Long, long ago in a land far, far away… Or rather longer ago than I want to admit to <sound effect: cough cough>April</cough> in pretty much the geographic location I am today, I had the idea of holding open community office hours. At the time, I was unemployed underemployed and yet somehow extremely busy. My weeks were marked by coffee and lunch dates with people who had heard from someone who had heard from someone that I was the person to talk to about whatever it was that they needed help with. My dates would pick my brain, asking questions about social media, community events or business startup ideas.
I could have ranted about how these meetups were essentially free consulting sessions, how they didn’t yield either contract work or employment offers, or how my dates would then run off to implement things we talked about while I still had to scrape together money to pay my gas bill if I wanted to keep taking hot showers. But for the most part, I was enjoying myself for four key reasons:
- I love social media.
- I love the local Phoenix social-web-tech community I’ve become immersed in.
- I love meeting and talking to new people, many of whom seem to find me though this very same social-web-tech community.
- And I love coffee.
From something that was naturally occurring, and something that I was enjoying, came the idea to give in and hold open community office hours. Akin to a college professor’s office hours, these are times when people could join me at a local coffee shop or eatery to talk about anything that interests them, whether it be social media, current events or name ideas for the family’s new goldfish.
Here’s how it works:
- Every week, I’ll choose 1-2 days to hold office hours, typically in the mornings before the workday kicks off.
- I’ll publish the dates, times, and location of these office hours on this public Google calendar.
- If you plan to join me, you’ll drop me an email at heather lynne herr at gmail dot com with “office hours” somewhere in the subject line. (I guarantee there will be mornings when that email verification that someone is expecting me will be the only thing that ensures I don’t sleep in an extra hour.)
- We’ll meet, chat, and enjoy some good coffee and/or noms.
One very important do not:
- Do not come with the intention of talking about anything that you want a NDA, written or verbal, to discuss. I am by default a very open person and I don’t want the pressure of keeping your secrets.
I’m kicking things off this Friday, November 20th at Liberty Market. If you want to join me, holla!