If you’re like most career women, you spend more time in the office than you do at home. There was a time when I came home simply to sleep and shower before rushing back to the office. Considering how much time we spend at work, we don’t keep our offices or cubicles stocked with emergency items in case something unexpected happens. I’m not talking about floods and fires, but a few other annoying emergencies.
When planning for the unexpected, I follow Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Better to be paranoid than unprepared So here are a few office must-haves to make you feel a sense of ease… just in case:
I’m not advocating you do your nails at the office. We’ve all had an unfortunate run in our pantyhose at the most inopportune time possible. Picture it, you’re about to present your project to your boss and co-workers and discover you have a small run in your un-patterned pantyhose. Small now, but you just know it will spread in a matter a minutes.
Grabbing clear nail polish and dabbing a little on each end of the run stops it in it’s tracks (literally) so you can focus on your presentation.
I have to preface this one with a story. I worked in a mid-sized office before I started my business. One morning, no more than 5 minutes after walking in wearing my favorite pairs of shoes, the heel literally snapped off… just like the commercials.
Luckily I had a mall two blocks away, but that 10-minute ‘walk’ was quite an interesting experience. Limping to the mall to buy another pair of shoes wearing one show with a heel and another without wasn’t a good look for me.
Save yourself that experience and keep a pair of shoes permanent in your office. Ideally black so that they’ll go with whatever you wear.
Office wardrobe malfunctions happen all the time. I’ve had a few here and there (actually, after my heel situation, I just realized I’ve had a lot of office emergencies). The oddest one I had was a bra strap that completely broke off… good times. Let’s hope you don’t have that one happen to you.
Things tear, buttons pop off, coffee, salad dressing and soya sauce spill… at the worst times possible. Having something else you can wear at the office means you won’t have to worry about the huge stain on your white blouse that you’re trying to hide.
4) Pain reliever
Nothing makes you want to ditch that conference call and run home to get under your comforter hugging a hot water bottle like cramps. It’s nearly impossible to truly focus on your work when you’re in pain. I don’t recommend popping a pain reliever for sever pain, but if Aunt Flo is announcing her appearance or you have a little headache, you want to have pain reliever within reach so you could move on with your day.
This one has saved me so many times. You never know when you’ll have to work through lunch or work late to meet a deadline. If you’re like me, you need to eat something every 4 hours or you’ll turn…. let’s just say, not so pleasant Having nuts, a snack bar or a protein bar in your drawer is a lifesaver for those days. Ideally snacks that won’t expire any time soon (like yogurt).
6) Emergency Cash
Remember the Northeast Blackout a few years ago? Not only did it happen in the middle of a heatwave, but nothing worked – no elevators, no wireless phones, no cell phones and no ATMs for a while. If you didn’t have cash, you were out of luck. You couldn’t even hop in a cab home if you had no cash. It was a mess.
I learned my lesson. I usually try to keep at least a $20 bill hidden somewhere in my office, wallet or purse… hidden from me that is. My money habits weren’t always as good as they are these days. Having a $20 in the back of your drawer comes in handy. You never know when you’ll need cash and can’t run to an ATM.
7) Nail polish remover
Picture this – you’re about to go into an important meeting with a new client when you look at your freshly manicured nails and notice a huge chip that throws everything off. Sure you paid $35 to get them done, but you can’t go into the meeting with jacked up nails.
If you have nail polish remover in your office, you can just wipe everything off and walk into the meeting with fresh and natural nails… most of all, you won’t be trying to hide your hands throughout the entire meeting.
Whether it’s a quote, a vision board or family picture, you need something that will keep you inspired through those tough days when you lose a client, mess up a project or just lose motivation. You remember why you’re working as hard as you are.
What are your office must-haves?