Category Archives: Work

Things that get me through the work day.

The nature of my job is such that it’s a desk job, but I’m never in the same place for long.  So I don’t get to decorate an office, or even a cube.  Anything I need at a work site has to fit into my computer bag or the printer paper box I snatched out of the recycle pile and have carried around for months.

But there are a few things, mostly office supplies, that I feel lost without.  And because maybe you’re weird like me and like office supplies too, or you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for the accountant or college student or young professional in your life; I figured I’d share some of what those are.

  • Nalgene bottle – hydration is key.  I drink a ton of water and it’s kind of a problem if I forget my water bottle one day.  It’s getting to the point where I have more Nalgene bottles than cabinet space (but they keep coming out with fun colors and designs!)
  • Charcoal taste filter for Nalgene –



    Let’s face it, tap water sometimes sucks.  I can’t be guaranteed that wherever I’m working will have any sort of water filtration system.  Sometimes we luck out and there’s a Pur filter on the break room sink.  Sometimes it’s just rusty tasting water from the fountain by the bathroom.  The one I have is the TapGuard filter which can be found at REI. It’s just a taste filter, so it only works on water that has gone through a treatment already.  Don’t go scooping water out of a stream and using this to drink it.
  • Ticonderoga pencils.  I know it’s old school, but Ticonderoga really does make the best pencils.  The lead doesn’t break easily, the wood isn’t so grainy that your finger gets that weird impression on it from holding it too close to the tip, and most importantly; the eraser works well.  I’m partial to the black ones, but they’re all good.
  • Bose headphones.

    These were a gift from Andrew last Christmas and I’ve used them every single day for almost a year.  When the office is noisy I can use both and block out the noise enough to concentrate.  When it’s quiet, I can just use one and it’s enough that I’m listening without being totally cut off from my coworkers.  They’re comfortable.  More comfortable than any other headphones I’ve ever owned; WAY more comfortable than the ones that came with the iPod. The part that goes in your ear is made of soft but durable silicone that makes them really comfortable, and they don’t fall out.
  • Keyboard and mouse wrist rests.

    Mine are a different pattern, but I think this one is adorable.  I got them from Herbolution (that’ll link you to their Etsy page to purchase this set, the ones I have are the last picture).  The best part? They’re scented.  Mine smell like peppermint, even after more than a year of use.  AND, they’re microwaveable.  So when the office is really cold, or my hands hurt, I can pop ’em in the microwave to warm them up.   These really are one of my favorite things.

None of these people have any idea who I am, so these aren’t sponsored promos or anything like that.  These are just the things around me that I’d be sad without.

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I’m inappropriately jealous.

Where I work, whenever someone has an announcement, like a new baby, or a death in the family, or they’ve passed a certification exam,  it gets sent to everyone via e-mail.  It’s a nice way to keep up with people in our mid-sized office.  We’re small enough that I always recognize the name, but large enough that I can’t always put a face to it.

Last week, an announcement was sent out that someone’s mother had been killed in a car accident.  Today more details are known about funeral arrangements and all that and the info was passed along.  This is going to sound horrible.  But, I’m jealous.  I’m not jealous of the woman who died, no, not at all.  It’s not like that.  I’m jealous of the daughter (the one who works in our office and who is twice my age).  I told you this was going to sound horrible.  Her mother was 81 years old.  81, that’s older than my grandparents.  What a life that woman must have led.  The mother lived through so much, born in 1930.  How many memories she must have of her mother.  How great it must have been to see her mother as a grandmother.

You, internet, have no way of knowing this because I haven’t told you yet.  My mother was killed last year in a traffic accident.  I don’t say “car accident” because although it involved a car, and a reckless teenage driver, my mother was driving her motorcycle.  I don’t say “motorcycle accident” because then people assume it’s the fault of the motorcyclist.  Even if my mother had been in her truck, she probably would have been killed.  I don’t say “died” because “was killed” is more accurate, it’s more shocking, but more accurate.  It feels (still feels) shocking, so why shouldn’t it sound that way.  My mother was 49.

I’m jealous that this woman who works in the same office as me got to spend so much time with her mother.  I have absolutely no idea what their relationship was like.  So in my mind it’s the same kind of relationship I had with my mother, they must have been best friends.  I’m jealous of the 30+ years my co-worker had with her mom, that I’m never going to have.

How crazy is that?  When I hear news that someone’s mother dies what kind of crazy am I that my reaction is jealousy?  Grief is a strange companion.  So, I’m inappropriately jealous today.  I’m sad for my co-worker’s unexpected loss.  I know I should send a card.  But I can’t bring myself to do it.  I can’t find comforting words that aren’t a little snide.  So I just won’t send a card, or an e-mail, or anything.  I’ll just be inappropriately jealous.

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