Rainy day thoughts: Working before work

It was raining as the bus creaked & bumped its way through Queens to the Midtown Tunnel this morning. But the bus didn’t feel as rickety as the one I rode home in last night. Some of the Express buses rattle so ferociously you fear parts (of the bus) will start falling off.

It’s hard to write or work on a bouncy bus. I check emails, IM, use Facebook and blog from my Android phone. I had manuscripts saved on my laptop and I was thinking about turning it on and working on them, but the last time I tried that, the bumpiness of the bus had my cursor flying all over the place and randomly highlighting blocks of text. I was nervous about losing my work, so I shut down.

Of course I save repeatedly. I have a habit of re-saving a document under the current date & time, and putting the old version into a backup folder, each time I work on it. Still, sometimes things happen. I get on a roll and don’t save for a few minutes and then, an entire page lost.

I like working at Starbucks or McDonald’s, which offer free WiFi. Starbucks is better (I like their coffee better) but I have a better chance of getting a seat at McDonald’s. Only just recently did I notice a “free WiFi” sign at the deli where I usually have breakfast, Cafe 45. I almost don’t want to reveal the name because I don’t want to tip people off, but I have to give the place credit for super friendliness and a large seating area upstairs. The food is good too, but honestly, except for the one deli that gave me food poisoning a few years ago, I don’t see a huge difference among deli food. Cafe 45 has these healthy breakfast wraps that I like with egg whites, turkey sausage and the like, but I’m sure you can get that anywhere. One thing I will say in praise of delis, vs Starbucks, is that when you ask for a toasted bagel with butter, the deli will toast it, slap the butter on & wrap it in foil to keep it hot. Starbucks will give you the bagel in a bag along with cold, hard pats of butter right out of the fridge. You have to move quickly to get the butter melting … and god knows how important it is to have the butter melted. (I know–1st-world problems.)

If I want to do a little “work before work,” I’ll usually do a walk-by of the Starbucks first. The one on 45th & 6th only has about 7 or 8 counter seats, with no outlets. My new laptop stays charged for a while, though, so it’s not that important. I do admit to borrowing my mouse from work–I do not  like working with a track pad. I can do it, I just don’t like it.

Wherever I end up, I’ll often work right up to the last minute and then head into the office. I tend to be the first one there anyway, most days. I’ve been a bit of a workaholic lately, but only because I’m trying to meet a deadline while keeping up with my own personal writing.

I allowed myself my personal time on the ride in, then it was purely business as soon as I got off the bus. It’s sure to be a busy day.

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Thanks to Murat Harmanlikli for allowing me to use his rain photo, which I found on Flickr.

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To learn about my freelance services and rates, please visit Arzooman Editorial

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