One person's thoughts may change the world
Self-employment allows for many unanticipated things I didn’t have the advantage before when I ran my own business. My office is no longer limited to a building or a room at my home. It’s virtual and… everywhere and anywhere I can find some power and free WiFi. Now, any unusual spot, besides a coffee shop or bookstore can now pose as my virtual office, even my car.
I simply could get broadband and call it a day, but, hunting for WiFi is more intriguing. Technically it’s not “free” though. At a coffee shop, it usually involves cozying up to the workers behind the counter and buying a small coffee or some kind of exotic summer cooler that you make last about 2.5 hours. In between if you’re at Caribou Coffee, they even allow for some free taste testers of a new drink. Starbucks is behind the time, they only allow WiFi access if you have an account with a pre-designated service provider that you already have an account with.
The bookstore is another good but not great place. Free WiFi but no free electricity. But time spend there is made up with a fully charged battery and access to any book you need for any technical stuff that I need access to at the moment, otherwise, I just look up what I need on-line which is always available. One of the best spots is Wholefoods market. Good WiFi, plenty of electricity, food and the sights. Because I grew up in a grocery store, it’s easy to sit and watch people as they go through checkout as well as walk around the store. . Some customers look like mindless automatons getting into another line. Others are upbeat, happy and talkative. Others are observant, looking around their environment. Some even look at me, wondering what I’m doing in a grocery store with my computer and phone on the table while eating a salad. The store clerks remind me of the military types. The cooks always seem pissed off and ready to get out of there, and the checkout people try to be nice, but clearly doing their job for a paycheck. The cleanup and cart pushers are also there for a paycheck, but, pissed off at being at the low-end of the grocery hierarchy. There a particular woman cashier who’s from Kazakstan who’s voice is grating yet I still like listening to it.
I’ve even sat in my car outside a business establishment, tapping into their WiFi while sitting in the parking lot. Not as comfortable as sitting at a store, but if I’m out and about, it’s a free connection and a place to get some work done. The only issue I have is when I see a paranoid white woman going to her car by herself and she suddenly realizes that a black man is sitting in a car, presumably working on a computer but actually ready to pounce on her and rape her…. Please.
Through all of this, I actually am getting work done, or at least, feeling more accomplished and fulfilled than being in a 1950’s style of management hierarchy that I just came out of. Granted, it was a paycheck but it was also stifling. It literally sucked the life-giving essence of me. What is truly amazing is my former manager still exists. I thought those types have been pushed out of the system, delegated “special projects” to get new and more dynamic blood into management. My mind is so clear not that I’m not in such a negative environment . I’m focused, driven, free (almost) and most of all, happy. I have not been happy about work for some time, hmmmm, I would say at least 5 years. Usually, I would have done something about it right away but, because I got “use” to working for a company (before I would do nothing but contracts), I got use to a certain “comfort” level. But that came with a high price. I use to always be on the cutting or even bleeding edge of technology, which kept me in high demand. At my former position, I literally had to beg for additional training, not to say that they were responsible for it. I am ultimately responsible for it, and I forgot that motto that I use to live by.
I even do WiFi at Lifetime, which is where I workout at. Actually this is a good thing because where ever I go, I can do whatever I need to do, then, log into WiFi and do some work, work on an android project, write emails, respond to emails, look for new projects, etc. …
Actually, getting WiFi access anywhere I can is a trigger to get some things done, to be virtually connected beyond just checking email or message on a cell phone. But more importantly, it gets out and about without the boredom of being in a home office or a traditional office tied to a particular area. It allows you those brief moments to look at and observe people whom you don’t know for a brief few seconds before grinding away at getting something done.
So that’s my WiFi story. Will I go back to the corporate world that had so stifled me? Hmmmm, time will tell. In the mean time, I’m on the hunt for more exotic places to plant my flag and get some programming and WiFi work done….. In a beach restaurant facing the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica would be nice…