Read D.F.'s bio and previous columns
December 19, 2008
The Mysterious Guy In
motioned to Lacey to come into my office.
“Who is the guy sitting in the lobby?” I asked. “He’s been sitting there
for like 25 minutes tapping away on his laptop. Did he show up early for
a meeting? Or is someone keeping him waiting?”
have no idea,” Lacey said. “I’ve never seen him before. Do you want me
to go ask him?”
“No,” I said. “I’ll do it. It might be very meaningful to him if the CEO
himself comes up to make sure he’s being taken care of.”
Lacey rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, D.F.”
strolled up to the front lobby and extended my hand,
which is stupid, but this guy doesn’t know me or my proclivities.
“Hi, I’m D.F. Krause,” I said. “Is someone keeping you waiting?”
“No,” he said. “No one’s keeping me waiting.”
“Oh,” I said. “Did you show up early for a meeting with someone?”
“No,” he said.
“Well, is someone helping you then?” I asked.
“Helping me with what?” he said.
“Well, with whatever you’re here to do business with us about, I guess,”
“I’m not here to do any business with you,” he said.
stopped. I looked at him. I ran my fingers across my chin. I scratched
my head a little. I put my hands on my hips.
“Then what are you doing here?” I asked him.
“Using your chair, your electrical outlet and your wireless network,” he
said. “Thank you for not encrypting it, by the way. Bastard encrypters.
Really limits my freedom of movement. You wouldn’t believe how many
places make it impossible for you to pirate their wireless signal.”
“Yeah,” I said, “Well, the IT guy told me I should encrypt it because
people could hack into my network, but I figured, what would they want
“Exactly,” he said.
“Hey!” I interjected. “Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute here. You just
go around to businesses and help yourself to a spot in their office, and
just sit there? And do . . . what?”
“I’m an independent contractor,” he said. “All I need to run my business
is a laptop and my cell phone here, provided I can get wireless.”
“Well couldn’t you just work from home?” I asked.
could, but I don’t like to,” he said. “It’s boring there. It doesn’t
feel like a work environment. This does.”
“Yeah,” I said. “But this is my work environment.”
“Very nice one, too,” he said. “Say, is anyone using that one desk over
“No,” I said. “It’s vacant.”
“Cool,” he said. “I’ll just move over there. That way I won’t freak
people out when they see me sitting in your lobby. It does have a
working electrical outlet, right? My laptop battery will give me 15
minutes if I’m lucky.”
“Uh, yeah,” I said. “It’s underneath the desk. Wait a minute. Who said
you could work here?”
“No one,” he said, settling in comfortably to the chair. “I’ll keep my
music reasonably low. I don’t like to use headphones, but I don’t want
to bother any of your employees either.”
head started spinning faster.
“OK, now just hang on a second,” I said. “So you just wander in to
people’s offices, sit down and work, and don’t pay them anything?”
“That’s right,” he said. “Is that coffee I smell? It smells really good.
I mean really good.”
made it myself,” I said.
“It smells like you did a good job,” he said. “I mean, as much as I can
tell from smelling it.”
you can probably guess, I got him a cup. He stayed most of the day, made
generally decent musical selections and, I think, got asked out on a
date by one of my younger female employees.
Dang. Next time he tries to come in here, I’m telling him no! OK. No I’m
not. Now shut up.
© 2008 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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