About a week ago, I came home to find that my depressed cable modem decided to go and commit suicide.
With work left to do, I scrambled to try and find a wireless connection I could “borrow” so that everything that needed to be published was done so by morning. Unfortunately, my neighbors all had security locks on their connections. Selfish!
As someone who works from their place of residence, not having internet access is a no-no. I had no choice but to get up at the crack of dawn each morning and make my way over the coffee shop that I knew provided free Wi-Fi for a week. In order not to look like a total leech, everyday I would come in and order a drink and a bagel before I sat down to mooch off their internet.
Thankfully, I didn’t frequent any of the shops across the country that’s telling their laptop carrying patrons to GET OUT!
Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reports that as shop owners struggle to stay in business, the love affair between coffee shops and their Web browsing patrons is fading.
It seems in select shops, all you may get is a distinct side-eye from one of the workers. In other shops, though, you may find a manager informing you that computer usage is restricted during certain hours – if not forbidden altogether.
Thus far it’s only been New York shop owners locking their electrical outlets, but even in cities like San Francisco customers are being asked to make room at the table for the people who actually plan to spend some money inside.
For many who work without offices, this creates a problem in how they do business.
I would hate to have to be turned away from a coffee shop because of my laptop only to sit outside and get my wireless fix anyway. I’m the type that would ask for a cup shortly before being given the boot. That way, I could sit on the concrete, get my work done, and pick up enough change to get a drink and/or pastry…at another restaurant.
I can understand why business owners are trying to explore new ways to stay afloat, but laptop users are typically the most loyal demographic to coffee shops. Does it make sense to alienate them?
Drop your thoughts below and email your recession tales to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.