Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Five Most Important Things on My Desk

I've had desks, many desks over the past 20 years or so.  Some were surrounded by a flimsy gray lean-to (known as a cubicle), some were in offices with or without a window but all were covered with things I thought were necessary to make my desk look professional and to make me look like a very busy person. Over the past few years as my desk audience has dwindled to the cat, my husband and the chimney sweep once a year, I've found the things that are really vital to my functionality, productivity and cautiously optimistic demeanor.  They are:

1-My PaperPro Stapler
  This being first on the list is no accident. I had used really bad staplers all of my life until I found this one. In retrospect I was being really loosey-goosey with company funds by spending $12 on a stapler when others were available for $3 and I already owned a bunch of them. But this green one caught my eye and I bought it...and I LOVE it.  Stapling is one of those things that you never give any thought to until you have a bad stapler.  And then the simple act is a big pain.  So please, if you don't have a great stapler yet go buy yourself one.

2-My Paperweight from George Washington University
 I had the pleasure and privilege of being guest lecturer/trainer for a graduate class at the George Washington University Graduate Program for Tourism and Hospitality Students and along with a very nice thank you note I received a beautiful etched paperweight.  Those two hours were huge for me for many reasons but the biggest being the fact that I never got a Masters Degree myself.  It was fun to have the students eager to hear about MY knowledge (and honestly, we all need a chance to pontificate on occasion) and to feel like I had something valuable to offer to them.  If you don't have something on your desk, some token that reminds you that you do know what the heck you're doing and are even brilliant at it when the stars align, I'd highly recommend you put something there.

3-Pen Holder with Multiple Pens
I'm not really sure what happens to all of the pens I own but they seem to plot with the socks to disappear without a trace. I never seem to end the day writing with the same pen I was using at the beginning. I do find them sometimes upstairs by the refrigerator, by the front door, in the bathroom, etc where I evidently carry them without realizing I'm still clutching them until I need that hand for something else.  Having at least 10 readily available to me at all times is one less tiny frustration for me to deal with daily and one less, is well, one less...we all know drops make oceans.

4-Speaker Button
Only my husband, children and co-workers have conversations with me via speaker phone.  For everyone else the sound is so-so, the cat meows, the pens roll off of the desk (see #3) and a plethora of other background noises pop-up.  But most of all, the speaker button allows me to be placed on hold by my vendors, the bank, the electric company, the internet company, the IRS and any number of other people with wait times in excess of my wrist-contorting or head-tilting limits while still working! Somehow the music seems less irritating and the wait flies by when I'm doing other things.  If your office phone does not have speaker capabilities you don't know what you're missing.

5-My Queen Statue

My sister gave this to me and she found it far funnier than I did at the time. Now I think it is a riot because she was right: every business person, especially a salesperson-business person, longs to be validated by their clients and their work.  When I'm working on a proposal and I'm starting to stress, I look at her and I remember that I don't need to be so desperate.  I have a really valuable service and my company provides it well. If I'm on the phone with a media person and I'm getting the feeling that they just don't think my press release is nearly as earth shattering as I do instead of talking faster/louder/harder, I just look at my little friend and remember that she isn't the visual I want to give the person on the other end of the line.  Make sure that you keep something handy that reminds you  that you and your business have value and remember that not everyone will love you or what you're offering.  But at your practical and cozy desk in your office, you're the queen!


Kathryn said...

Great list, I have to say I love your Queen statue. I need one for my desk so my family will bow down to me. Great job on day 2!!!


julie said...

I knew you would come to love and appreciate her too!

Green Monkey said...

welcome to the blogdom! here you are queen!

enjoyed the list and good luck on your quest!

long live the queen!

Mica's Truth said...

I really like the statue. I think my favorite thing on my desk is my laptop. :)


Melissa said...

LOL! I can totally relate to the pens disappearing like socks...maybe it is because my 2 year likes to "hide" things, but for some reason I can never keep a pen on my desk for long! Congrats on day 2!

Belle Jaeger said...

welcome to the world of blogging and for your first attempt at blogging...kudos!

Anonymous said...

it is SO TRUE about the staplers! as a writing major in college, i actually carried around my own stapler for stories and print-outs. i just hated using the lousey ones at the computer labs... sure, i looked nuts and my bag weighed a ton, but it was way worth it.

Serenity said...

Love this list and the blog! Linked and loved, definitely!

Angelia Sims said...

Ah! That Queen rocks! You should put a hot pink boa around her neck for those special occasions. HA.

Great list, it makes me think I am missing a lot of things on my desk. I don't even have a stapler! :-D

When Pigs Fly said...

Loved your comment on Blog Frog this morning from my Day 3 discussion. Keep writing. You are hilarious. The comment about the pens conspiring with the socks made me laugh.