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Dusting Off: Keeping a Spare Shirt in Your Desk at the Office

White Shirt

The following is taken from the current interior monologue of a Kempt contributor:

“Jesus Christ, it’s humid out there. I’ve sweat through my shirt. I look like one of those basketball coaches on the sidelines when he takes off his jacket. Jesus Christ. Why don’t I keep a spare shirt at the office? Smart guys did that back in the day. Don Draper. William Hurt in Broadcast News. Why don’t I do that? Jesus H. Fucking Christ.”

After the jump, an artist’s rendering of our contributor’s current state:»

The Power Trip of the Standing Desk

Donald Rumsfeld

Ah, the siren song of the standing desk. So close, so seemingly healthy…and yet so far.

Adrienne Jeffries tangled with the calf-destroying monster recently, and lived to tell the tale in this morning’s Observer. It’s a familiar story, starting with good intentions, medical statistics and kind words from start-up CEOs. By the end, the kind words have been replaced by back pain and the ridicule of her co-workers.

It’s enough to make you wonder, what leads a person down this path to begin with? And before you say, “well-established health benefits,” we’ve got another possibility we’d like to propose…

The macho allure of the standing desk»

Dusting Off: Taking Dictation


As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off taking dictation.

You spend a lot of time typing.

There are emails, nostalgic blog posts and dozens of other daily tasks, all channeled through your fingertips. After a while, you start to wonder if there's a better way.

Once upon a time, there was. You’d pace purposefully around your desk, orating whatever urgent missive needs to be sent to the head office, while a dutiful assistant typed it all up at speed. When you were done, you could send it off without even looking at it—and at the bottom, you’d stamp the ultimate mark of correspondence-related mastery: “Dictated but not read.” If you’re not familiar, it’s the gray-flannel-suit equivalent of “deal with it.”

But what was awesome once may be awesome again»

Anna Kaminska is Unhappy with Her Sheets

Fell On Black Days: A frighteningly comprehensive guide to tackling the orgy of commerce that is Black Friday. God be with you. [CrunchGear]

British Whimsy: McSweeney’s new London shop is predictably delightful. They sell “monster supplies,” apparently. [Creative Review]

Just Steer Clear of the Copy Machine: Getting drunk at your office party: a great idea, or an awesome idea? [Fast Company]

Blue Moon: Michelle Williams talks a good game. [In Contention]

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We'll see you on Monday.

A Water Cooler Topic


The water cooler is getting pretty tired, even by the standards of office equipment. Of course, we’ve got nothing against water, but maybe it would taste better coming out of something that looked a bit less industrial. Might we suggest…a samovar?

This ceramic job does a pretty good job, mostly because it looks as likely to dispense coffee or tea as water. The bottom bubble holds a staggeringly complex filtration system without giving up any old-school cred. Of course, 19th century style doesn’t come cheap, so this is probably an item for well-heeled offices only. Anybody have some TARP money leftover?

Low Rider


The office chair has been around roughly as long as the office and, give or take an Aeron, surprisingly little has changed. Of course, that’s just what designers are for…

New York’s Design Week just staggered to a close—the curious can check out Core77’s coverage—and this low-riding chair called the Luxos from Okamura caught our eye. All the cushions are right where you remember them, but the whole thing is about a foot lower to the ground, giving you a more reclined approach to the workday.

There’s a matching desk to keep everything in perspective, but so far it’s not quite clear whether it’ll inspire more productivity or just more naptime. Maybe both?

See the Luxos in action»