While living in CT, if I had an hour or two between meetings and no time to get home, I used my car as my office provided the weather permitted. I’d pull off the road at a rest stop to coach a client, or recline my driver seat for my afternoon meditation.

Living in Manhattan removes the vehicle/office option. If you’ve ever been in the city for the day and needed a place to hang before your ticket time or appointment, you know what I’m talking about. It’s tricky to find a place to read, write or even listen to something in peace. That’s where the New York Public Library system had gotten my love. Not only do I need to concentrate, I also need to use a computer.

With dropbox and google docs, all of my work can be accessed anywhere there’s an online connection. I found myself between appointments on Monday. I’m in the middle of a webinar planning project where I’m copying all of my blog posts re my memoir process and pasting them into one document for easy reference and assessment. I have 40 pages so far. From there, I’ll determine the outline of my presentation and what illustrations I plan to use.

I wanted to document this activity with a photo and made a request from the woman at the next screen. She’d just pushed back from the desk. Thinking she was taking a break, I said, “Could I ask you for a quick favor?”

“No!” she retorted angrily and rushed away, leaving her jacket on the back of her chair and her notebook open.

I did some self-talk. Her rejection isn’t about me. She must be in a hurry. Her bad mood is a reflection of her. QTIP: quit taking it personally.

I got back to work and my stomach calmed down.

She returned 5 minutes later. “If you don’t get right to the printer,” she began, “they toss whatever you’ve been working on. I’m sorry I was so abrupt. What can I help you with?”

She then took a series of pictures of me at my remote computer and said, “I think it works better when I get more of the library in the background,” and continued to click.

I set out to accomplish one task, but got a great lesson as well.

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