Now that I have been an executive assistant to a software company president for two years, I have come up with a list of “extras” that I find handy to keep at my desk. These go beyond the standard supplies one usually keeps handy and can make you the hero in a variety of situations. In no particular order:
Breath Mints Staff members appreciate grabbing a peppermint as they head into a meeting with the president. I know I sure do!
Sham Wow! Really! But I’ve been very glad to have this little beauty at my desk to mop up when my boss or I accidentally tip over a beverage or overwater a plant. It’s great and you can wring it out into a trash can and keep using it – without using up paper towels.
Hand-held Carpet Roller We make the president’s office available to the cleaning crew once a month. In the interim, this little, dishwasher safe tool sweeps up all kinds of dirt, pebbles, confetti, and dead bugs without having to haul out the vacuum cleaner or dust buster.
Cough Drops / Day Cold Relief Enough said!
Notary Supplies and Handbook Our executive team finds it very handy to have me available to notarize documents. My supplies and log are kept in a locked drawer of my desk, ready at a moment’s notice.
Notecards I keep a supply of Thank You, Congratulations, and Condolence cards nearby since our president and chairman frequently like to mail personal notes.
Dental Floss It’s not so good to have an exec head into a meeting with a bit of something stuck between the front two teeth! Very distracting.
Sewing Kit Make sure it has several needles, lots of color spools, and some safety pins for the really quick repairs that are needed.
Extra Pens / Refills If your exec has a preferred type of ink pen, keep a supply of them (or refills) in your desk that only you can get to. Then, as you peruse the exec’s office for tidiness, you can resupply the pens a needed with no worry about those particular items being missing from the supply closet.
Tool Kit With a hammer, screw drivers, pliers, utility knife, and measuring tape. I found a set from Orvis years ago that was flowered and included a pair of scissors. I have them close by when they’re needed, yet if they get borrowed they are always returned!
Hand Cream / Moisturizing Lotion The office gets dry and the building maintenance team does not always supply bathroom with this.
Blanks Hanging folders, binder dividers, and manila folders. Ready Johnny-on-the-Spot when you have to do some organizing for your exec.
I’d love to hear what other invaluable extras you keep at your desk!
Lisa Geyer has worked for basys, inc., for 11 years (9 as the office administrator and the last two as the executive assistant). basys (yes, always lowercase “b”) is a benefits administration software company with expertise in providing solutions for labor unions. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and is an avid needlepointer. Lisa also owns a red miniature poodle, a rascal named Neo.