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Office tale of Luke Mangelsdorf, owner of The Pickle Bear

Office tale of Luke Mangelsdorf, owner of The Pickle Bear

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you:
Luke Mangelsdorf; owner and sole operator of The Pickle Bear. I hand-make gourmet pickles to order using Australian produce and the best ingredients I can find.

Your current job:
Artisan pickle manufacturer

In which city are you located?
Melbourne, Australia

A word to define what kind of worker you are:

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Google Drive, I’ve got my whole business on there so I can access everything from anywhere.

What does your office space look like?
I’ve got a little kitchen that looks out over a garden. It’s got a sink, a dishwasher, a stove and a big long bench. It’s pretty basic, but that’s all I need.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
I listen to music all day while I’m working so it’s not uncommon for me to go from something like Four Tet to Tom Waits in a single cook. Last week I rocked Johann Sebastian Bach for an entire shift, it was intense.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
I kind of have to, I’ve got a little pickle manufacturing production line and I’m the only thing involved that moves by itself. It’s just a process of making sure that everything is ready when it needs to be, I’m fine tuning it all the time.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?
I don’t think there is a trick to productivity. If you’re proud of what you do you’ll naturally seek out the best way of doing things. If you’re not, you won’t.

You’re better than your colleagues to:
Agonise over inconsequential details.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?
No one else knows what they’re doing either.

What is your best tip for saving time?
Experimenting is better than planning. If you’ve got an idea, take a crack and see what works and what doesn’t and then go from there.

What is your routine start and end of the day?
I make myself an espresso, put something good on the stereo, don my apron and cycling cap and start prepping the kitchen for my delivery.
At the end of the day I grab a couple of beers or a red wine and then take a seat to start labelling all the pickles I’ve just made. My partner is usually home from work by then too, so I get to talk to her while I’m doing it.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not go without?
I do everything by hand so I don’t really use any gadgets, but I couldn’t work without my stereo. If there was no music in the room it would feel an awful lot like I was standing on the spot cutting cucumbers.