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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Kirschaum

Private Coffee

What happens at work ... is not safe.

A colleague and I were standing in a mostly gray office kitchen close to the elevators of San Francisco's makeshift city hall.

It was "makeshift" because the actual city hall was being retrofitted so it would "slide" during earthquakes. So we're in this weird, temporary office building.

I'm showing the new guy around when he asks, "What's 'Private Coffee'?"

Six months earlier, I'd been sent to San Francisco by a swank consulting company, and I saw the "Private Coffee!" sign on the "Private Coffee" pot, but there was no one to ask, so I just rolled my eyes and did a "mind your business."

When you're a new consultant and young - you smile a lot and keep quiet. You don't ask questions.

If someone takes the time to tape a handwritten sign that reads "Private Coffee!" on a coffee pot, there are some janky office politics you don't want to know about.

But when my colleague arrived, he was like - "Whoa, Private Coffee? That's weird. What's that all about?"

You know how it is at work. Mostly you wear your game face, but he could ask me cause I was cool, safe, and a 'known' entity.

Turns out, the "Private Coffee' was a sensitive topic in that office. I never got the entire story, but a few months later, a private coffee drinker got into a fistfight with a non-private coffee drinker over "Private Coffee!"

No kidding. One waited for the other to get off the elevator and then attacked them. The security guard was bleeding!

Sometimes you need to understand the "Private Coffee" of life.

For example. Last week, a friend asked me, "What is a 'write-off'? I've heard it all my life, but I need you to explain it to me."

You don't care until you have something you can write off, yet you don't want people to know you don't know what it means, so you ask someone "safe."

Can you write off job hunt costs? For the record, that's a "no" for most folks until 2025, at least.

You need to know things, yet who do you ask? You can't google search everything. Because a lot of stuff "depends," and you need an expert.

Yet for one freaking question, maybe two (you know, a follow-up.) You don't want to drive downtown, pay to park, and pay an expert... for ONE question. So you suffer.

Not anymore! Now, you can get an answer.

If you have a question or need a strategy, this is for you.

Maybe you just want to know what the hell's going on with Non-competes or how to respond to an email from a recruiter. Or, these crazy days, to know if it's even a legit email from an actual recruiter.

Maybe you wonder if your résumé is really okay. Are you experiencing ageism? Is that thing they did to you even legal?

If that's you, get answers in a new live offering: NSFW with Courtney.

Who: You, me, and whoever else joins.

What: A 30-minute session - 15 minutes on a topic and 15 minutes Q&A.

When: August 22 at 12 noon. New York Time - for starters (we'll see how it goes.)

Where: Virtual. (You get a link when you register.)

Why: This'll be different for everyone.

How: Live session. Straight talk. No BS. Usually Zoom.

If you've ever wondered...

- Can you do anything to get recruited on LinkedIn? Yes! Come find out what.

- What's "Daylighting," and should you be revealing if you're doing it? What's your exposure if you do it?

- Do you apply and hear nothing? Could there be something wrong with your résumé?

- You just got laid off! How do you communicate that? Do you communicate it?

- Do you need a cover letter?

And on and on. Join and ask away.

These live events have been insanely popular in the past - read the reviews or watch the cool video.

To learn more, go here.

Worth it just for the video!

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