Working Remotely: Bah humbug, Starbucks

June 19, 2009

Have Laptop – Will Travel: That was my mode yesterday, made possible by my current freelance status.

Landed at a Starbucks in Alexandria, assuming I would grab some coffee and access the web, begin work – because you know, here in Charlottesville, most coffee places have wireless – free wireless, mind you –

Silly me. Starbucks not only required me to purchase my online time – but when I moved closer to Old Town Alexandria, which, as a town, has free wireless throughout, the Starbucks there STILL required a person to pay – a propriety situation, of course – if I were an AT&T customer, I would have been fine –

Running around the streets of Alexandria trying to find a signal with my laptop, I felt as anachronistic as if I’d been striking up fires and blowing smoke signals – there was something too ridiculous and insulting about paying for something inside that was free outside –

It was pretty annoying. And strange. Those futuristic commercials showing slovenly, hip teens lounging on park benches watching music videos on their iPhones make connecting to the web look so effortless – in reality, the competing networks you come across, access restrictions, crossed signals – well, some of the frustration can push a person to long for a good match, some twigs, and a blanket…