Emergency office supplies

Keeping emergency supplies at work can help save time and money because you don’t need to go out and buy something more expensive (see: a meal out) and unplanned right when you need time most.  It can also improve your productivity by decreasing discomfort.
#1 and #2 discuss further.
#1: It rained really hard and I got soaked.  The sandals will dry eventually; meanwhile, I’m barefoot in my office
#2:  I have emergency back-up shoes here
#1:  I wish I had socks, but oh well.  I’ll just sit on my feet
#2: :  hm, I seem to have taken my emergency backup cardigan home to get washed
#1:  I have an emergency backup umbrella in my office, which enabled me to give my regular one to a colleague who was heading to class unprotected.  I have a blazer that lives on my office chair in case of chills. I also have tampons, floss, mirror, ibuprofen, etc.

#2:  let’s not forget emergency chocolate!
#1:  almost out of that!  Still good on emergency nuts though
#2:  mmmmmnuts
What contingency supplies do you have in your office?
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27 Responses to “Emergency office supplies”

  1. Miser Mom Says:

    food, screwdriver and wd40

  2. The frugal ecologist Says:

    I also have cardigan, umbrella, screwdriver & food. & I do actually have an extra pair of socks. Also Advil, bandaids, toothbrush & lipstick. I like to be prepared!

  3. bogart Says:

    What others have listed. Plus my office building has a shower and I have the toiletries I would need to shower here (and a towel: Marvin would be pleased! Oh, wait, is Marvin ever pleased?). Also: spare soy sauce packets (and wasabi!) in case I forget to grab some when I buy to-go sushi. A spare copy of the POA I hold on behalf of my elderly and incompetent dad in case I have to fax it to someone.

    I have recently added a few herb plants to my office collection so that I can season my lunch with them. We’ll see how this works (whether they survive). If they do, I can offer to season whiskey juleps should anyone upthread decide to make a batch.

    Great Monday morning topic. Thanks!

  4. plantingourpennies Says:

    In addition to most of that already mentioned – bra, undies, tampons, salt, pepper, pb2, soup, noodles, an entire business cas outfit, scarf (offices get cold!), bike helmet, baby wipes… In pretty sure I could live in my office for days and stay nourished, mostly washed, and even have a couple changes of clothes.

  5. Chelsea Says:

    Lots of snacks, toiletries, make-up, shoes, socks, a sweater, a jacket, soft drinks, baby wipes, gum, a cheapo hair dryer (in case I get wet).

  6. Ana Says:

    I clearly need to work on this. I’m in the small time…I have a cardigan, a pair of work-appropriate shoes (in case I wear in flip flops and forget to bring a change), pain-killers, cough drops, plastic utensils, salt & pepper, tea bags, deodorant, Tums (left over from pregnancy days), gum, oh and I finally re-stocked the chocolate.
    I like the idea of: umbrella, an outfit (there was an unfortunate day of cream slacks and a car driving through a puddle…), snack foods (nuts)

  7. Contingent Cassandra Says:

    Socks, underwear, and umbrella in backpack; sweater, nuts, chocolate, ibuprofen, and fingerless gloves in office (can you tell that office heating is unreliable?). This post is making me think again of adding an emergency outfit (probably a rollable knit dress) and shoes to office supplies.

  8. Chris Says:

    I don’t even know where to start. I have a wide variety of snacks and plates/cups/utensils. Feminine hygiene products, a decent medicine chest (including a variety of analgesics and vitamins and allergy and cough remedies), personal care items (lotion, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, towel for emergency shower), a few clothes (running clothes with shoes and socks, sweater, lab coat, regalia), backup documentation (copies of passports, will, credit cards, etc.). What else? I’m also thinking about a backup outfit and work appropriate shoes (although in my department, no one would bat an eye at the running clothes as long as I wasn’t teaching that day). My favorite thing lately is that our new building has a nice kitchen with a large fridge/freezer. I have a little fridge in my office, but love having a big freezer to keep frozen lunches, breakfast options and tiny ice cream cones on hand!

  9. Debbie M Says:

    Ibuprofen, tampons, a pocket knife, and earplugs come with me everywhere. I also used to keep cranberry pills (for urinary tract infections) and diarhea medicine in my drawer. Not to mention a sweater and fingerless gloves.

    By the end I was wearing sneakers to work (in black leather, to let me pretend they looked professional), but if you don’t, it’s good to have some comfy shoes in case of a 9/11-type situation.

    I could not keep too many snacks in the office because I would just eat all of them. Better to bring the healthy foods I was often not really in the mood to eat–if it’s the only thing I have, then that’s what I’ll eat. Unless it’s too healthy–then I’ll eat out. It’s a balance.

  10. kellen Says:

    I just sit next to someone who has all these things in her desk drawer :)
    Well, I should probably add some emergency snacks to my supply. I used to way overdo it and then had to throw out stuff that would get stale.
    I have: hairbrush, can of soup, jacket (since most of the client meetings I have been to, the partner invited me only 30 seconds prior to the meeting beginning. Oh and chocolate. Gotta have the chocolate stash. Luckily my neighboring office mates have full make up stores ready in their drawers, for when I needed emergency back up make up one day.

  11. gwinne Says:

    Cardigan. Migraine meds. Chocolate. Kind bars. Umbrella. Tampons.

    I found some leftover estrogen and progesterone pills from early pregnancy a few days ago while looking for tylenol. That was a trip.

  12. rented life Says:

    sweater, advil, plastic wear, tea and honey (for when I lose my voice), snacks and a couple bucks in case I want to get something different at the bookstore.

  13. Leigh Says:

    I keep Alleve, an umbrella, some liners, a pen, a small notebook, and a foldable grocery bag in my commuting bag. You never know when you want groceries or when it will rain or you’ll want a pen!

    When I walk to work, I wear either comfortable sandals or running shoes and socks, so I also keep a pair of flats at my desk.

    I also keep chocolate on my desk at work. And a Camelbak water bottle because cups are way too easy to spill. I used to keep spare keyboards on my desk too because you never knew when your keyboard would break! (see water easily spilling)

    If I’m not wearing a scarf to commute, I will keep one at work. I find them better for keeping warm in the office than a sweater because they don’t make my armpits sweat like a sweater can.

    And then in the fridge at work, I keep bread, ham, cheese, yogurts, and apples. The cafeteria is always sold out of apples and bananas, which drives me crazy.

    Oh and chapstick. I cannot live without easily reachable chapstick.

  14. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I used to have an awesome stash of supplies in my old job. Now not so much. I have oatmeal. And tea. My workout gloves are here but nothing else because I used my emergency workout outfit and forgot to bring it back. I have a backup pair of shoes. And rain boots. There is a blazer I inherited with my office that is corduroy and giant and I use mostly as a pillow. Tissues. Hand cream. Chocolate. Deodorant. Body splash. Oh apparently my workout sneakers, a sports bra, and socks are here.

  15. Linda Says:

    I used to keep spare shoes and snacks in my office, but was switched to full-time hoteling and had to downsize to a single drawer in a central file room. I still keep my emergency shawl in there: an enormous mohair shawl I knit many years ago that is super warm. The new floor seems to be warmer than the old one, though, so I haven’t had to use the shawl in a while. I made up a little “grab bag” in the file drawer. My new routine when I go to the office is to check in, go to the file room and grab my bag, then settle into my office for the day. My “grab bag” has a headset to connect to the phone, some of my preferred pens, sticky notes (they are always disappearing from the supply cabinet), and a coffee mug that I use for water. The office is pretty well stocked with utensils and a self-serve first aid box with bandages, cold medicine, ibuprofen, etc. Hoteling has turned me into a minimalist at the office.


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