Barnes and Noble Totally Ruined the Free Workspace I Was Mooching Off Them

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Like many of you who go to Starbucks, or other places where wifi is free, I call this place my office.  And frankly, why shouldn’t I? I pay at least  $4.50 per day to rent that space. Well, if I get a Vente, that is. In return I get to enjoy a table with a couple lingering crumbs from the last customer business person and the music chosen by the M.O.D. (manager on duty), which depending on the day could be anything from Cee Lo and Kermit doing a duet, to an operatic rendition of Justin Beiber’s “Baby.”

I’m guessing they choose their music to ensure a higher rate of customer turnover in the cafe, but I tune it out. I mean, I already paid my 4 dollars, so why let them take advantage of me by sending me home after a mere hour of lingering when I have another 4-6 hours left in me?

No, they will not triumph.

They can’t force me to leave and make space for someone else to enjoy their coffee or meet with a friend! (Someone who may even buy a book – do people still do that? – or a handful of the most specific magazines known to man like: “City Apartment Decor For Small Spaces” or “GQ – Men Over 40 Who Refuse to Use Propecia and Only Have One Testicle Edition.”)

But the other day something insane happened something that rocked my steadfast attitude … They disconnected all the electrical sockets, so that squatters patrons, like myself, would be forced to leave when our MacBooks died. It was an ingenious plan that I’m quite certain was hatched on the corporate level by some manager twisting his handlebar mustache (his or her … I don’t want to seem sexist.)

When I went to the M.O.D. to inquire as to why my $4 latte doesn’t give me the right to sit in her cafe for 5 hours at a clip and steal her wifi without worrying about my battery running low, she explained that a melee had broken out over the sockets and they were forced to turn them off.

The term I had the most trouble with was melee. Which she used, I kid you not.

Really? A “melee” broke out? Are you sure it wasn’t more of a scuffle, maybe a debate, or even a tiff? We’re in Barnes & Noble not Pinkberry.

MOD: No it got physical. One customer threw another customer out of his chair because that customer wasn’t using the outlet but insisted on sitting at the table near one.

Well, why didn’t you say so, I mean that IS beyond annoying.  OK, admitting this probably makes me the biggest dork ever, but I have actually posted on Facebook about having the same pet peeve. Even worse, it makes you, my readers, uber dorks, because you liked that status update … 100s of you. So, let’s just say we all get how frustrating it can be to need electricity. I mean, just look at Marie Antoinette.

(If you got that reference you must be insane because it was totally meaningless.)

Anyhoo, no one wants a dead laptop, yet we are in a white collar suburban neighborhood, so I imagine the melee broke out the way it would at a Trekkie convention … something like this: One day, some exasperated guy threw down his specs with the transitions lenses, gently moved his coffee to the side (because coffee is hot and pricey so, he wouldn’t want to scald anyone or spill any), grabbed the other man by the chest pocket of his short sleeved button down and ever so slightly wobbled him in his chair. Or maybe he simply swept away the copy of Omni magazine (do they still publish Omni?) the other gentleman had been sapping information from, with no intention of purchasing, and brashly said: “No plug, no love.”

No wait, that didn’t even rhyme, and it sounds more like something they would teach you at a high school sex class (if you attended a robot high school).

I’m sure he could do better than that. 

Maybe he said “If you don’t socket, I’ll sock’it to ya.”

No, still I feel he probably wasn’t that bold … or an actor from “Laugh In” (PS – that reference aged me more than anything I’ve written, like ever!).

Maybe he was all, “If you don’t need juice, then move your caboose.” And he had an accent that made caboose seem sophisticated … maybe French. The French are belligerent right?  Just look at Marie Antoinette. (Now, that reference actually worked.)

M.O.D: Ma’am, I don’t have any clue what you’re talking about. You are welcome to sit in one of our comfortable chairs and read or check the cushions for coins, but I can’t help you with charging your computer.

I know what you’re up to lady, you and your handlebar mustache (see, it’s a good thing I was so PC earlier). I know this is just a ploy to get me to leave or buy some antiquated reading material that still requires paper — but I will not concede. This is a free country. FREE I TELL YOU. Now, I’m going to my car to continue to steal your FREE wifi and hook up my computer to an adapter, where I will listen to Cee Lo sing with the Muppets, because I want to, not because YOU think I should.

7 thoughts on “Barnes and Noble Totally Ruined the Free Workspace I Was Mooching Off Them

  1. nancy

    This is dribble- really? I have a feeling the author writes these blogs bc in the past she was told she was witty and she is a stay at home mom with no other “job.” I have even seen her on tv for Pediatrics Associates…what? Does she have a medical license? What makes her an expert and ps- any mom who would post her kids’ pics on a national site is so egocentric.

    Reply
  2. cherie

    Funny, Funny, Funny…but you see, you are actually one of the people that irks me. You take up the room that us paying customers would like to use, well maybe not at Barnes and Noble, but at Panera’s or one of the other lunch establishments that offer free wifi.

    Reply
  3. Tressa

    How annoying. I mean, I get camping out for awhile if you’re from out of town and your Hotel’s wifi sucks, but otherwise it’s just rude.

    Reply
  4. Ribena Tina @ ribenamusings

    Ingenious – sitting in the car and charging the laptop and still using their wifi. In the UK I don’t think we have grasped the concept of coffee bars in places similar to B&N let alone letting us use their electrical sockets! Unless you are in London of course – maybe those handle-barred people think that business men only work out of London and the rest of us are just scavengers…
    Ribena Tina @ ribenamusings recently posted…You’re killing my son: mum on the runMy Profile

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