The Bottom Drawer

While the heroes we admired as boys never sat behind a desk, the modern gentleman is often relegated to one for a several hours a day—if not more. Now that you’ve come to terms with this cold reality, shouldn’t you at least prepare yourself accordingly? There are essential tools in every job, and you have to store them somewhere. 007 had his Aston Martin; Batman had his utility belt; you have your desk drawer.

Load up your office with this AG-approved list of items and you’ll be ready to handle anything from pink slips to promotions.

You absolutely must have…

  • DEODORANT—don’t pretend like you’ve never forgotten to put it on
  • IBUPROFEN—from hangovers to back aches, it’s God’s little miracle pill
  • ONE CLEAN* WHITE SHIRT—penne carbonara + shirt = not good
  • BREATH MINTS & GUM—that pasta isn’t doing your breath any favors, either
  • CELL PHONE CHARGER—duh?
  • TRAVEL UMBRELLA—in case you forgot your coat at home

You probably want to have…

  • MOUTHWASH—enjoy that large black coffee…then clean house
  • COLGATE WISPS—black pepper; spinach; poppy seeds
  • HEADPHONES—cubicle or corner office, nobody wants to hear Deadmau5 all day
  • PEPTO BISMOL/TUMSthis lady swears by the stuff
  • SHOE SHINE SPONGE—keep ’em shined, gentlemen
  • NAIL CLIPPERS—not key like deodorant, but still good in case you forget
  • SHORTS/POLO/FLIP FLOPS—impromptu 5:00 trip to Woodrow’s, anyone?

Hell, you might as well have…

  • CASH, CASH, CASH—good for lunch deliveries, happy hour and March Madness
  • LEATHER CATCH-ALL—keys, loose change, sunglasses, that cash we talked about
  • FLASH DRIVE—any brand will do, unless you’re stealing corporate secrets
  • COLOGNE—when you don’t wear it to work but need it come happy hour
  • PUTTER—add in a sleeve of Titleists and you’ve got conference-call bliss
  • SCOTCH—If you think you’ll get fired, don’t do it. Period. In most offices, however, if you’re working past dinner or just need to have a serious one-on-one with a co-worker, you’re going to need something to drink. And please, do make it scotch. Unless you’re one of those suspiciously handsome guys from the Ketel One commercials, scotch is the only liquor commonly consumed neat. Keep two simple old-fashioned glasses, as well—one would make you an alcoholic; three or more would make you bar.

You may not need every item on this list. Hell, you may not need half. Nevertheless, it’s an office survival kit built for any situation. Take a look at your own work environment and adjust accordingly. Just don’t forget the scotch.

Time to tidy up that desk, get back to work/Angry Birds and start living life better.

*The next time you drop off your dry cleaning, have them tag one of your plain white dress shirts to be folded (not hung) for storage in your desk drawer. The AG has used Westbank Cleaners for years, and they’ll fold for no extra charge.

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~ by An Austin Gentleman on December 9, 2010.

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