The struggle is real…I am a failing graphic designer who uses Starbucks for office space. Here are 10 things I’ve learned about working in public places.
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1) The executive polyurethane-foam “office” couch is always taken. Always. There’s a hard plywood chair over there in the back. That’s your work desk.
2) When taking a washroom break, you may notice that the toilet lid is occasionally down. This is for a reason. Someone is embarrassed by what they’ve done and has concealed it. Cats do the same thing. Just lift the lid slowly with your foot and brace yourself. Be sure to leave the lid down for the next person when you’re finished.
3) Some public toilets do not have lids. If this happens, I honestly don’t know what to tell you. I’m sorry you had to see that. Try finding a new “office” that uses toilet lids. That’s what I did.
4) On your way out, when you touch the washroom handle you may discover that it is wet. As gross as that is, it is a good thing. It means the person before you washed their hands. That is what you should tell yourself.
5) If you report to the “office” every morning, you will be considered a regular by the staff. You have about six months to a year to enjoy this lofty status. After that you will be considered kind of creepy, especially if you work late and are prone to angry outbursts at your computer.
6) You *WILL* eventually have unexpected company from someone who is in fact creepy. Avoid eye contact and you should be fine.
7) Do NOT dress for success. Do NOT trust in the power of positive thinking. Trust me. I’ve tried it, and I am positively certain that I looked like a fucking idiot.
8) Eventually, a barista will ask what it is you do for a living. This is a fair question, but politely ask her what makes her so sure that you are among the living. She will slowly back away, sparing you the embarrassment of admitting that you are on the edge of unemployment. The next day find a new “office” location. Make sure it has proper toilet lids.
9) If your mom phones you while you are at “work,” accept the call. She still believes that you are a top-level executive with polyurethane-foam office furniture. Her illusion will rescue your sense of self-worth. But if she asks to drop by at your “office,” hang up the phone.
10) You are not alone. You will never be alone. Zombies will surround you, and you will develop a misanthropic contempt for society. Just remember that you spend all day staring at a screen too.
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