Morning Journal Entry from Remote Office aka Coffee Shop

8:45 AM: Approach counter at local café and order a large tea to nurse for the next two hours while working at said café. Barista tells me they are out of my green tea but would I like to drink a spiced tea that tastes like the three way lovechild of potpourri, cayenne pepper, and dish detergent instead of the standard everyone-should-always-have-in-stock green tea. Because I am already at the café and have already plugged in laptop at the table near the one outlet in the whole place, I agree to the stupid tea because buying disgusting tea and drinking it at this café is cheaper than renting office space.

8:53 AM: Sit down at table and discover that the tabletop is wobbly. I Google “Why are café tables always wobbly?” and discover a solution from “Scientific American.” The secret is turning the table. I turn the table on myself and feel slightly sad that there’s no one there who can share in the irony.

9:16 AM: Ear buds wedged in ears with the help of three-day old wax build up listening to ambient coffee house noise on to drown out the sound of actual coffee house noise which tends towards an unreliable cacophony, an acquaintance approaches my table to chat. She places her large mug of cappuccino down on the corner of my wobbly table at which point I discover that Scientific American is not so scientific, and then I question its patriotism as I spend the next 8 minutes cleaning up spilled coffee foam and praying my keyboard still operates. Acquaintance leaves for a manicure. I consider my excoriated cuticles and berate myself for not chewing gum even though I can’t help cracking it constantly when I do and I also tend to chew so hard and fast that the inevitable ache in my jaw reminds me of one of the many reasons I do not care for blowjobs.

9:42 AM: Put coat on after the front door of the café is mysteriously stuck wide open and no one else seems to notice or care. I put my hands around my hot cup of Pepper Detergent Tea and discover that the porcelain mug is colder than my hands. I Google “office space to rent within 5 mile radius,” and then I close the tab when I find the rental fees.

10:09 AM: Friend in Freelance joins me as we have at our keyboards, grateful for the company and motivated to out-tap the other, as opposed to tap the other, which I would do because my Friends in Freelance ooze creative hotness.

remotely working

10:22 AM: Friends of friends arrive. They assume that my Friend in Freelance and I are socializing because all people who wear ear buds, stare at screens, type furiously, and make no eye contact with each other are clearly up for a chat. They approach and initiate conversation. We do our best to politely explain that we are working and they pretend to understand our words. “You mean you just get together and write things?” Yes, we explain. The café is our remote office. “And you don’t talk to each other and you work on different things … together? How adorable!” We stare at them speechless.

10:38 AM: The friends of friends have finally gone, but I am still fuming from the “How adorable” comment, grateful that I did not try to stab anyone in the throat with my pen because I would have probably knocked the table with just enough force that it would have wobbled my Pepper Detergent Tea all over my computer. My Friend in Freelance and I agree that people should simply respect the invisible walls that go up when ear buds are in position.

11:05 AM: I gather my things to go so that I can get some grocery shopping in and grab a bite before the kids get home. I try to feel good about what I was able to accomplish all things considered.


Photo credit: Canadian Business

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