July 2010


How I work: Promising productivity destroyed…

Happily now that I’ve been working for just over a week, I actually have work to do—this makes me very happy.

My first real work came last week and I decided to work on it over the weekend—specifically Sunday morning.

And I had a cunning plan…


On Vacation.

Late last week I’d walked back to my current domicile taking a different route when I passed a coffee shop, Coffee Wrangelkiez. At the time it was closed, but the sign on the door indicated two wonderful pieces of news: First, it opens 6:30 on weekdays, and second, it opens at 7:00 on the weekend.

Now for somebody who is an early riser, like me, this was extraordinary news! I could actually go somewhere that was less than a ten minute walk from my house, drink hot coffee and get work done – a, if you will, Berlin Office.

Sure it isn’t the Weimar Office with its team of familiar faces, but it was some place with tables, coffee, and, should I want it, croissants.

And so I went to the shop Sunday morning where I worked for two solid hours on my first real work assignment (like my previous job, I have fairly flexible working conditions) before I decided I needed a break and to stretch my legs. I’d drunk a coffee, ate a chocolate croissant, and admired the occasional piece of eye-candy.

It was great.

Now as I am trying to find my working rhythm for Berlin, it occurred to me that I could work there for a couple hours on current projects weekday mornings—and then after two hours I could take a short walk, a short bus ride, another walk, and be at my office. I even got so far as to decide and try it out Wednesday morning. I had a meeting at 11, so I decided that I would get to the coffee shop early, work, and then go to the office at 10.

So Wednesday morning I woke up at my usual time, downloaded my CBC News podcast, took a shower, and then walked over to the coffee shop, only to discover bad news: the coffee shop is on vacation from 12 July until 12 August.


The thing is, if all goes according to plan, I won’t be living near here on August 12th.

The quest for a Berlin Office continues.

8 comments to How I work: Promising productivity destroyed…

  • Surely, in a city as large as Berlin, there is another place not too far from you or your office.

  • mateo

    Things like this happen to me all the time. I find something I really like (which is rare), and then a short time later, it is gone!!! Hopefully you will find a great place to make your new office!!!!

  • I’m with mateo — that happens to me all the time. Either it disappears or the hours change (don’t get me started on the Penny Lane’s 6 p.m. closing time) or the service goes quickly downhill within six months’ time.

  • Reko

    One of the things that I really DO value about living in the US is that stores and businesses tend to have much more customer-friendly hours than in Austria and they tend not to close down for a month at a time for whatever reason. There are, of course, exceptions, but even in a small city like Bloomington, IN (pop. approx. 100,000 counting students), many businesses are open 24/7/365 (or something close to it).

  • koko

    I’m looking forward for you getting settled in…because then I can come and visit 🙂

  • starman1695 – sure, there are a lot of places, but in Berlin not a lot is actually open at 6:30 or 7 in the morning. And atmosphere counts for a lot in my book.

    mateo – I hope so. There are some promising prospects near my future home, but I’m going to wait to check them out. I want to get my contract for the future apartment first.

    disenchanted – I like Penny Lane, it’s too bad it closes at 6pm.

    Reko – how often do you go shopping at 2 am?

    Koko – I’m looking forward to you visiting. But first I need the contract for my future apartment and to move in, unpack, and get settled.

  • I wish I could say ‘don’t despair’ – but it seems late-opening, early-closing coffee shops are becoming more and more the norm. Upstate NY offers little that’s more progressive than Berlin and my hometown is in the same rut… you’d think the caffeine pushers would be sensitive to those in need of a 7am fix and place to come down at midnight!

    Miss you lots Adam!

    • I think Berlin is a city of late night partiers and sleeper ins…

      Once I relocate to my own apartment, you’re invited to visit!

      Miss ya!