain a straight back and use knee-bending actions not back-bending actions. Tighten your abdominal muscles for extra support. If lifting is part of your regular daily routine, invest in a back support or other related equipment.

5. Working at the Computer. In addition to practicing good sitting posture as previously discussed, working at a computer requires you to keep your arms and wrists aligned as well. Unnecessary strain is placed on the spine unless your chair, keyboard, mouse, and computer screen are all correctly positioned.

Place your monitor away from glare and at a distance of about an arm’s length when seated comfortably in front of it. Position the screen to your natural, resting eye position and avoid tilting your head forward. Use a book or stand to raise it if needed. Adjust your monitor’s brightness, contrast and font size to comfortable levels. When typing, keep your arms parallel to your legs with good support under your wrists. Relax your upper arms and shoulders. If possible, place your documents directly in front of you. Unfortunately, poor posture can easily become a habit, causing chronic discomfort. The good news is, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely under your control. By following the advice above you can prevent the problems associated with poor posture and stay healthy, productive, and most importantly, pain free all day long.

Six Ways the Internet Steals Sales From You

The following article was written by author, publisher and entrepreneur, Michael Dalton Johnson

Work eight hours a day. That’s it. The rest of the day is yours.

You can get a lot done in eight hours. In fact, eight hours is an eternity. If you don’t believe this, fly coach for eight hours seated next to a crying infant. You’ll get a keen understanding of just how long eight hours can be.

Consider the time you devote to productive work as your “Golden Eight”—golden because time is money, especially in sales.

Working a solid, focused eight hours is difficult. Every day time bandits knock on your door. Members of this mob include personal phone calls and texting, bull sessions with coworkers, checking personal e-mail, looking for lost things (highly productive people have clean and well organized desks), personal errands, long breaks, and longer lunches. The list goes on.

It all adds up. Research shows that, on average, salespeople waste two hours a day. This works out to a startling three months a year! How much can you sell in three months?

You’ll give yourself a raise when you send these six Internet time bandits packing.

Time is money. By far the biggest time bandit is the Internet. While the web is indispensable for business, communication, education, and research, it is also highly addictive. Like most addictions, it devours your precious time, energy, and productivity and, by extension, your income.

Take it from a recovering Internet addict. If you are serious about increasing your productivity, avoid these six Internet time bandits:

1. Social networking: Sure it’s fun to share photos and news with friends and family, but it also diminishes your productivity. Do it after hours.

2. Online videos: That hilarious video of the cute kitten playing Ping-Pong is a must see, but not during the time you’ve devoted to work.

3. News and blogs: Offering lively writing, lots of photos, and tempting links to other sites and news items, these are powerfully addictive. Stay off of them during work.

4. Shopping: The Internet is open 24 hours a day. Shop before or after work hours.

5. Surfing the web: There’s a lot out there to see. It’s interesting and entertaining but a pointless drain on your precious time.

6. All that other stuff: Online games, auctions, adult sites, chat rooms, job sites, dating sites, and vacation and travel sites are all major workplace no-nos.

Become very aware of time. Use it as a success tool. Each morning take a few moments to write down what you want to accomplish that day. This does not have to be an hour-by-hour work plan.

It can simply state the work activities, which give you the highest return on your time. Allow yourself a little flexibility, and follow your plan.

This will get you on your way to greater productivity. You’ll enjoy the feeling of knowing that you’ve put in an honest and productive eight hours. You’ll look forward with greater appreciation to the sixteen hours left for rest, relaxation, friends, family, and maybe a little time on the Internet.

I know one entrepreneur who actually has an alarm clock on his desk. After eight hours of productive work the alarm clock goes off and he goes home. While keeping an alarm clock on your desk to remind you of the value of time, may seem a bit extreme (and probably is not necessary for most people,) it is a very strong reminder that you have eight hours to accomplish that day’s goals. As time ticks down, your production goes up.

Don’t work more than eight hours and you will still get a lot done. But you must remember to avoid the Internet time bandits. Stay focused.

Excerpted from Rules of the Hunt: Real-World Advice for Entrepreneurial and Business Success, McGraw Hill.

Eliminate Copier Waste

It’s a common problem that most business face: Waste associated with the use of a printer or multi function copier. In the typical American workplace, more is being wasted than we even realize, often times. The following information was gathered recently regarding typical workplace consumption:

  • If you’re like the average worker in the United States, you print about 10,000 pages a year. Of that, an estimated 1,410 pages are wasted.
  • You, together with every other employee in the United States, use up 8 million tons (7 million metric tons) of office paper each year, or the equivalent of 178 million trees. Less than half of that is recycled.
  • To produce just 1 ton (0.9 metric tons) of office paper requires the same amount of energy it takes to power the average home for 10 months.
  • More than 350 million ink cartridges are discarded in landfills each year. Each cartridge can take up to 450 years to decompose.

[Sources: EPA, Reuters, UC Davis]

Fortunately, there are solutions that can aide in curbing the amount of waste that takes place in our offices, helping eliminate landfill build up and ultimately have a positive effect on a company’s bottom line.

Call today to speak with a WJ Office expert in our Printeq department, and learn how you may be able to save money and cut down on unnecessary waste.

The Beauty of the MFP

So, I made a cold call to a medical practice this morning…..”Hi Jim, my name is Aaron Petersen with WJ Office. I am calling to see if you might have a moment to discuss your printer and copier network at your practice with me and to see if we can get together to look at some of our time/money saving products and services”. “Thank you for calling Aaron, I did actually read the email you sent me the other week and I am glad you followed up. I don’t think that we have a need right now. We have two [enter name brand here] printers and a desk top scanner and that is working just fine. You see we, like most people, are trying to go paperless and we are almost there, and we only use the printer when absolutely necessary”.

A whole slew of questions came to mind here and a pain point came out as we were talking! ”Aaron, Come to think of it though, I would like to be able to receive faxes to a folder or email. This would help reduce paper as well. Maybe we should make time to sit down for a moment and review what I have and see if you can help me out there and maybe see some better ways of handling our information”.

Now, Jim and I haven’t had our meeting yet, but it occurred to me that a simple MFP offers so many solutions to the business world. We all know they are not just copiers anymore but I think we have a tendency to overlook the day to day value they bring. Copying, scanning, faxing, and printing, affect our daily lives at work in such a way that if you don’t have one, it is my opinion that you are working much harder on many tasks than you need to be and while the traditional function of a copier or printer was to print, print, print, now days they can save, save, save.

Take this scenario for instance, Company “X” just sent you a document that you need to sign (and they don’t accept digital signatures J). First you have to print it out, then you have to sign it, and then you have to send it back somehow. If you just have a printer, your process is going to be…..print it out in one area, sign it somewhere, then go either scan it to email and send out an email, or if you don’t’ have a scanner (shame) then you have to go over to the fax machine and hope you don’t have to resend it. With an MFP, you read the document digitally, print it to the MFP, sign it on top of the MFP, and email of fax it from the MFP. SIMPLE. Saves time. Save money, and makes you more productive. Take scenario number two, In Jim’s case mentioned above, he wants to receive faxes for his practice and only print them out when he wants. With an MFP, a simple fax to folder protocol can be set up and now his paperless initiative has become a reality.

Bottom line……….there are a pletethora (cool word – made up) of time saving and money saving opportunities to be had with a good MFP. Spend the money, take the tax deduction, and get more productive!


Aaron Petersen is an account manager and specializes in Savin/Ricoh multi-fuction copiers.

Throw away your mop bucket!

Ok maybe don’t throw it away, but put it in storage.

In the microfiber age, traditional mopping is going the way of the tape deck or the tube television, its time to retire. For general cleaning, the process of physical removal is the most important thing we can do to maintain a healthy, clean and residue free environment. The products and tools we use can help us to achieve that goal, but no matter what the surface is, if removal is our focus, clean is the result.

So how do we remove?

If you spill a drink on your kitchen countertop, how do you remove it? Do you use something wet to pick it up, or dry?

When you think about it, how do we remove with something that is wet? We don’t, we can’t. That is why we battle dirty grout lines and the smell of urine in our restrooms; we can’t remove with our wet mop.

Imagine putting a wet mop on a tile and grout floor, while you may be wiping the tops of the tiles, the liquid (a mixture of water, chemical, urine salts, and soil load) always seeks out the lowest point, or grout lines, and carries with it the soil load and anything else it boosted off of that surface.

That’s what we call coloring in the lines.


Grout line restoration in one of NC’s major universities.

As you can see, this problem can be corrected and maintained in a way that will keep from having to restore these grout lines as often. It isn’t realistic to think that you have the time or resources to run a scrubber with a squeegee or vacuum on this floor daily for general purpose cleaning, but maintaining it between restorations is easiest with a pre-spray and dry mop technique (with Microfiber), because we can be sure that we are removing the soil load along with the liquids we need to put down on the floor.

Since the chemical is designed to lift the load (we may need some agitation), all we have to focus on is the word “removal,” and dry removes wet all day long.

The added benefits to this type of mopping is twofold, a reduction in labor time, but also a reduction in chemical usage, adding green cleaning process improvement to green product purchasing. If staff is able to stay on task longer without having to travel back to the janitor’s closet to dump and refill, productivity goes up and the goal of doing more with less is accomplished.


JakeJake Chaney is the Sales Director for WJ’s Office Supply and Eco-Clean Divisions. He is also Green Clean Institute Certified Distributor Representative.

WJ’s Eco-Clean division is dedicated to providing information to those interested in protecting the health of the environment, indoor air quality, front-line cleaning staff, and occupants of a given environment (human or otherwise).

Disinfecting vs. Cleaning: Do you know the difference?

Contrary to what Clorox or Lysol would like you to believe in their TV commercials, these two terms are not interchangeable. We see it everyday, where we live, learn, work and play. Admittedly, I have confused these concepts in my own life. Read the back of your disinfectant in your home, office or school and you will see what I mean. It most likely says something like this…

To Disinfect apply to a pre–cleaned surface and let sit for 10 minutes.

Do you actually to that? Do you use a cleaner first and then leave the disinfectant wet on your toilet seat for 10 minutes, or do you spray the disinfectant and immediately wipe away?

If you chose the latter, you are in the vast majority. So why would a disinfectant manufacturer tell you to clean the surface first? It’s because cleaners and disinfectants are not one in the same.

Disinfectants are designed to kill; cleaners are designed to help remove. Both can help control microbial activity, one does the job chemically, the other mechanically. The Green cleaning world prefers the mechanical means through proper removal for a couple of reasons:

1. Disinfectants leave residue – this is the beginning to what the CDC calls bio-film. The reason you have to pre–clean that surface you want to disinfect is to remove any biofilm that can interfere with the properties of the disinfectant and make that chemical kill 1,000 times less effective.

2. Disinfectants rarely have a neutral pH – This means that while trying to kill these organisms, we are also harming the surfaces in which we apply them, deteriorating the finishes and making the surface porous, becoming a home for microbial activity. A vicious cycle…

So, what to do? WJ Eco-Clean teaches to reserve your disinfectant for biologic spills (blood, urine, vomit, etc.) but only after that spill has been cleaned.



JakeJake Chaney is the Sales Director for WJ’s Office Supply and Eco-Clean Divisions. He is also Green Clean Institute Certified Distributor Representative.

WJ’s Eco-Clean division is dedicated to providing information to those interested in protecting the health of the environment, indoor air quality, front-line cleaning staff, and occupants of a given environment (human or otherwise).