Picture a rainy Brooklyn morning. Perfect day to hunker down in a coffee shop in the company of other morose creatives, wondering what novel or secret IPO they’re up to. But don’t ask, lest they’re just paying ConEd online and you’re reminded both of the banalities of human existence and your own possibly overdue electrical bill. You give yourself props because you haven’t used a single kilowatt at home this month as you plug your laptop into the coffee shop’s outlet instead, sip your 17th hot water refill on a long spent tea bag and settle into reorganizing your Spotify playlists for the next four hours. You’re a laptop squatter, the bane of coffee shop owners everywhere.
The point of this obese windup is not merely to get our bloviating muscles working on an arthritic Monday morning, but to ask you, Brokistas, what you think is fair to spend at a coffee shop where you’re taking up space for half a day? Do you nurse a small joe all day, or order a chai latte for every hour you’re there? Are you required to order food after two hours? Is your bill $3, $10 or $20? And do you order more if you use electricity? Confess, our dear child. You too, café owners. We want to hear your side.