For most people it’s no big deal to be sitting with ones laptop in Starbucks, checking emails, surfing, tweeting, or updating a blog. It’s just that this is the first time I am doing it. And I must say that it’s really not such a great experience, except of course for the coffee which is pretty darn good good and the air conditioning, which is blessedly divine.
First of all the internet connection with a laptop running Windows is less than intuitive but after banging the laptop against the wall a couple of times, the Infinitum Starbucks log-in screen appeared and I was able to ‘register’ to use internet in any Starbucks in Mexico.Cool. The Infinitum part never worked; 7 attempts with the cashier-provided username and password yielded no result other than an incorrect username message en español.
Once that was working, and I began to check my myriad accounts of this and that and the other, it immediately became obvious that the seats are of the old-fashioned wooden variety and the apparent lack of tone in my muscles means that every pelvic bone I own is in direct contact with the maple or so it seems. I shift from side to side, sliding to the front and then to the back, trying to find the sweet spot to no avail. The fact that the wood is so smooth doesn’t help either, as any position I adopt changes in seconds as I literally slide in another direction. The chairs back rest seems too far away to offer any support to my spine and so I alternate between slouching and then self consciously straightening my back like a 1950’s Mad Men secretary banging away primly at her Olympia.
Other than that, things are just fine here in Starbucks. The background music is classical guitar and although very nice, although it seems to me, as I slide around on my chair, that the ambiance is reminiscent of Monty Pythons cheese shop and the increasingly irritating background music therein, as Cleese orders cheese.
To make matters more interesting, just now a less than-youngish man has sat down at the next table, set up his laptop and is doing his business correspondence here at Starbucks because, as I just overheard him yelling into his cell phone, his internet is down at home and that’s why he came here. I am also privy to potentially boring information about his upcoming sales promotions and the fact that he has only two months left on something or other and he needs to get things moving. Before and after the high-volume business chatter is of course the social chatter, again on extra high enthusiastic volume, which involves a lot of friendly banter and macho bullshit back and forth. Did I mention that his cell phone is actually a NexTel phone and emits that irritating electronic fart every two minutes?
Ah yes. Perhaps it’s a sign of age and my increasingly diminishing levels of tolerance for loud, annoying individuals and uncomfortable furniture, but for me, the laptop at Starbucks thing isn’t working out tonight.
Although I did hammer out this post as a result. In Starbucks.