10 things every Flack’s desk should have

New Year, new job? If you’re starting a new job, and a lot of Canadian PR interns do at about this time, here’s a check list of ten things you’ll need to bring or start accumulating for your first day.

  1. Lip Balm – in case you miss when biting your tongue
  2. Bountiful supply of writing implements – never go to a meeting without a notebook and pen
  3. Chocolate – if you’re a lady, it’s self explanatory; if you’re a guy it’s time to start sucking up!
  4. Whiskey
  5. Moisturizer – no-one likes looking at claws masquerading as hands. My old colleague, pod-buddy and one of my best friends always slated me for this. I’m not sure how it felt whenever she used it, but I’m sure it was bittersweet
  6. Chewing Gum – no one likes halitosis. If you’re a smoker better get two packs. If you’re a Champagne Charlie, get three. It’ll hide your grinding teeth
  7. Eye Drops – for those late nights/early mornings
  8. A Fork – how come every office I’ve worked in never has a fork when I’ve needed one? If you can find one, hoard it like canned goods in a nuclear holocaust
  9. USB pen – great for taking your portfolio and contacts with you from those high turnover agencies
  10. Squash ball – strengthen those wrists while harassing journalists over the phone. Also perfect for generating authentic heavy breathing on conference calls
  11. Clippings. David Jones says it’s time to move on when your stack of unprocessed clippings reaches the height of your desk
  12. Phone number for a good chiropractor. Your desk will never be the right height and you’ll always get back pain
  13. Post it notes – great for scribbling messages down on, and placing in strategically important vantage points. Also perfect for getting lost amid the metric ton of other notes


7 Responses to 10 things every Flack’s desk should have

  1. C.C. Chapman says:

    What a great list. I personally would add Altoids to the list. Always makes for a good conversation starter when people sit down at your desk.

    And any form of fidget toy. I’m big fan of making paper clip “animals” while on the phone with people.

  2. Doug Hayashi says:

    Holy crap I think I aced the list — (colleague has the whiskey, but I have permission, and is it ok to substitute masseuse for chiropractor?).

    Also to add: reading that is not work-related, because sometimes you need a mental break, and fun reading helps re-focus. Plus, that Leonard Bernstein biography on my desk makes me look smart. I swear I will actually read it someday. Which bridges to another suggestion:

    Conversation pieces. Too many tchotchkes may look tacky (ok I’m guilty), but something with some cultural relevance– or mystery– is fun to have. Which logically brings me to…

    Music. Gotta have music, even if etiquette commands you to wear headphones. personal CD/MP3 collection is fine, plus augment by listening to colleague’s iTunes playlists over the network, and of course, Accident Hash (let’s see if CC just comments and forgets about you, or if he comes back to read on).

    And CC, I prefer Altoids for the car. Come to the office already with fresh breath, and have them at the ready if you dipped into the whiskey before heading home.

  3. Did you catch the Liverpool Arsenal score over the weekend Ed? I haven’t had a chance yet, please do let me know.

  4. Doug Haslam says:

    I have no idea why I left my Second Life avatar name in my previous comment– that’s a bit of a scary habit

  5. Ed Lee says:

    I was a little curious on what was going on there!

  6. Jackie says:

    I have everything, but #9 — which is brilliant. Need to get one of those for sure.

  7. […] of feeling like puking). Fortunately, I came across this great list (gawd knows i love lists) of  10 Things every Flack’s desk should have, by Ed Lee. I substituted #10 on Ed Lee’s list for Bailey’s. I can hide it better in my […]

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