As a Lab Manager, you have to carry quite a bit around and it just isn’t feasible to carry it in your pocket. It’s uncomfortable, and constantly having to search for one thing and return it is a guarantee that you will misplace something.
The solution is one of those belt-pouches runners and bikers wear. I’ve had mine for four months now, and simplifies everything. Instead of having to ask whether I’ve remembered all the bits and pieces I need to do my job, I only need to remember to stock in in the morning, to clip it on when I get up from my desk, and to unpack it in the evening.
Well stocked lab manager’s belt pouch
One of the best items I’ve ever found. Small enough to fit in a breast pocket, it takes over the task of remembering the hundred details a lab manager needs to remember in a day. Whenever I think, “Oh I must really remember to do that”, I note it down there and then, even if I’m in the middle of a corridor. Then I can forget it, because I always check the thing when I next sit down at my desk or otherwise pause.
Cash and card wallet.
Usually a bad idea to separate personal matters – such as paying for lunch – from your work matters, while at work, because then you need to retrieve all your money before you can go to lunch, and then have to retrieve your equipment before you can get back to it
This is a bit more a matter of presence and location. I need to use a headset because in Singapore sweat will quickly corrode your phone. Use it if you need it.
Falcon tube for coins
Finally, a solution for how to keep loose coins. Wallets get too bulky too quickly, and they are easily destroyed by too many coins. A falcon tube is sturdy as heck and lets coins be easily stacked.
Spare phone & Duty Phone
Having a special cellphone designated for lab matters makes handing over things to a substitute when you are on holiday so much easier. Old fashioned, cheap cell phones have a far longer battery life, and are an excellent back up system.
Rule of sod: whenever you really need a pen, the one that you’ve brought will break. So have one backup. I like to have a third, red pen, for important, need to be done NOW items
In this business expect to spend a lot of time on the phone, chasing orders, services etc. This is probably your number 1 used tool.