There is a coffee shop culture, you might not realise that if you are a grab and go kind of person, but I can assure you that if you are “get a cup and plan to sit and work for a few hours” type person it’s a whole different ball game.
Can you work in a coffee shop all day?
Good question, let’s find out shall we?
7.13am I am at home Googling if the coffee shop I plan to lurk in for two hours has free wifi. E has a GCSE today that is only 90 minutes long and it is not worth me going home as I will need to turn around 40 minutes later and head back, so lurking in a coffee shop is the answer, but I need wifi. The website information is inconclusive
7.40 leave the house with teen and drive to school. All the while I am outwardly making the right noises about her ICT GCSE but inwardly I am wondering what my back up plan is if there is no wifi.
8.10 I arrive in the coffee shop with over sized hand bag, huge A4 Diary, a mouse mat and my laptop. I realise now this is ridiculous and I can’t possibly hold it all.
8.11 Decide that what this scenario needs is me to check on my phone if there are wifi networks available. If there aren’t then I will style out being in this queue by getting a cup of tea to go. Hoorah there are are WiFi networks, I can order a cup of tea in a mug.
8.12 Realise I am out of my depth as the men in high vis jackets in front of me are all on first name terms and being asked if they want “the usual”
Can you use a plug socket in Costa?
8.14 Order my cup of tea to stay in and spot there is a table with a plug socket. Result.
8.15. Inwardly scream as men take their coffees and head towards the table with the socket. Sigh with relief as they head out of the door to what is officially labelled “the outside patio area” but I am sure is known as “smokers corner”.
8.16 Stand waiting for my tea to be made whilst the women behind me order skinny mocha latte cinos with an extra caramel shot and a variety of other drinks that make no sense to me. Realising now that order a pot of tea is a mistake as it really makes me stand out.
8.18 My tea is ready and I can head to the table with the plug socket. I resist the urge to punch the air as I plug in my laptop and open it up. And then come perilously close to knocking the pot of tea off the table. Style it out by pretending I was just moving things around.
8.30 I am liking this, much more exciting than working from home on my own.
8.35 Bloody hell it is SO noisy in here, where are all these people coming from?
Can you leave stuff on a table in Costa when you queue again?
9am I need another cup of tea but there is a queue. If I watch the queue I can time my leap to reorder so I don’t have to stand amongst the “extra caramel shot” brigade and hide my shame at asking for a cup of tea.
9.15 The queue is not going down
9.20 Bloody hell now I need a wee.
9.35 There is no queue but I really need a wee. Sod it. I am getting more tea.
9.45 Realise I really need a wee now and have all my stuff out. There is only one thing for it
10am Overhear the lady on the table next to me with the adorable baby in a car seat say “shhh don’t disturb the lady who is working”. Quickly close Facebook and get back to looking like I am actually working.
10.03 Realise it is now after 10am and I have to do a quick food shop before picking up the teen in half an hour
10.05 Finish tea and really need a pee now so try and discretely hop from foot to foot as I pack up my office away from home.
10.10 Realise that working from a coffee shop really is fraught with rules I know nothing about as I try not to literally run to the loos.
10.15 Get beyond the point of caring that my expensive handbag, laptop, diary and mouse mat are now on the floor of a supermarket toilet
10.19 Realise I have to do this all again tomorrow.
You think hanging out in coffee shops is all Friends and a bit glamorous, not from where I am sitting it isn’t
Though I did have a plug socket and free wifi so maybe it is not so bad after all