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Where can I buy a thing to signal whether I am busy or not
February 6, 2012 5:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a present for our boss with which he can signal to us whether we can talk to him right now or not.

I'm looking for a present for our boss with which he can signal to us whether we can talk to him right now or not. We thought about something with a red and a green flag but any other ideas are welcome as well. Do you have any recommendations. I couldn't find anything with google but maybe i was using the wrong key words.
posted by jfricke to Shopping (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Years ago when I worked in an open plan office, we just got very small flower pots with a stick pointing out of them about 6 inches or so, and made personalized flags out of construction paper. If you wanted privacy, you put your pot/flag on your desk and people left you alone. When you were free, you put it away and people could stop by and talk. It worked well, and it was fun to see what people put on their flags.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:15 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Our admin made a set magnets that we can stick on our door frames if we want. They cover all sorts of scenarios -- working from home, gone for day, vacation, meetings, lunch, on conference call, etc. One of my co-workers has one with a picture of a shark that says "Fins Up!" that she uses when she doesn't want to be disturbed. Others use one that says "I'm here -- just knock" if they're working on something with their door closed but can be interrupted.
posted by amarynth at 5:22 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Depending on your office and your boss, it might be funny to get him a necktie that he can put on the doorknob.
posted by gauche at 5:32 AM on February 6, 2012


Look for something that's easy to manipulate. If he has to get out of his chair to turn it on and off, it's less likely to happen.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:38 AM on February 6, 2012


Skull and Crossbones flag
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:05 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


What about something like a digital photo frame with a remote, so he can just switch between an "available" image and an "unavailable" image.
posted by bleep at 6:10 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


One of those recording studio lights that say "on air" would work nicely. For example.
posted by smackfu at 6:31 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why not get him this three pack of press-lights, then put coloured light gels in them and line them up on his cubicle wall/monitor. Red means do not disturb, amber means disturb if urgent and green means go!
posted by Happy Dave at 6:41 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Curious and not trying to be a buzzkill, but how is he going to respond to this gift? If this is intended as an indirect (or passive-aggressive) way of telling him he needs to change his communication style, be careful.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:23 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Depending on your office and your boss, it might be funny to get him a necktie that he can put on the doorknob.

Nowadays it's a sock on the doorknob. College students don't own neckties. But yes.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:27 AM on February 6, 2012


May I suggest Shats?

It's not a hat, it's an emotional stoplight!

posted by collectallfour at 7:32 AM on February 6, 2012


In the theme of the Skull & Crossbones flag, as suggested above, you could also go with the Gadsden Flag or the Navy Jack, both of which feature rattlesnakes and the phrase "Don't Tread on Me." Gadsden is the yellow flag with the coiled snake, while the Navy Jack has white and red horizontal stripes and a diagonally-oriented snake.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:11 PM on February 6, 2012


One of my clients a couple of years ago had a stack of three shapes at each desk -- a red cube that was the base, yellow sphere in the middle and green cone that sat on top (I think.) The entire stack was maybe 12 inches high in total, and people would remove the green cone if they were moderately busy, or both the green cone and yellow sphere (displaying only the red cube) if they didn't want to be interrupted. Maybe overkill, but it seemed to work and we watched employees take it into consideration before bothering someone.

I'm having the same Google trouble you were, but such a thing definitely exists.
posted by myohmy at 5:40 PM on February 6, 2012


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