Mommies, memos and markers

Okay, I’m not suggesting you should bring your mom to The Coffice with you – unless of course she’s buying. I’ll get to the mommies part soon. What I am suggesting is that in any office-like environment, stuff happens – and sometimes that stuff makes your Coffice experience less than ideal. For example, it can get noisy; the wifi can be pretty temperamental; or you may only have a printed copy of that client document.

Whatever the potential pitfall, as a Cofficer it’s very important to be prepared. These three items are usually at the top of my list in anticipating when stuff beyond my control happens.

Let’s face it – you’re not working in a “real” office – you don’t have four walls and a door (by choice for most of us!). And whether you can tolerate it or not, other people will make noise at your Coffice. In my preferred location, it’s usually the moms coming in throughout the day with their kids. It can get pretty loud sometimes. I’ve learned to block much of it out – it’s white noise to me now – but once in a while there’s that one person whose voice cuts through like soft butter – soft sour butter.

So instead of leaving or giving the cut-eye, I’ll put in some earbuds and play some music. Earphones/earbuds should be a crucial component in your Coffice toolbag. Not only do they provide private amusement in the form of music (or videos or podcasts), they also block out other sounds – like spontaneous crying, allergy season coughing and nose blowing, and conversations too tempting not to eavesdrop on. Even more important, earphones are your proverbial “Do not disturb!” sign. Put them on, even if they don’t play anything, keep your head down, and most people will get the hint.

It’s so convenient! They’re right there on the condiments bar. But know this: taking notes on a pile of Coffice napkins is pretty counterproductive and could be viewed as unprofessional by clients, not to mention wasteful.

While we’ve all heard stories about some great business ideas and inventions that were conceived on a napkin or a bar coaster, it’s possible you’re reading this blog because you’re not a one time visitor to a coffee shop (or maybe you are and god bless you!). Trying to fit those napkins into a binder or folder will end up pretty messy, thrown out or lost, if you don’t mistakenly use them to clean up an unexpected coffee spill creeping too close to your laptop.

If a client calls suddenly and you haven’t booted up your laptop yet, paper is great to have as backup. So, bring a notebook, or loose leaf. Invest in a fancy Moleskine notebook, or a less expensive replica. Having an old fashioned iPad in your Coffice bag is about being prepared and being organized – or looking that way. And if the Coffice runs out of napkins, at least you have some paper to soak up that coffee spill.

What if, in speaking to that same client, your laptop isn’t booted up yet, but you have a pad of paper…but no pen? Ouch.

Standing in line at the coffee bar, with rushed, caffeine deprived customers at your back, and asking to borrow the barrista’s grease pencil could get you banned from that Coffice branch pretty quickly and, quite possibly, seriously injured. Simply put, bring your own extensive set of writing implements or prepare to reflect regrettably on the lesson you’ll no doubt have learned when you have to find a new regular Coffice location.

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