Back by popular demand is this year's edition of the Holiday Gift Guide--ideas for gifts you don't want to buy for people who don't want to receive them. Ah, don't you just love the holiday season? And, this year's shopping list is posted appropriately on Cyber Monday--the day that 20% of Americans are expected to be shopping online--many of them from the comfort of their office.
First up is the Blabber Meter. This is a gift that everyone can use. We all have at least one office mate or coworker who just doesn't seem to understand that the workday means that there's work to do. You know, the one who, when he walks the halls, everyone suddenly grabs their phones, shuts their doors, or tries to appear to be deep in thought in the hopes that the conversationalist will bypass their cubicles and they can actually get some work done.
The Blabber Meter purports to help solve the problem of the overly chatty coworker. Next time the blabbermouth stops by "just to say 'hello,'" start the Meter running. The desk clock converts into a meter to track the cost of the time wasted by endless blabber. Lawyers know that every minute matters--this is a great tool to help others see the clock in the same way. $24.99
The second gift on this year's Gift Guide is the ID Blocker. Although it may look like a gag gift, this is an incredibly practical tool. Basically, it's a stamp (that's right, the kind you use with real ink). Instead of shredding documents that contain sensitive information, such as social-security numbers, financial accounts, or other confidential data, you can use this nifty low-tech gadget to "redact" it. Just stamp over the information you want to hide - the stamp contains "thousands of tiny symbols that block out whatever is under them." In this day of oversharing and ever-evading privacy controls, this is a great solution to a problem anyone who uses paper all day faces regularly. $19.99
Third on the list is a particularly snarky gift--my favorite kind. There are 47 different cards in The Daily Mood, each representing a different mood. On the front of the card is a Smiley, which alerts your office mates to your mood that day. On the back of the card, which faces you at your desk, are informative quotes and definitions. The way I see it, communication is key. If you're feeling snarky, your best bet is to let others know about it in advance. With this gift, your coworkers will never again have to guess the answer to the question, "How are you today?" $9.95
Fourth on the list is the I'll Be Back Notepad. There's nothing wrong with keeping your personal life personal. But that doesn't mean that your coworkers don't need to know when you'll be back. Don't keep them guessing--it's annoying. Instead, stick one of these notes on your door or computer monitor to let others know when you'll be available and, of course, that you're sorry you missed them. $4
The fifth gift on the list this year is one near and dear to my heart--the Deluxe Lunchbox. Anyone who knows me knows that I never leave home without food. Ever. I have no qualms with lugging a small Igloo cooler with me to a day-long training session. Of course, this accessory makes me look more like a construction worker than a lawyer, so I'm particularly excited about the idea of legitimate, "grown-up" version of the lunchbox--especially a version that is actually large enough to hold enough food to keep me in a good mood through a long day of seminars. The stacked design is all about functionality--4 small and 1 large containers stack together and prevent food from being tossed around or mixed together on the road. You can even fit a bottle under the strap on the lid of the box. $30
The last gift on this year's list is the To Do Tatoo. I'm a notorious list maker, as many of my readers surely are. One thing I don't do, though, is scribble on my hand--although I've certainly been tempted. With this kit, you get 12 "To Do" forms that you can apply to your hand, or elsewhere, and a skin-safe washable ink gel pen with which to fill in the various items. It's a perfect gift for someone in your office who constantly misses appointments or due dates--or who is always asking to borrow a piece of paper to make a note. $7