Paradesk

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“Hotels and resorts have long catered to travelers who cannot disengage from their jobs. But increasingly there is a new option for those who need to work, but who also want the benefits of a vacation.  These new centers are an offshoot of co-working spaces, which offer the benefits of an office environment on a temporary basis. But they also provide a place to sleep, have fun and mingle with colleagues — not in humdrum office parks, but in exotic locations around the world, in the European countryside close to urban centers or in warm-weather destinations like Bali.” — The New York Times

 

Dear Diary,

I can’t believe I get to spend the next six weeks working from Paradise.  Well, Paradesk, my new co-working space just steps from the ocean.  I remember I used to dream about a job where I could work from a beautiful beach, spend the afternoon surfing the waves….  It’s like a vacation, except I still get paid.  I haven’t yet gotten to the water, because of this seven-hour conference call I’m stuck on, but I’m sure it’s amazing.

Dear Diary,

The sunrise is incredible here.  I wasn’t planning on being up at this hour, but my boss called pretty early — turns out I’m expected to be available during business hours back in the office and also business hours here — which are completely different hours.  But that just means more time to soak up these incredible views and stack my schedule with fun.  I’ve got a surfing lesson this morning, a massage this afternoon, and dinner is a seven-course meal on the beach.  I can’t wait.

Dear Diary,

It’s crazy that this place can be so beautiful and yet the Internet connection is so fast and reliable.  A client e-mailed with an emergency yesterday, so I had to cancel the surfing and the massage, and I just grabbed a quick dinner at my desk from the vending machine, but now it’s the weekend and in a few hours I’m going to be gliding in the air hanging onto a parasail, and then I’m going to watch them catch the fish I get to eat for dinner.  It’s going to be epic.

Dear Diary,

My cell phone rang just as the speedboat was taking off for the parasail adventure, so they had to leave me behind.  I did get to go snorkeling… but only to look for my iPhone because it fell into the ocean.  I could have stayed in forever except as soon as I rescued the phone I saw this text from the office and I had to get back to my computer and send a couple of files.  Dinner at my desk again, but I just found out my desk is made from native wood and was built by a local.  So that’s cool… I guess.

Dear Diary,

Ran into another Paradesker when I was racing from the bathroom back to the shared fax machine so I could make sure no one accidentally tossed the lease agreement I’m supposed to proofread overnight.  Love at first sight.  I guess that’s what happens in a gorgeous place like this.  Packed a picnic lunch and we set out on one of the amazing nature trails.  Turns out the WiFi covers the whole island and there are USB charging stations all along the hiking route.  So I was totally available when my boss called asking me to video-conference into an all-hands-on-deck meeting.  It was fine, though — my date had to head back anyway — servers crashed at work, sounded like a real emergency.

Dear Diary,

So we were supposed to grab coffee at 11, but I was busy digging sand out of my flash drive, and she was still asleep anyway, after an all-night coding session disguised as a mandatory team-building exercise.  We decided it’s probably easier to schedule something once we’re home anyway — Chicago and DC aren’t so far away, and I’m going to be swamped for the next three days reviewing documents.  Hey, it’s pretty incredible that the only cloud I’ve encountered the whole time here is the one where all of my work files are stored.

Dear Diary,

An elephant walked past me on the beach, but unless he could translate documents from German to Spanish and back again, I didn’t have any use for him.  I shouldn’t have even been on the beach, but I muted the conference call and stuck my feet in the sand just so I could grab a few minutes of outdoor time before my flight tonight.  Apparently there’s someone else from my office just four rooms down and we didn’t even know until they told me I was the second person to give up my spot on the Ancient Temple Tour because of a “website emergency.” Turns out we’ve been on most of the same calls.  We texted about sharing a cab to the airport, but I’m going to have to leave later anyway because my boss wants to do a quick call.

Dear Diary,

Okay, so my boss canceled my flight.  He can’t have me out of WiFi range for the time the plane will be taking off and landing.  So I’m stuck on “vacation” for at least another week.  I really don’t know if I can handle it.  I’ve never worked this hard in my life.  At least they say the weather’s supposed to perfect all week — I need it to be, otherwise the guy who restocks the paper in the fax machine might be late.