As hundreds of new lawyers, MBAs, and other professionals head to work for the start of their jobs, we thought we’d round up some supplies that everyone needs in their office. In future editions we’ll tackle office supplies and gadgetry, but for now, here’s what you should pick up on your next trip to Drugstore.com.
1. New-Skin. Yes, it’s an electronic world, but there are still far more papers to deal with than you’d think — which means papercuts abound — which means every open wound increases your chances of getting sick. Our preferred method of dealing with papercuts is to apply a liquid bandage like New-Skin. It dries quickly, stays on all day, even after you’ve washed your hands, and it doesn’t leave that gummy residue on your nails and fingers. We recommend New-Skin Antiseptic Liquid Bandage, available at Drugstore.com (as is everything listed in this article) for $6.19.
2. Purell. This is another great way to ward off colds — and it’s particularly helpful to keep at your desk if you commute to work via public transportation (you can clean your hands the minute you get to the office), or if you shake hands with a lot of people during the course of your job. If you get one with aloe, it won’t dry your hands out as much. Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer with Aloe, Moisturizers & Vitamin E, available at Drugstore.com for $3.51.
3. Thermometer. The higher up the food chain you go, the more you’ll find that a little head cold is not an acceptable reason to stay away from the office if work needs to be done in it. That said, it’s generally poor form to come to work (or stay at work) if you’re contagious. Obviously you’ve got a thermometer at home to know when you’re running a fever — but it can be helpful to have one at the office for those occasional stretches where you’re practically living at the office, or where you suddenly feel lousy in the middle of the afternoon. We’ve always done well with a digital one, like the Vicks Comfort-Flex Thermometer, available at Drugstore.com for $12.99.
4. Preservative-free eye drops. Long hours of staring at the computer = dry eyes. For some women this is a particular problem. Our suggestion: invest in preservative-free drops. If you use the drops only occasionally, then you’ll be happy to open up a new vial of eye drops. If you use them frequently, you’ll be glad you’re not overloading your eyes with preservatives. We recommend TheraTears Lubricant Eye Drops, Single-Use Containers, available at Drugstore.com for $12.79.
5. Visine, Clearasil, and cover-up. Yes, we’re recommending you get both Visine and preservative-free eye drops. This is because several eye doctors have warned us against frequent use of Visine — something to do with the preservatives and the chemicals that take away the redness. But, that said, Visine can be great for those embarrassing times when you’ve got a zit or some other red spot on your face — use a Q-tip (or wrap a tissue around a pencil eraser), soak the cotton with the Visine, and dab it on your red spot. Visine — it gets the red out. We also recommend keeping Clearasil and cover-up on hand. Visine Advanced Redness Reliever Eye Drops, available at Drugstore.com for $7.29.
6. Floss. You probably won’t use this one a lot, but you’ll thank us for that rare time when you do use it — like when you’ve got something in your teeth and have to run to a partner’s or executive’s office. We recommend Glide Dental Floss, Comfort Plus, Mint, available at Drugstore.com for $3.99.
7. Eye-makeup remover. There are a lot of reasons for keeping eye-makeup remover with you in the office. We most commonly use it on those those nights when we’re stuck in the office in front of the computer — maybe it’s just us, but our eyes feel tired, and our mascara just feels gross and heavy after sixteen-plus hours of wear. Another big reason for having eye-makeup remover: occasionally, emotions may screw up your eye-makeup. Whether you’re crying for joy, sorrow, or frustration or anger (and hopefully you’re doing this behind closed doors), your eye makeup may need to be redone entirely in order to “save face” when you stick your head out of your office. We’re fans of Nivea Visage Eye Make Up Remover, available at Drugstore.com for $5.99.
8. Advil. Just give in to the idea that you’ll likely be at the office when you get a lot of headaches/cramps/aches, and invest in an economy-size bottle.
9. Tampons and/or pads.
10. Basic make-up (if you don’t already carry it in your purse). On the rare day that you can get to the gym, or when you walk to work, or when you need to re-do your makeup, you’ll be set.