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Me, hard at work.

Me, hard at work.

After “What is your problem?” and “Will you please stop bothering me?” the questions I am most commonly asked concern my work habits. After all,  productivity is about finding the secret that only a few writers have discovered. Really, there is only one right way, and it’s mine. Now I’ll share it with you. You’re welcome.

A few years ago I found I no longer enjoyed writing at home. I needed some ambient distraction, and I took to writing in various coffee shops around town. All but the one I currently patronize have since closed down, so we can conclude that once I stop doing my writing in a coffee shop, it’s days are numbered. It is therefore in the best interest of the management of Olmos Perk to keep me happy.

Latte art by Bridget.  She doesn't even like cats.  How's that for service!

Cat-themed latte art by Bridget. She doesn't even like cats. How's that for service!

And they do. First of all, there’s the coffee, provided by the good folks at Kiva Coffee Roasters. At home I drink my coffee black, but there’s no resisting OP’s awesome west-coast-style latte’s, which they lovingly (on some days likingly, and once in a while begrudgingly, but you have to really make the baristas angry first) hand-crafted with all kinds of nifty decorations. This is unambiguously the best latte in town.

Then there are the actual working conditions. There are four cubicles in the back, one of which is mine. They reserve it for me. I am special. My summer schedule is a bit irregular because it is based on my daughter’s camp hours, but during the school year I arrive at about 8 and stay until noon, and which point I am too over-caffeinated and hungry to keep working.

Bridget, who has a last name that looks hard to pronounce; Sarah, who was recently married; and Joseph who is quiet in a way that makes him seem cool and not creepy.

Bridget, who has a last name that looks hard to pronounce; Sarah, who was recently married; and Joseph who is quiet in a way that makes him seem cool and not creepy.

During this time, Olmos Perk’s excellent staff of baristas, sales associates, customer liaisons, and caffeine-consumption facilitators, take excellent care of me by making sure I have a latte if I need one, engaging in small talk, asking polite questions about my work and then pretending to be interested, insisting I entertain them with witty tales (they have a particular fascination with stories about rodents –don’t ask me why). Sometimes they mock me and I pretend to be a good sport.

Then there are the other regulars. Friends, fellow writers, affable regulars, the people I pretend to like but secretly don’t, the people who pretend to like me but secretly don’t, the people who don’t like me and are openly hostile – there’s a wide variety to choose from.
Iris, my ex-barista, and one of the original OP morning crew.

Iris, my ex-barista, and one of the original OP morning crew.

Back when I worked at home, small talk was limited to conversation with my cat, but there’s only some many times you can ask him, “Who’s a handsome boy?” before things start to get a little dull. Now, much to my own surprise, I’ve found I enjoy being around other people.

2 Responses to “”

  1. J Bartlett says:

    why is it that I am a regular and have never, ever received a cat atop my foamy mocha?
    I have never had a seat reserved for me.
    I have never been asked to entertain baristas at OP with witty tales. In fact, I think the baristas at OP are always holding their breath, a little, hoping we’ll leave before something gets broken. My gosh! The outright favoritism! Nice little piece.

  2. David Liss says:

    I think I mentioned in my post that I am special. I did say that, right?

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