Friday, February 12, 2010

Bad manners at the cafe


Picture this: There are three electrical outlets in the Hastings Hardback Cafe – one next to the table on the far left, one behind the two easy chairs and one next to the table on the far right in the background (where I have my netbook set up).

I was set up at that table yesterday about noon and there was a guy with a Mac laptop at the table on the left. A young woman comes in, surveys the situation and decides to work from the easy chair on the right. But she doesn’t like the height of the coffee table in front of the chair, so she drags the table in the right foreground back to the easy chair, leaving four table chairs standing in the middle of the room. Somewhere in this process, the Mac guy packs up his stuff and leaves. She ignores this opportunity to have a table next to an outlet and fires up her laptop where she is.

And then she whips out a bag from Chik-fil-A and eats her lunch.

After rearranging the furniture and using the cafe’s Wifi and electricity, she buys nothing.

I don’t know how you feel about stuff like this, but if I were the manager, my blood would be boiling. This is a for-profit business, not the Christian Science Reading Room or the public library.

Whenever do my bookstore Internet stuff – be it here, at Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble or anywhere else – I always buy something. (Here, it’s a 97 cent Rio Azul coffee.)

That this young woman felt entitled to rearrange the furniture, use the electricity and Wifi and bring in food she bought elsewhere is stunning in its boldness and arrogance.

But however outraged I was, I chose not to say anything because I am quite certain she would decide I was attacking her for some reason other than her behavior. (Read between the lines here.)

So she gets a pass and will almost certainly keep doing it until some manager somewhere explains the unwritten rules of social responsibility to her.

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