What to do with your laptop when you need to go to the bathroom at a coffee shop

A lot of people, writers especially, like to work at a coffee shop instead of a home office or den. I’m not sure what the exact appeal is.  Maybe writers think they are emulating Hemingway or they enjoy the convenience of being able to order food and drink without having to stop working.  Maybe it’s the same reason people go to a bar instead of drinking at home. You want the potential of company without the obligation of company.

Whatever the reason, the results are the same. You score a seat, perhaps on the comfiest chair, the one nearest the power outlet. You get your laptop set up and are ready to write. Suddenly your bladder decides to chime in. What do you do with your laptop and other stuff when you have to answer Nature’s Call?

Photo Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/citrixonline/

Photo Credit: Citrixonline

We carefully and thoroughly deliberated this subject in the Super Secret ChicagoNow Bloggers Only Facebook Group and came up with a variety of options.

  • You can take your laptop with you to the bathroom.
  • You can leave it and hope for the best.
  • You can ask someone to keep an eye on it for you.
  • Or you can hold your bladder as long as possible.

Each solution has its ups and downs.

Nina of Youknowneen opts for the Leaving It There and Hoping for the Best strategy.  This is playing the odds, which are probably in your favor until they aren’t.  Most people at the coffee shop are off in their own world and if they did notice you getting up to go to the washroom, their thought process would be: oh that seat is available.  oh wait, she left her stuff.  back to Facebook.

Marie Larsen of There’s a Bug in My Coffee does not like this solution.  Her husband is a cop and 20+ years his tales from the beat has influenced her outlook to not trust leaving it there.  However, taking your laptop to the bathroom means exposing it to all the bathroom cooties as some of our more Germophopic bloggers pointed out.

Asking someone to keep an eye on it for you may or may not be effective.  Brett Baker of Dry It In The Water has a strategy that is right out of the Poison scene from Princess Bride.  “ I thought about asking the people at the next table to keep an eye on it, but then I thought, What if they’re the thieves? Then I thought about asking two different sets of people to watch it, just so they could stop each other. And if they conspired they’d have to fight about how to divide up the spoils. Obviously, I’ve put way too much thought into this.

You could just wait it out and see how long you can hold it.  Unless you were planning to spend all day in the coffee shop (who can do that?) eventually you were gonna finish up and go home.  Pack up, hit the bathroom on the way out and all is good.  Unless you have an accident.  Hopefully there’s a clothing store or laundromat near by.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this post.  Next time another group of ChicagoNow bloggers will Overthink parking lots: should you park closer or farther from the door.

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