Marcy Carriker Smothers
Marcy Smothers

Today’s Office

It’s funny, maybe not so funny, how much I can find to do instead of working – like writing this blog. The vagaries of a home office for starters: The cloth napkins that need to be ironed (not really but I use them every night), memorizing Uptown Funk for karaoke night, rearranging the pleasure books I never make enough time to read.

And the big decisions for the day: What PJs? With a bra or let the Girls go free?

If I’m comfy, am I ready to begin? Work? Write?

The alternative is to go to a public place, somewhere with few distractions, somewhere I feel oddly accountable with strangers around me.
Enter the Stranger. Not really a stranger it turns out – Christina. She remembers me as Nancy, not too far from Marcy. We have mutual friends and soon the conversation turns to why we both come to hipster coffee shops to be productive.

Christina works for a non-profit. I’m writing a book for Disney. We both have home offices that we avoid.

Soon we’re discussing how hard it is to get started. So we drink our coffee more slowly, so we don’t have to get started.

The Fit Guy at the next table (it wasn’t just his physique that told me he was fit, but also the monster watch on his wrist that has GPS and all that macho tech information serious athletes need) interrupts, apologetically, and says that he overheard us and would like to add something: He has a home office and he wears a suit for conference calls. No one will see him, but dressing the part makes him feel business-y. We all nod our heads in agreement.

Our threesome is covering a lot of ground now. No one is working, but we talk a lot about how we work, when we are working, usually never at home. And now, not at the coffee shop.

The irony is not lost on us. We all look awkwardly at our devices. I hear a click or two from Christina’s keyboard. Inspired, I tap out a sentence, then another, and suddenly I am writing.

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