Walk into Starbucks or Panera (if you have a few extra dollars in your pocket to spend on coffee!) and you'll see them. People studiously reading books or newspapers, and that's fine, but look more closely. Some of those people are busy on their laptops, plugged in, chatting with a friend or a customer.. and practically running an office out of the coffee bar! Now some of those places are pulling the plug on those mini-office operations.
Chain stores around the nation are either beginning to put locks on the electrical outlets. That allows only staffers, or the nighttime cleaning crews to use them. Others are banning laptop use for more than an hour.. while other stores may require that there be no papers spread out all over the table with laptops open from the prime hours of 6:00 until 8:00 in the morning, or maybe 11:00 until 2:00 in the afternoon. I should mention this includes students who could be hanging out there, to meet friends and work on projects for classes. That's a fun experience, but the coffee baristas are concerned about two things.. anyone buying one cup of coffee and staying for hours.. taking up their valuable seating space and running up their electricity bills.
But mostly, I just can't believe the gall of some of these people setting up shop to run their businesses, for charging up their computers, or running them to conduct business out of Panera, Starbucks, Scooters, etc. I have seen some of this when we're shopping in the Kansas City area. Let me know if you've seen it too.. and whether it's time to put the mini-office operators in their own offices, using their own electricity. Ralph