“No, I won’t meet you for coffee” – (v.1)
Quick update: after receiving a bit of feedback and re-reading this post, it's not reading quite the way that I want it to read. I've since taken the first draft (original below) and re-written what I think makes more sense to add points to the conversation. See the updated essay here.
“Let’s meet for coffee.”
I dread those words* Meeting face-to-face takes a lot of time and energy and coordination. It’s not a 1-hour event. It’s the time it takes me to dress up a little nicer in the morning, rearrange my morning schedule, take the bus or lyft or uber to the place (okay, add 30 minutes for transportation), spend an hour or longer with you, spend another 30 minutes getting to my next destination, and then decompressing afterwards and getting back into my routines and items I need to get done.
That’s four hours. FOUR HOURS. Of time.
I’d much rather do a phone call. 15-20 minutes, tell me what you need, let’s jam while I walk to my next destination. Better yet, send me all the research you’ve done in an email, let me skim it, and specify exactly what you want in clear language and how I can help you. If you tell me what to do, I can help.
The problem with “meeting for coffee” is that they take up a third of my day, and with just 5 people a week, that adds up to a third of my working time. That’s a lot of time, and it’s inefficient.
Let’s not meet for coffee.
There are exceptions, of course, and this isn’t to assume that I don’t like having coffee with people. I do. Just only a couple times per week. More than 3 and I’m toast. There’s work to be done, people.