I am at the library and I know that moment is coming. The person sitting two tables down from me that I have never met before in my life and will never speak to again is about to do one of the most annoying things in the world. They come over and say, “Hey, I’m gonna go grab a coffee, can you watch my stuff?”
I mentally shudder and think to myself you want me, a complete and total stranger, to protect your notes, textbooks, iPod and two thousand dollar laptop while you galavant off to another building for sustenance or whatever else you may have planned.
I feel that this is a lot of responsibility. What if something actually happens to your stuff? Am I accountable for that? Am I actually expected to duel someone or chase down a thief on your behalf? Or even worse while I am on Twitter, I mean working on my paper, and I am not actually looking at your stuff, which happens to be just on the edge of my peripheral vision somebody grabs it. If your stuff is not there when you get back what happens?
I go with the opposite approach. You leave something invaluable like a hoodie or textbook (no one would steal one of those) to save your spot, which can be as valuable as an iPod depending on the time of day, and pack up anything you are not willing to part with — i.e. your Macbook, and that delicious roast beef, cheddar and avocado sandwich you’re saving for later.
I’ve been told I have trust issues when it comes to expensive electronics, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. I will trudge my laptop to the bathroom with me if I am working at a coffee shop or studying at the library. The time required to pack it up is nothing compared to the pain of replacing it. I will not let friends touch my DSLR (I occasionally make exceptions for people who actually know how to use DSLRs). My rule of thumb is if I can’t afford to replace it then I need to protect it. This is why I do not ask strangers to guard my laptop, because it is my most expensive and most useful possession.
This was inspired by 9 Unfortunate Situations to Find Yourself In by Christopher Hudspeth on Thought Catalog: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/9-unfortunate-situations-to-find-yourself-in/