Friday, September 10, 2010

Coffee shop versus coworking

Coffee shops have a special place in my heart – especially The Grind on Main Street.  It was THE place for me to study at all hours when I was at SFU. If it weren’t the kindness of the staff, the unlimited coffee supply and endless amount of sweets, I would have gone through school half-asleep and none of the assignments would have been complete.  It was the place that, through out most of my student life, saw me stumbling in at 8 or 9 pm and me rubbing my blood-shot eyes, stumbling out for home before going to school at early morning hours.

Sundays are usually my day to unwind.  It begins with me rolling out of bed later than usual, having a great brunch and then off to read a good book before going to yoga.

After settling into a  Starbucks near my yoga class at  Yyoga , I cracked open my book.  I was enjoying 5 minutes of peace until some person decided that she wanted to yell at her boyfriend on the phone and she wanted to make sure I was involved by detailing the points of why she was right very loudly.

Like an uncomfortable third-wheel caught in the middle of a lover’s quarrel with no escape, I raised my book higher as if it would block out her voice.  After perfecting my ability to tune out noises (well, I have to and not by choice!), the amount of caffeine now required that I need a quick bathroom break.   After trying to make friendly eye-contact to see if someone was nice enough to smile back (so I can ask them to watch my stuff for a few minutes), I failed to make connection with anyone. So, I decided to haul my stuff with me.  Oh yes!  That includes my laptop, my yoga bag and my purse; my companions to the washroom.

When I came back to my seat, someone else had taken it.  After 2 more times of this, I called it quits!  I couldn’t lug all my stuff around anymore to re-situate myself every time I came back from the washroom.  I will still do my meetings in coffee shops but I am finding it harder to focus or enjoy my book, perhaps what I read and what I need to do requires more concentration than before OR maybe as I get older I am sensitive to loud noises.   I breathe a sigh of relief as I walk into the office after my yoga class, plopped myself on the sofa and quietly took in the peaceful enjoyment that awaits me as I dive back into my book without espresso machines competing for my attention or a loud voice to break my focus.  My office lounge was quiet and nice enough for me to get through another 1.5 hours of reading.

I love coffee shops but I definitely love coworking just a little more :p

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