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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.