I knew it! It was just a matter of time before those glassy-eyed, 24/7 internet trollers and “solopreneurs” working from home would emerge from their solitary caves seeking company. So now we have a host of co-working places such as NeueHouse on East 25th St. in New York. NeueHouse claims to be “a complete rethinking of the ideal working environment for today’s creators” who
presumably are tired of sitting around home in their P.J.’s or are just lonely. Many workers, The New York Times reported when alerting us to this trend, say “they need a hive to be happy and productive.” Duh!
Whenever I grouse about the lack of Continuing Ed opportunities on the Island, I get this chorus of: “Take an online course.” What, no interaction in the flesh from the other “students?” No scholarly community? Just whom am I going to bond with in a virtual classroom, my computer screen?
Full disclosure: When I arrived at Fairchild Publication’s Women’s Wear Daily in New York in the last century and was faced with a sea of ugly metal desks, ringing telephones (Remember those?) and booming voices, I panicked.
How does one work here, I asked myself. Long a lover of the libraryesque quiet work place, this scene was my worst nightmare. But with survival skills in high gear, I got over fearing the ruckus and found, as time passed, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
That became painfully clear when I went the corporate route, exchanging the hustle and bustle of 7 E. 12th St for solitary confinement, high up in the General Motors building on Fifth Ave., home to Clinique, one of the many Estee Lauder brands.
On a clear day, you could see New Jersey across the Hudson from my very own office in the public relations department. Forget the view! Let’s talk about the electric typewriter, push-button phone, AC and a SECRETARY — all novelties. But, gee, it was quiet. So, when the call came asking me to return to the Fairchild fold (with the perk of a cut in salary), I couldn’t head downtown fast enough. I was going home.