2 bad choices: the restroom dilemma when working in a public place

Today I hired a nanny and left my home office to concentrate on some writing projects. I set up shop in the “quiet room” of the local library…with a plethora of other “work from home” inhabitants.


A few hours and umpteen sips of unsweet tea later, I found myself in a conundrum.


Working in library. Need bathroom break.
Do I leave phone & computer on table, or take with me?
Afraid I’ll offend…or be robbed. #help

I sat and squirmed for a while. Tried to focus on work. No magic answers appeared in my Twitter feed and it was go time…literally.

I stashed my phone into my purse and decided not to make a scene by trying to stash my laptop in there also. I thought to myself, “I’ll just go as fast as I can and have my phone ready to snap a picture of the thief–if necessary–while calling 911 to report the theft of my laptop–if necessary.

With my camera phone app open and ready, I dashed into the bathroom stall to execute my business with lightning speed and found this…


I panicked. If the library needs to lock up their toilet paper, I had made the wrong decision to leave my laptop unguarded, unattended, unfettered!

I hastily returned to the study room with shaking, still-wet hands (I washed…just skipped the drying part, people). Returning to my untouched table, I almost collapsed in relief.


Then I laughed (on the inside, I was still in the “quiet room”) at my scene. Like no one would ever recognize the shiny silver thing plugged into the wall due to the orange bag propped on top!


3 thoughts on “2 bad choices: the restroom dilemma when working in a public place”

  1. Oh my, yes, the big question. Pack up just for a potty break? Way too funny about the locked t.p.!! One reason I love my small-town coffee shop – There’s always someone I know, or I ask the baristas who know me, or a friendly face at a table nearby to watch my stuff. Inevitably, when I ask someone at a table nearby for the favor, as soon as I get back to my table they ask me to watch their stuff. It’s like we’re all holding our bladders while drinking gallons of coffee to keep working!

  2. OH. YES. I often throw my laptop into my backpack and traipse it into the bathroom with me, usually if I’m in a place that’s fairly sparse of people. If I’m in Panera or Starbucks and it’s packed, I’ll leave my laptop. Two reasons — it holds my table and I don’t think someone would be bold enough to take my stuff in front of a bunch of people. But it really depends on what my gut feeling is. 🙂

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