So I'm Giving My Boss Zip-Ties for his Birthday...
February 20, 2009 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Boss's Birthday meets Traveling Work Bag Essentials Filter: I need to give my boss something more than just a handful of

Here's the deal, my boss's birthday is coming up and he hates it. Primarily because he can't stand useless gifts & cards. He is always appreciative of them, but secretly loathes their non-functional place in this world. This only hints at the underlying inferno of efficiency that consumes this man's life. He is almost certainly the living embodiment of productivity. He also travels constantly and anything that can't fit into his work bag is dead to him.

On the rare occasions that he has enough free time to chat we've spoken about our mutual tendency to carry everything we could ever need in our work bags. Electrical chargers, ear phones, kleenex, cough drops, bus schedules, etc., etc. Today I brought up the fact that I keep half-a-dozen zip ties of varying lengths/sizes in my bag since they take up almost no space and can come in super handy in a pinch. I could tell he made a mental note to pick some up and that's when I had my idea for a birthday gift -- things he can add to his work/travel bag. Obviously I need something more than zip ties though.

Lifehacker had some great articles on "go bags," but what I need are things streamlined for air travel. Also, he is all about function over form so pricey travel gadgets from SkyMall are out.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

Some more background on my boss:

*He used to participate in half-iron man competitions
*He is the epitome of "all business, all the time"
*He often gets labeled as a jackass since he doesn't have time for bullshit and is more apt to bypass all social niceties and cut straight to the point
*We're on great terms, but he scares the ever living crap out of me
posted by Smarson to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
These reusable cable ties?
posted by crush-onastick at 10:36 AM on February 20, 2009

If he hates his birthday and the useless rigmarole of it, why bother giving him anything at all? If you just want to be of aid, then get him the zip ties if you see them and put them on his desk at a non-birthday time. Other than that, when you see him just wish him a happy birthday.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 10:37 AM on February 20, 2009

If he doesn't have one, get him an LED flashlight that take's AAA batteries. Fenix has some nice ones that aren't too expensive.

Every Day Carry Forums is dedicated to stuff like this (well this and weapons).

Or maybe a paracord lanyard. (look on mefi).
posted by jefftang at 10:46 AM on February 20, 2009

Response by poster: crush-onastick: Awesome, just what I was looking for.

wocka: Thought about that. Unfortunately everyone else gets him a gift since he's uber important and while your suggestion solves the "get him something he'll appreciate" issue, there's also the "don't look like the guy who didn't your boss anything" issue. It's somewhat shallow I know to be that concerned with everyone else's perceptions of me, but welcome to my office.
posted by Smarson at 10:47 AM on February 20, 2009

Earplugs. They're useful for reducing engine and screaming kid noise on planes, and for deadening other noise while you're trying to sleep in hotels. They're small enough to not take up too much room in an already stuffed bag. You can get some that come with a little plastic travel case, too.
posted by Lycaste at 11:37 AM on February 20, 2009

This and this came to mind. You might get some ideas poking around in the archives of the Cool Tools site as well.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:43 AM on February 20, 2009

Best answer: Here is the page for general tools at Cool Tools.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:47 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Go for a USB stick...even if he has a dozen.

I'd go for one with personality at:
posted by anelsewhere at 3:33 PM on February 20, 2009

For things more travel-related: Flight 001 has cool/hip/modern travel gear.

Some that look useful:
dental kit
pill towels
posted by hazel at 5:51 PM on February 20, 2009

Wallet pen. Four-way screwdriver. Pocket scriber.

I use these things at least once a week.
posted by ostranenie at 6:26 PM on February 20, 2009

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