Friday, September 22, 2017

Making An Office Away From the Office

I don't always have the opportunity write from home, and I do have my favorite places to write from in those cases. I've had to settle for spotty internet from places like Starbucks and Panera, which I know you've read about from me both here and on my Facebook page.

My number one favorite out-of-the-office office is in a data center in downtown Los Angeles. Whether or not I can work there depends on whether or not I can find street parking, which isn't always a given. This is downtown Los Angeles, after all!

While I'm here, I put on a set of comfortable headphones and play music as I write, as it helps to put me in the right frame of mind to write. I try to use music that's appropriate to whatever it is that I'm writing.

For this blog post, it's Cat Stevens.

In this office, which is about 400 square feet in size, I've got a gigabit wired connection and a quiet room all to myself on a rarely visited floor. I even have a locking cabinet in here with me (I have the only key) I can use to store the things that are good to have with me, but that I don't want to have to haul all over the damned place. It makes life so much easier, as I haul enough heavy crap around with me all the time without having to add to the burden.
I've still got to get the proper wiring to connect my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (my workhorse computer) to the currently unused monitor that sits atop the upper level of the glass and metal desk I use here. Of course, that wiring would hit the cabinet when I wasn't around. It would stand too much of a chance of being appropriated by someone else.

As this office is also periodically (though very rarely) used by data center employees for working on computers and servers, it's cluttered and full of boxes and equipment, both working and dead. It's sort of a peripheral computer graveyard, if you're familiar with the concept. I've seen the main graveyard, and it's much more cluttered than this small room.

I've done my best to clear the area I want to work in, although periodically I'll walk in and discover that some asshole has been in here to work and strewn their discarded crap across the workspace I use. Then I remember and practice at least a few of the bad words my father so thoughtfully taught me and proceed to tidy up the electronic and cardboard carnage.

I'm considering putting up some simple artwork on the walls to quietly suggest to those people that they aren't the only ones using this space for something. I clean up after myself well enough that they might not realize that someone else makes use of the space, but you'd think they'd have noticed that the open desk surfaces aren't covered in greasy black dust anymore.

That might be expecting too much of them, I suppose. If you have any suggestions for simple artwork that can be printed up, please let me know. I'm open to new ideas.

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