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How much time do you spend at your desk? I’m not about to do math on a Monday, but it’s got to be something like a hundred thousand hours over the course of your life, right? That’s an ass-load of time. Too much time to not be operating at peak comfort levels, that’s for sure. Your desk isn’t just a workspace, it’s your home for eight hours a day, and that home should be stocked with everything you need to make your life easier. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of office desk essentials to make your days a little brighter.
Having just one computer screen is for chumps. Dual monitors serve two purposes. One, it lets the office know that you ain’t no intern. Hell no. You handle so much business, one screen just isn’t enough. You’re out here closing deals, writing reports, doing… Excel (I don’t know what actual business people do), and you can’t be wasting your time switching between tabs all day. You need to look at multiple things concurrently because you’re a master of efficiency and an all-around baller.
Two, you can use that second screen to stream sports while still giving off the appearance that you’re (somewhat) working. I haven’t missed a game of this World Cup or a round of The Masters, and that’s all thanks to my 25” monitor that can easily double for a TV. So to reiterate, dual monitors both make you look like you’re working more, while also making it easier to work less. Win-win, baby.
Official Shooting Range Ear Protectors
Despite many studies and statistics showing how they negatively impact employee performance, it seems like open-plan offices are here to stay, meaning that none of us will ever get any goddamn peace and quiet for the rest of our professional lives. But whatever. I’m not bitter. To counteract this, many people work with headphones in, even shelling out hundreds of dollars on expensive noise-cancelling products in a desperate attempt to drown out the grating sounds of their annoying coworker’s laughs. And these devices work, to be sure. But you know what they don’t do? Let your coworkers know exactly how much you hate them.
When you toss on some headphones, many people would assume that you want to listen to music while you work. When you toss on some official grade shooting range ear protectors, you let the office know that their voices are so fucking annoying, you’d rather work in a soundless chamber then hear even one decibel of their stupid story. Passive aggressiveness is the name of the game in the workspace, and nothing is more passive aggressive than putting on ridiculous ear muffs just to make a point. I bought a pair on Amazon for under $20 and it’s the best investment I’ve ever made.
A Half-Filled Bottle Of Scotch
I feel like I don’t even have to explain this one. Scotch is good and makes you feel good, and therefore you should have it at your desk at all time. However, it can’t be an unopened bottle. An unopened bottle could be a gift, or a decoration, or something you’re saving for the right time. A half-filled bottle is a utility and lets everyone know you’re working so hard you occasionally need a mid-afternoon to wind down. Plus, when your boss comes to talk to you “about your performance” or whatever, you can ask him to pull up a chair and pour the both of you a couple fingers of Johnny Walker Green Label. A little hospitality can go a long way, my friends.
A Conversation Piece
At this point, everyone knows you work hard. But you don’t want them thinking you’re just a robot who does nothing but work. You have dreams. Aspirations. A life outside of your cubicle walls. That’s why you need a conversation piece. Not to let your coworkers actually get to know you, of course. Fuck that. If anything, this is to make you into even more of a person of mystery. And, if we’re being honest, It’s good to distract people from what they were planning on talking to you about. Put some weird shit on your desk, and people will gravitate towards asking you about it, instead of asking you to do your job or something.
A conversation piece can be anything weird or off-putting enough to stop your coworkers in their tracks. Binoculars. A single bullet. A small, but well-done portrait of Frida Kahlo. Something that no one can help but ask about. Personally, I have an enormous, DD breast implant that I stole from when I worked in a plastic surgery practice. I use it as a wrist rest to avoid carpal tunnel, and it has successfully diverted many conversations that may have otherwise caused me to have to work harder.
A “Thinking Device”
Look, work doesn’t always look like work. You can’t always be hammering away at the computer. Sometimes you need to stare off into space and think. Shit, as a writer, that’s like 80% of my day. But you can’t just be staring at the wall for hours and not look like you’re fallen asleep with your eyes open. That’s why you need some kind of interactive “thinking device.” Something you can move, toss around, or generally fuck with while you space out that changes your body language from “needs a cup of coffee” to “Dr. House about to diagnose a kid with Lupus and save his life.” And believe me, the more annoying, the better.
My boss has a lacrosse stick and ball that he bounces to himself off the wall when he’s brainstorming. It’s annoying as fuck. My other boss has one of those stupid desk toys where the balls clack into each other and prove Newton’s First Law or some shit. It’s also annoying as fuck. Each of those guys salaries is easily triple mine, so clearly they’re doing something right. It’s time to follow in their footsteps. I’m buying myself a Tech Deck for the office, and I suggest you all do the same. .