I don’t know about your neighborhood but mine has been invaded by 99-cent stores. While I never frequent these fine establishments, this past weekend I was beaten into submission and dragged against my will. Amongst all of the junk was, well, more junk. I did, however, manage to pick up a few goodies for the office. Proof that a few dollars can make work life a bit less miserable.
Extension Cord: Instant relief, yes. Fire hazard, maybe. A few extension cords enabled me to reposition my computer, speakers and lamp into ergonomically-friendly territory.
Air Freshener: Little hanging trees aren’t just for cars. Dangling from the back of my chair, I’ll now enjoy the scents of an "Ocean Breeze" instead of the usual Eau de Cologne of rust and mold.
Gum: I don’t know if a study has ever been done before, but I’m willing to bet this week’s paycheck that people with fresh, minty breath will climb the corporate ladder faster then their halitosis-ridden counterparts. Even if you’re not at fault, keep some on your desk and pray that Mister Coffee Breath helps himself.
Thank You Cards: Look past the cheesy floral design and realize that a post-interview thank you note that is hand-written is 10 times more effective than an e-mail and/or typed letter. And with 10 cards per package, I’m motivated to line up 10 interviews. At worst, I can just thank grandma for that $10 birthday check.
Cup o’ Noodles: I’m not a fan of consuming 100% of my daily sodium intake in 12 ounces of "soup." However, at least once a month there’s that rainy day where I’m struggling to stay afloat at work and the last thing I want to do is waste my lunch hour hunting for an ATM machine. These are staying in my bottom drawer as an emergency option.
Clorox Wipes: Readers of the blog already know that your cubicle is a germ factory, housing over 20 thousand germs per square inch. 99 cents is a small price to pay to wipe away the remnants of my afternoon snack and avoid an extra cold.
Tissue Box: I put a tissue in my pocket every morning. And every laundry night, my wife curses the day we wed. Not because she doesn’t love me, but because I ALWAYS leave a tissue in the wash. Keeping them on my desk should eliminate the problem and help me be a good cubemate.
There are countless other items that can help make your life @ work easier. Here a few honorable mentions that maybe I’ll pick up next time: AA batteries, picture frame, plastic cutlery, set of mechanical pencils and a Kevin Federline CD.
Helpful desk items don’t have to be expensive. If you have any suggestions on items you’ve purchased on the cheap, please share them in the comments section below.