The Coffee Shop Office

One Man’s Cuppa is Another Man’s Grind

I think of all the people who got to work from home during the course of the past year and a half and I get to wondering about those people who officed (yep, turning a noun into a verb) in public places. What happened to all those people who didn’t have an office space to work from to begin with and used coffee shops as their offices? Where did they work during the lockdowns and quarantines?

“Sales Pitch”

I won’t even try to estimate how many times I’ve gone to a local coffee shop for a cuppa and heard or saw somebody using the shop as an office. I’ve overheard and spied many a pitch, deal, hustle, and multi level marketing scheme at work while I drank overpriced, not so good coffee and read Walker Percy (or Lovecraft, or Parker, or O’Connor, or some other writer).

Many people are grumbling about going back to the office for work while others never left. Let’s take a moment to think about those who don’t have a set workplace, who don’t work from home, and who grind away at work where most of us go to relax.

-K-

Some Thoughts on Borrowing

and What We Pay Back

What do we borrow? Money will come to mind for most of us. If we haven’t borrowed money directly we’ve borrowed it in the form of car notes, mortgages, student loans, and other various lines of credit. But we borrow so much more throughout our lives than just money. We borrow time, favors, circumstances, and so many other things both tangible and intangible. We’re a society of borrowers, but what do we pay back?

“Sign Repair”

We pay interest on the money we borrow but what about the intangibles? What do we pay back on borrowed time or a friend’s good name? We’ve all borrowed. What do pay for that privilege?

-K-

The Return of Coffee Shop Hours

or Drinking Subpar Coffee on Fridays

Most of us have routines and rituals. One of mine is to spend an hour or so every Friday after work at the local bookstore’s café with a book and a cup of coffee. I’ve been going back there for last few Fridays now that the café is open to full capacity. Now that I’ve fallen back into that welcome routine I’ve discovered two things.

“Early Afternoon Thoughts”

The first thing I discovered is that a few moments alone (even in a crowded café) to decompress with a good book before heading home is invaluable. That hour or so allows me to leave work worries at one place before heading to the next. The second is that the coffee at the café sucks. They offer a passable brew, but a year of lockdowns had me experimenting with a variety of excellent brews and now I recognize that the coffee at several places I frequent is not good (and that’s a polite assessment). I don’t plan on changing my Friday routine (I value my coffee shops hours too much) but I’m wondering if I should try to sneak in my own coffee (hip flask in the movie theater style) and just leave a bigger tip.

-K-

A Final Thought on Getting By

Are You Better Today?

It’s odd that my final thought on getting by is at the tail end of a busy couple weeks spent struggling to get by (insert cliché line about life imitating art). I think many of us have, are, or will spend portions of our lives feeling like we are just getting by. When we find ourselves in that state of getting by, when we are struggling, and when we feel like we are on the hook that’s when it’s time to do some extra work.

“On the Hook”

We need to work beyond simply getting by. This is my final thought, when you feel like you are struggling to get by ask yourself if you are better today than you were yesterday. If you can answer yes to that question then you’ve moved beyond getting by and are on your way to getting ahead.

-K-

Perception, Perspective, and Preoccupation

What is Getting By?

It’s not a question without an answer as it is more a question with too many answers. Our perceptions, perspectives, and preoccupations with getting by are as wide and varied as the number of people who will tell you they are getting by.

“Taking Out the Trash”

What one perceives as getting by is perceived as getting ahead to another. Another’s perspective of getting by isn’t our perspective of getting by. While some are preoccupied with getting by others don’t give getting by much thought.

With so many answers to the same question concerning getting by the best we can do is not be too quick to judge people when they share their struggle of getting by.

-K-

Getting By: The Mix Tape

1. “House Rent Boogie”—John Lee Hooker

2. “Fast Car”—Tracy Chapman

4. “Another Day in Paradise”—Phil Collins

3. “Marie”—Townes Van Zandt

5. “Sittin’ on a Poor Man’s Throne”—Bobby “Blue” Bland

“Couple at Jukebox”

6. “King of the Road”—Roger Miller

7. “Broken Down”—Eric Clapton

8. “Times Gettin’ Tougher Than Tough”—Them

9. “Hard Time Losin’ Man”—Jim Croce

10. “Hard Time”—Gillian Welch

-K-

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