The Duke as a barista

Those who are convinced they are entitled to a rent-free study hall and access to Wi-Fi should be directed to the nearest exit.
By John Owen | Mar 29, 2012

According to the merchandising bromide, "The customer is always right."

Really?  That seems to contradict knowledge personally gained during a childhood spent watching cowboy movies.

Sometimes the customer is wrong and as  a consequence is thrown head first through the swinging doors at the Lonesome Dove Saloon.

Often I wonder why it doesn't happen more often at Edmonds area coffee shops.

And I'll give you an example I personally witnessed.

There are often two chairs in front of a fireplace at this particular establishment.

A young woman had appropriated both chairs for herself and for her baggage.

She also arrived with a large paper sack and a thick book of fiction. Occasionally she would set down the book, reach into the sack, haul out a large  bottle of Pepsi and  a plastic cup, which she filled.

There was no indication that she had purchased anything at the coffee shop.  There was every indication she intended to sit there all day.

I know what John Wayne would have done, if he were the barista. Slam, bam, out the swinging doors!

Of course, "Duke" would have been violating the unwritten rules that seem to prevail in coffee shops.

A customer can walk into an establishment and claim the only vacant chair and table in the joint, then set up a laptop computer and begin typing Chapter I of War and Peace.

War?  Yeah there would  be immediate hostilities if I owned the joint.

Does it really make financial sense to allow a visitor to claim a location for an hour or three for the price of a small cup of espresso?  I'd like to see the profit and loss statement.

Some industry leaders did just that, and have begun to "pull the plug on laptop loafers," as one recent magazine article reported. More specifically, they are blocking access to power outlets.

A customer walks into a Starbucks, buys an espresso and a pastry, then finds there is no place to sit down because of the laptop loafers, one industry spokesman points out.

See?  The customer is always right in believing their purchase also entitles them to a little elbow room.

Those who are convinced they are entitled to a rent-free study hall and access to Wi-Fi should be directed to the nearest exit.

Or as John Wayne might have asked, "Planning to claim squatters' rights on this acreage, Pilgrim?"

This way to the swinging doors.

 

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