Business Proposal: Quiet Spaces to Make Private Phone Calls

by Maggie Hamilton

I need to bow out of work for 30 minutes so I can call a recruiter. My dilemma? Where do I make that phone call? My car used to be the go-to spot for personal phone calls, but living in New York City doesn’t afford me that luxury. So what’s a job-seeker to do?

I work in an extremely small office, where privacy doesn’t exist. I might be able to go to the basement, and cross my fingers that no one scampers down. Going outside is an option, but then I am left to deal with the elements — it’s cold, loud and I run the risk of being targeted by the homeless woman that spits on people. Do I go to the bank and hang out in the ATM vestibule? If I was a teller, I’d kick me out.

Do I buy a coffee at the shop next door and make the phone call there? I’m not a fan of making public phone calls. I usually find them annoying, distracting and no one needs to know my business — even if I am just talking about what I had for dinner last night. Clearly, I am going to have an issue talking about my strengths, weaknesses, goals, etc. in front of complete strangers.

So I had a thought. Someone should really come up with a business that provides a space to make phone calls. Much like phone banks in hotels. I would gladly pay five bucks to have five minutes of privacy. To me, being relaxed and focused would be worth it. Whether it’s talking to a prospective employer, doctor or mistress, I think there could really be a market for something like this. Bonus points for shop cats.

All that I ask is that I get a cut when the first store makes millions. In the meantime, I’ll be in the basement.

Maggie Hamilton lives in New York City and is an avid pie-baker, cat-stalker, and park-runner. Write her at or stalk her on her new blog: