Let’s go on with our great census of coworkers specimens. Today, we are introducing Peripheric Eric, Cathy Cookie, Terry McTroll, Lonely Mary, Barn Born-Again and Dan Dinosaur. Enjoy and contribute in the comment section.
As a coworking leader, it is impossible to say precisely where the community begins and where it ends. Your coworking space have plain members, coworkers who work in your space on a regular basis, have an actual membership and pay the invoices you send them. But you also have to count on Peripheric Eric. Peripheric Eric usually comes for events (especially Bernard’s special parties), he knows staff members better than the real coworkers and he supports you – morally. Eric does not belong he gravitates. Is peripheric Eric a member of the community ? Yes, as long as he feels like it. Is he a coworker? He should at least be working to deserve the title, not to mention the “co” aspect.
Every sane coworking space of the world has its Cathy Cookie. A national holiday, an open coworking day, a spring picnic or a coworker’s birthday, Cathy will jump at any chance to express herself (and make us happy) : humus, arepas, pad thai, apple pie or quiche lorraine… these are just cultural contingencies, what really matters is that Cathy is feeding us. Like Bernard The Booz, Cathy Cookie is a pillar for the community. But don’t forget: if you can deal with a Cathy with no Bernard celebration, think twice before venturing yourself into a Bernard with no Cathy party.
*I am well aware that many Cathies are in fact Charlies but, in this case, she is Cathy.
It’s friday afternoon, Bernard and Eric are attacking their third beer, Wendy is smiling, Andy is watching, Mary is waiting… The music is good, the atmosphere relaxed, when suddenly Terry arises. He refuses Bernard’s beer warmly proposed by Eric. He is on his experimental gluten-free month as you should know if you had read his last blog post you liked on FB. Then, despite common sense, he asks Wendy the forbidden question: “Great, but… what’s your business model?”. “We are on weekend, we can stop talking business, don’t you think?” risks our gallant Andy. Terry then argued there is no weekend if there is no week, that weeks are just social conventions and anyway, when you truly love what you do, you can talk about it whatever the day. Wendy should simply confess she had no business model and he would be happy to give her a hand. Terry was just trying to help.
Lonely is Mary. Every night she would pray the Serendipity Mother to help her break theses long years of isolation. When, on a gloomy January evening, she saw these smiling faces on her FB timeline, she couldn’t believe it : those happy people where only three blocks away in a cosy coworking space. She went on the website and read all the blog posts; they were talking about community, openness and collaboration… The promised land thought Mary! The next day at 8 am Mary was waiting in front of the entry door. Since this days, she has been in the space like a mold on a rock. She now has many people around her, people to eat next to, people talking to each others. Lonely Mary is no longer alone.
Only a few months from now, Barn was fighting among others corporate warriors. Although Barn has spent seven years of his youth working for a consulting firm, he never really felt at home there. Richer than his friends and cooler than his colleagues, he was living the schizophrenic life. But one day he decided to say STOP, he resigned and joined this coworking space his cousin told him about. He did not felt at home immediately. Marked by his years on the corporate side, he was dragging after him an obscure feeling of guilt and dirt. In a sincere effort to integrate himself, Barn became more papist than the pope, spitting at the corporate world he has left to become a fierce advocate of freelancer lifestyle. Barn says he will never come-back.
Dan has been here forever. He is older than the walls. You met him at the first Jelly you organised in your apartment when you were a fresh and enthusiast coworking catalyst. He helped you build the bar long before Bernard’s reign. His grandmother’s carpet is still in the meeting room. He often talks about the good old time, listing the glorious names of the past. He holds a vintage membership that doesn’t exist since 2013… But everything comes to its end and, one day, he leaves you. That day you realise your youth is behind you.
Please, use the comment section of this article to describe unreferenced specimens.