Monday Missions: A Lesson Learnt

Hey gang! Did you miss me?




I already know the answer to that question. I am sitting here trying to get into a groove, and distracted by two grandmothers using a laptop and a mobile phone for a skype call to someone else. I don’t really understand what is going on, but they are sharing the mobile back and forth, and the call is being played (complete with slight delay) through the laptop speakers. I tried something different last week, and after that different thing I reviewed the site’s stats, the activity, it’s general well-being. The good news is that the site is okay. It’s great, in fact. It’s bullshit level is a little high, but I have no one to blame but myself for that. Visit levels remain steady, Share levels remain steady, Spam comments are just as plentiful as always. But you guys….you guys didn’t even ask.

Even computers need holidays sometimes...

Even computers need holidays sometimes…

So last week I tried something different – instead of heading into the city to stake out workspace in the State Library (of which I have been doing every Monday for a while now), I decided I’d try something radical. My reasoning towards the Library locale was I feared that working from home would leave me with too many other things to do, and too many procrastination opportunities, and to an extent, the Library does prevent this. There are drawbacks to the Library though: traveling into the city, sharing space with people who may/may not be doing library-worthy activities…but my biggest gripe is that should I need a break, use a bathroom, eat a lunch, I have to PACK UP ALL MY STUFF AND LUG IT AROUND WITH ME. AND THIS DRIVES ME NUTS. Mostly because I’m using an old laptop that requires a constant wall-connection or it has the lifespan of a single well-held breath.


This prompted me, nay, this DEMANDED I try something different. So I thought I’d use a combination of an anecdotal work-from-home technique, and my old tried-and-tested methods. The first step, was to actually get out of the house. This is the bit based on anecdote: a colleague told me of someone they knew who worked from home, but had initially struggled to get up, and work. Their solution was to get up and ready to leave the house, and then leave. And walk around the block. And return home to work (…) The act of getting up and out was enough to trigger a change in their behaviour, so that when they returned, they had switched to a working mentality. I did the same – but my plan was to walk to the train station (as I do everyday), and then get a coffee and wander home, to begin my day.


At this point, standing at the cross-road opposite my station, and whirling around on the spot like a character in a Michael Bay film, I came to the horrible realisation that on a Monday morning, at 9:30am, there is no coffee option within walking distance of the station. (ALMOST no options…) I scrambled, going from door to door feverishly checking opening hours, (ALMOST every door…) and sniffing around the doorjambs for a hint of roasted grounds…Nothing (ALMOST Nothing…). I could feel my pulse racing, my vision trembling, my knees weakening. I stumbled, like a panicky survivor of a vampire feeding frenzy, looking for a coffee respite. I passed two awkward looking security guys as they tried to get the sliding door on their van working. They looked at me like I may try to rob them in this vulnerable state, and that I may fall over doing so. I made it past them, and to the Pascoe Vale Hotel. Shuffled up the steps, and inside…

I had avoided this place, as to my mind, the PVH was the last bastion of a bygone age, and inhabited by drunks, former drunks lapsing, and people interested in sports both local and national. (What?) So entering here was a real last ditch effort…Inside was not what I expected. The PVH is what an RSL would be, should the Retired Servicemen’s League up and sell their business. It looks like it was decorated at the end of the 60’s, and has allowed a TAB to gradually take over a corner of it’s floor space. The staff were friendly, one carrying a perpetual tray of sandwiches, of which I was offered to take some. I declined, but did order coffee, not really knowing what I was in for, and found a seat. Producing my index cards (my old faithful!) and a pen, I started scribbling. Now this bit, this bit ALWAYS works.

If I’m in a creative slump, a great way to break that is go somewhere with my index cards, and just write down ideas. One line concepts, dialogue snippets, whatever. I did this over a coffee and wrote an entire 13 page comedy script. I do this and come up with breakthroughs for my book. It ALWAYS works. So I did this, and drank two coffees (whose prices differed – Odd). I began to recover from my earlier shock, and then I heard the badly filtered radio play “Werewolves Of London”, which, as always, I take as a sign from the universe that everything is sorted. I finished my scribbling, and marched back outside. The security van was gone, I was feeling myself again, and back on track to go home and write.


I then took a long detour through the parks and searched for geocaches. BECAUSE HOME IS NOT WHERE I CAN WORK.

Help me guys, I need a new work location. State Library is more a meeting ground and skype call place than workspace, and my house is the eye of a productivity storm – nothing happens there. Got any ideas??


Today’s Music: “Counterattacks“, by Dick Valentine

~ by nick on August 11, 2014.

4 Responses to “Monday Missions: A Lesson Learnt”

  1. if you are interested . There is a lot of room in the office space I work at. Not being used and pretty quiet enviroment. Oh did I mention we have a professional coffee machine here?

    • I think I just fell out of my Library chair. Which is fine, because after we discuss this, I’m pretty sure I can burn this chair mutha down.

      (Is that what you do? Burn that mutha chair down? Whatever)

  2. I visited the library to charge my phone and took the suggestion of a friend to check out the magazine collection at the back of the library. So I sat down at a desk with a power point and charged my phone, and read copies of the most varied magazines I could find. It was great fun.

    I wonder if the swish new Emporium would have wi-fi, and be a workable option? Although it doesn’t solve the problem of having to pack everything up when you need to go to the toilet.

    What about a university library? I remember La Tobe having study corrals, which were small (very small) lockable rooms, which had a desk, a chair, and a powerpoint. I used to book one and study/ eat my lunch in peace. It was great. That might be worth looking into, maybe RMIT has something similar?

  3. Urgh, I meant La Trobe, obviously.

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