Cafe Witness

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cafe as Office

I just finished applying for a grant this afternoon, which I emailed in from Crazy Mocha in the South Side Works.

A decade ago, even two years ago, the concept of a layman being able to conduct business from a cafe was a foreign concept -- to me, at least. Ordinarily, I would have been hunched over a desktop PC in my apartment or rented office, photocopying and faxing, making hours' worth of long-distance phone calls to verify budget items, and probably printing numerous drafts of the application to white out and re-draft. It would have been a long, dubious process with weeks' worth of time invested.

Instead, I updated a previous draft of the application I'd worked on half a year ago via emailing copies of the file back and forth between my two computers, edited it in Word, worked up a budget in Stickies (yes, Stickies) and plugged it into Excel, created numerous variants of those files by "saving as," emailed copies to associates for editing purposes, and finally submitted the application with 15 minutes to go before the deadline, calling afterwards to ensure it had arrived.

And 60% of that work was done from the comfort of a cushy chair in the corner of a cafe with its front wall open to the natural air -- 62 degrees in Pittsburgh today -- assisted by a coffee, juice or dessert.

There's no question that this is an improvement. The real question is: with business this much easier to conduct, what ELSE can a person get done in his day?


  • Sadly, folks fill it up with even more business. Usually.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:15 PM  

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