The CoWork Chronicles, pilot

So, I thought that I’d try my hand at creative writing. Let me rephrase that — I thought I’d be bold and upload my existing attempt at creative writing. This CoWork Chronicle story is inspired by an event that may or may not have happened while being a tenant of a co-working space.

Life in a co-working space can be glorious and wonderful, provided no one else is there. We were among the first tenants in the co-working space and from our fish tank of an office, we had reign of all amenities. This was short-lived when everybody and their dog moved in, quite literally. This brings me to the time when a dog had a wee accident.

Co-working spaces try very hard to be trendy and change the working culture. One of the upsides is being allowed to bring in your pets, mostly commonly this means dogs (this might not be an upside for everyone, I imagine). This led one lady to seemingly get a dog because her new working lifestyle meant that she could care for her. I became better acquainted with her (the dog, to clarify) after this event.

It’s not clear what the policy is on bringing pets to work, how old they need to be or the extent of domestication and house training. In the event that the co-working space even went to the unlikely effort of writing a policy, I simply don’t care enough to search for and read it. In the even more unlikely conditional event that the co-working space enforced such a policy, then maybe the following never happened at all.

A normal day, my colleague and I popped out to grab some lunch to bring back to eat at the office. Lunchtimes are busy in co-working spaces, teams are quite collegiate about their lunch and they congregate in the common area. Considering it was the two of us that day, we were lucky to land a table. Actually, in hindsight, we weren’t that lucky. It was a Friday, and the turn-out rate on a Friday in a co-working space is advantageously low. It goes back to the good old days of owning the floor from our fish tank. But I digress.

We were sat at our table, happily eating our lunch in a much less entropic co-working common area. The dog and her owner must have been headed outside and were waiting for the lift but they evidently waited too long. She could hold it in no longer and found relief (the dog, to clarify again). I didn’t have higher expectations of a three-month-old puppy, to her credit. Then she looked up at her owner to see if she had noticed with almost an immediate confirmatory facial expression, which led her to run away.

She sought refuge under our lunch table and her owner began to give her a sound telling off while walking briskly towards our table. The telling off continued for quite some time. The dog was very aware that it was directed at her: her embarrassment was palpable, her apology was audible and I could feel her quaking against my leg. My colleague seemed unaffected and his burrito consumption was uninterrupted. Given that the dog owner was behind him, it was easier to ignore. Given that I was facing him at our lunch table, an onlooker could be forgiven for thinking that lady and I were having an altercation, albeit one-sided about how much embarrassment I have caused and the repeated appeal to make me look at what I’ve done. We gathered a grand total of three on-lookers. Considering it was a Friday, that’s an audience. Given further that it’s lunch-time and not much can stand in the way of an employee and their lunchtime, that was a crowd.

You can imagine the look on my face. This might also require you to imagine a person to represent me. A cartoon is fine, I’d quite like that. The owner upon realisation of the positioning issue likely thought that my facial expression was not taking into account the fact that I had no part to play in this incident beyond furniture. She offered me consolation by confirming “it’s not your fault!”. In fact, I was more concerned that the dog may not have fully voided her bladder and my good work trousers were in the firing line. It is hard to come by good work trousers for women. If you are male reading this, consider yourself lucky. If you are a woman reading this and disagree with my statement, then I implore you to let me in on your secret. But I digress.

The owner found what she could to mop up the puddle, without doing all that she could to clean it. I forgive her, as the prevention of multiple puddles ought to have been a priority matter. She then did just that, by taking her puppy into the lift and hopefully out for a walk. Rid of distraction, I finished my lunch and work resumed as normally as one would expect in a co-working environment.

Thank you for persevering through to the end! I would love to hear your thoughts and also whether this matches up to your experiences. To peruse the next chronicle, take a look here.

London-born Gujarati. Interested in books, strategy games, business, tech, food & culture.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.