Taking time to smell the coffee
Writer’s Block by Tiffany Douglas
I can’t see the clock over the walls of my cubicle, but am lucky enough to hear the annoying tick it makes. I enjoy my job, but today am struggling to catch up to the paperwork my desk has collected. We’ve all had these days. It’s 3:27 p.m. and feels like an eternity away from 4:30. Worst of all, it’s only Tuesday.
I begin to think that someone very smart created the concept of a “break”, and silently thank that person as I pull away from my desk. While I normally caffeinate only once daily, I decide to try something new, and set out for an afternoon coffee.
Like many employees, the quickest way to find caffeine is to visit your nearest Tim Horton’s. But today I skipped the Tim’s, skipped the franchises, and feel great about it. Despite a longer route, I head to my favourite locally owned café. I consider briefly the extra five minutes it will take me to get there and the trouble of parking downtown; but decide it’s time to live a little, and crank up the tunes .
I wonder if the guys from Metallica ever worked in offices. En route I get stuck by a train. Of course it’s a passenger train, full of people going somewhere- somewhere away from their jobs and their cubicles. Irony strikes and I wonder if it would make for a good column. SALE signs in windows scream out to me, sidewalks look inviting, and two guys are selling hotdogs outside of the movie theatre.
There are lots of open parking spaces downtown but I take the one furthest from the café to get a walk in. I pass briefly by the stores I’ve never seen open. A business man riding a bicycle inspires me and I realize how much we must miss, living our lives from our computer desks.
The café is slightly busy; full of people laughing and enjoying the overcast afternoon. I have to wait in line momentarily, which opens up the opportunity for me to talk to two people about the weather. I wave to one person I know, and count two men with mullets. Honest. Taking a break can be an enjoyable experience, especially if you try something different from your normal routine. There is a whole world happening while we’re at work or at school, and by taking a break we get to catch a ten minute glimpse of it.
Content with my afternoon excursion, and 16 minutes after leaving the office, I take my coffee to go.
On the way back to the office I get stuck by yet another ironic train. Perhaps I wasn’t quite ready to go back to work after all.
Perhaps we should all be taking just a bit more time to stop and smell the coffee.