Only a few months ago, Born-Again Barny was fighting with fellow corporate warriors. Although Barny spent seven years of his youth working for a consulting firm, he never really felt at home there. Richer than his friends and cooler than his colleagues, he was living the schizophrenic life. But one day he decided to take action. He resigned and joined the coworking space his cousin told him about. Barny didn’t feel quite at home straight away as he was still scarred by his corporate past, so in a sincere effort to integrate himself, Barny finally rejected the corporate world and became a fierce advocate of the freelancer lifestyle. Barny has vowed many times never to return to the black suits.
Dan the Dinosaur
Dan the Dinosaur has been here forever. He is older than the walls. You met him at the first social you organised in your apartment when you were a fresh and enthusiastic coworking catalyst. He helped you build the bar long before Bernard the Boozer’s reign. His grandmother’s carpet is still in the meeting room. He often talks about the good old days, listing the glorious times of the past. He holds a vintage membership from way before 2013. Sadly, one day Dan might leave you. If he ever does, it will be the day you realise your youth is behind you.
Hectic Dominic is one of your coworkers and you are one of his spaces. He has attended all opening parties for all city coworking spaces in the last ten years and is considered a member by twenty of them. He runs the most notorious tech and innovation events with his mission to change the world. He hashtags, pins, likes, blogs, shares and broadcasts everything around him. He’s your friend on social media before you’ve even shaken his hand in person. If you’re lucky, he’ll bring a dozen corporate executives into your space every now and again. They seek to discover ‘the ecosystem’; who better than Dominic to guide them around? Like a busy bee, he flies from community to community, gathering pollen wherever flowers bloom, yet no one really knows where the honey is sold.
What’s the correlation between being a coworking member and rejecting all forms of animal produce? We’re not exactly sure, but for some reason, Vegan Megan is a classic personality type for coworking spaces. At lunchtime, whilst Bernard the Boozer watches his chorizo, chicken and chilli pizza baking in the oven, Megan peels, cuts and squeezes all sorts of vegetables and fruits. In less than one month since her arrival, Vegan Megan convinced 10 coworkers to buy a $300 juice extractor. Kudos to Megan!
Good Old Doug
Good Old Doug is just like any other member: friendly, curious, open minded and willing to meet new people and learn new things. A great coworker with a fresh spirit. However, here’s the catch: Doug is sixty. It doesn’t matter to him as he feels as young as anyone here; he is simply being young a little bit longer than the rest of them. But how do his coworkers perceive him? Will he be considered as a peer by people younger than his son? He doesn’t want to fake youth, yet he cannot be the old guy; will he be able to find the happy medium?
Freedom Fred is a veteran. He first came to your coworking space six years ago because Richard Stallman was giving a talk. He immediately fell in love with the idea of coworking: sharing skills, opening knowledge, building common spaces, it was made for him. “Free together? What a great moto! Let me sign for that membership!” Fred soon contributed to the coworking wiki and spent a massive amount of energy trying to convert the numerous disbelievers to open sources software alternative. Needless to say, he experienced much less success than Vegan Megan with her juice extractor.
A coworking space is not about desks and chairs. If that were the case, Talking Tom would not be there. Only one week after becoming a member, Tom had met everybody in the space, even Lonely Lily and Gareth The Ghost! Tom always has crazy stories to tell, he likes to share his opinions on everything and never fails to find a wandering coworker to listen to his one way conversation. Nobody really knows what he does for a living and few have seen him actually working (Skype calls aside). At home, someone – who does need to work – must be financing his membership… surely it’s the only rational explanation?
Bonus: Terry McTroll
It’s Friday afternoon and Terry has made an appearance at the latest social to do nothing but troll in classic McTroll style. With absolutely no sense of social tact or subtlety, he asks Talking Tom his one and only infamous (yet largely forbidden) question: “... but what is your business model?” All efforts by fellow coworkers to instantly quash his repeated question fail dismally. “It's the weekend, can we stop talking about business please?” risks Randy Andy. Terry continues, arguing that the weekend is simply a social convention which would be non-existent if it wasn't for the business week. Besides, if you truly believe in your business model, why wouldn't you want to talk about it 24/7?
Edited by Megan Hanney