Every professional has some variation of an office. The athlete has the stadium, a surgeon has an operating room, and people like you and me have our little slice of heaven, the lovely cubicle. If you’re lucky, you have an office with actual walls. Maybe even a window.
Like many of you cubicle warriors, a few creature comforts make our meager existence tolerable and (sometimes) even bearable. There are a few basic items (programs, gadgets, etc.) that can improve even the shittiest caddy-cornered, jail-cell-sized cubicle into a place to work and a home away from home. Or at least enough to not commit seppuku.
Headphones, or lack of, can make or break your day. If you work in cubicle land, you know the feeling. Cramping people in a working space will always create friction. What better way to eliminate these people than to tune them out? I had a coworker that didn’t get the memo that listening to the radio at a reasonable volume only existed between 9-11 a.m. She disregarded the “reasonable volume” part and made every day a fucking dance party littered with top-40. To this day, “The Man” by Aloe Blacc, that Lumineers song that never stopped playing, and any Maroon 5 song makes my blood pressure spike so much that I can feel the vein in my forehead pulsate. Thanks to our friends at Spotify, we no longer have to listen to our music on YouTube. Pro tip: use the web based browser version of Spotify and download Ad-Block- it screens out the commercials. You’re welcome.
2. Basic Meeting Package
“Hey, you got time for a meeting?”
Due to the nature of our work, my boss has impromptu meetings quite frequently. Instead of fumbling through your desk you’ve been meaning to clean, have that shit ready; it’ll make you look like you have your life together. I have a pen, a notebook I doodle in that looks like I’m writing notes, a highlighter, and some flash cards ready at all times. Fake it till you make it.
3. Stashes of K-Cups
Someone once said, “You kill the joe, you make some mo’.” That person was Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. There is a special place in hell for people that deprive others of their caffeine. Keep it on the low down or you will become the office caffeine consultant aka dealer for addicts when there is no more coffee. But being the one who slips your boss a much needed k-cup once in a while instantly makes it easier to get time off or extended deadlines.
4. Dual Monitors
I’ve already mentioned the greatness that is having two monitors, but the importance can never be overstated. It makes entering stuff into Excel a breeze, reading one document and typing to another a simple task. It’s also super easy to watch Netflix, The Masters, or whatever other event corrupt organizations keep giving third world countries that their infrastructure can’t handle. I’m looking at you, FIFA and Olympics Committee.
5. Hangover First-Aid Kit
“Only a few beers,” you tell yourself on a Wednesday night of $8 buckets. A few beers becomes two buckets to yourself before you drunk set five alarms to make sure you get up in the morning. Having a hangover kit is sober you paying for your sins and doing drunk you a favor. The basics: ibuprofen for that head splitting hangover, Tums for the Day-After-Drinking-Shits (DADS), and a few mystic mountain blueberry Powerades to quell the dehydration. You’ll thank me later.
6. Spare Shirt/Pants/Tie
No one wants to be the office mess. This goes hand in hand with the fact that at some point, you will spill your lunch, get ink on yourself, dribble coffee on your shirt or shit your pants. Having these items will keep you from getting the metaphorical scarlet letter of various foods and beverages on yourself. Dress to impress; no one likes a slob.
7. A Fan
My coworkers are always cold. They turn the heat up so much that I feel like I work in the Everglades. Couple that with the fact there’s no window, and I might as well work in a dungeon. Thankfully, I snatched one of those mini-fans that was going to be surplused, and it keeps me from sweating through my work shirts. Bonus points for baby powder to sprinkle on the “donuts” and stave off a sweaty ballsack.
8. Hidden Bottle of Jameson
A good friend of mine always keeps this handy because some days just plain suck. Other days, there’s cause for celebration. In either case, having some spirits on hand is just what the doctor ordered. For you lucky people in the private sector, this is more “socially acceptable.” I dream of a day when John Jameson’s firewater is hidden in a hobo brown bag at the back of my bottom drawer. Then I’ll know I made it. .
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