We Cofficers are just like Batman, the Wizard of Oz and my Mom

Note: This is part one of a multi-part blog series for The Coffice…

I know. It’s been killing you since I created a shadow of mystique about you Cofficers. “Batman, the Wizard of Oz and his mom?!” you ask? Where’s the so-called similarity?

It really has nothing to do with vigilantism in a fictitious city wrought with civil corruption, giving trinkets to three oddly dressed male companions who clearly need some time perusing the newly launched Soapbox Therapy website (<- ask Brooke!), or the feeling of pride when you see what “a smart, handsome man” I’ve turned out to be (<- Gosh, thanks mom – no bearing really, it’s just nice to have other people hear you think so).

Here’s how I’ve broken down this Cofficer character development:

Cofficers are like Batman because regardless of which Coffice we choose to be in, like the Caped Crusader in a street brawl against 15 Joker henchmen, we are always prepared. Our utility belts have everything we need for just about every situation. And if we don’t, by golly, we’ll make sure to invent it for the next brawl!

Cofficers are like the all-powerful Wizard of Oz NOT because we hide behind a sheet pretending to be something much, much larger and scarier. Oh no. We Cofficers are like the Wizard of Oz because no matter which Emerald City we choose to work from and no matter who rings that doorbell, we will always have a heart, a diploma and a ticking clock in our bags for practically any situation!

Cofficers are like my Mom because we’re the best. AND because we have the experience and knowledge to know that with four kids, we have to keep purses stocked with tissues, hand sanitizers, sugar-free gum and plenty of change for the candy machines at the supermarket!

If you haven’t caught on yet – I’m sure you have because Cofficers are smart!

– what I’m trying to tell you is being prepared to work in a Coffice is one of the primary necessities of being a Cofficer. If preparedness was something we could hold, it would probably be tucked away safely in our laptop bags!

If you’re new to the world of The Coffice, you should know that working from one isn’t like arriving at your workstation or corner office downtown (even if your newfound regular spot is located in a corner). You have to be prepared every single time you head out – ideally the day before – so you don’t get caught without a vital tool of your trade…whatever that might be.

So here is the first list of items I think everyone should have with them before going to The Coffice.

Sturdy bag
I prefer a backpack. If I have to walk to the Coffice from a faraway parking spot, or if I decide to walk from home on a sunny day, my heavy backpack sits on both shoulders to distribute the load evenly, thereby avoiding a crawl to the chiropractor the next day. For those of you who don’t drive to the Coffice, a good backpack might save your back down the road.

If you are a laptop using Cofficer, find a bag with a padded separate compartment to keep your laptop safe. I prefer mine to be snug to keep it from bumping around too much in transit.

For now, I carry a Mancini backpack. It has plenty of pockets, keeps my laptop safe and the straps are made partly from an elastic material that provides some give. So far they’re still stitched on. But I’m fickle and almost always shop around for the as of yet to be invented ultimate laptop backpack.

Some of you traditionalist Cofficers may prefer to travel with a Moleskine and fancy pen. I say great! The classics will always have a place in my heart. My work needs an Internet connection, so my laptop isn’t an option or a luxury.

Mac or PC – I won’t debate the pros and cons of either (no debate needed when you’re a Mac user!). If, like me, your work requires an Internet connection, in my view, any Coffice worth working in will have some sort of wifi connection – the better ones provide it for free and with no usage limitations. This is one of the advantages of working at a Coffice. It doesn’t matter how you’re required to connect, if it’s free wifi, it’s a good Coffice. This is why, for me, bringing a laptop to The Coffice is so important.

Can you imagine if, in the midst of scribbling in your Moleskine with your fancy pen, you lean over and ask to borrow your co-Cofficer’s laptop? Even a few seconds might be seen as invasive – like asking to take a sip of their coffee or a bite from their muffin. Bring your own, I say! (Be Batman!)

Do yourselves and your co-Cofficers a solid and remember to bring everything your laptop needs to run properly, as well as the add-on hardware to make your Coffice experience, and the experience of everyone else, that much more pleasurable: power cords, external hard drives where all your files are backed up, chargers, backup battery power where needed, connection wires for peripherals like a smartphone, an MP3 player with headphones or other ear-gear that are comfy enough for a full day at the Coffice (<-more on ear-gear in a future post).

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