New York City Starbucks have begun to cover up some of their electrical outlets in order to to eliminate the customers “who spread all their papers out and stay for hours on end, turning a coffee-shop table into their makeshift cubicle,” says a Time magazine piece on the subject. The move “reflects a growing trend of coffee shops trying to discourage squatters from hogging seats while spending little.”
This is the kind of story that makes my heart soar, not because these squatters impact me in anyway. I don’t drink coffee, and while I have been known on rare occasions to sit down in a Starbucks to write, the ungodly scream of the milk steamer, combined with the incomprehensibility of the language that is spoken in those shops, makes it a place where I cannot concentrate for very long.
No, it’s not that these squatters inconvenience me.
Instead, I approve of this decision simply because I like to imagine the look on the faces of the laptop squatters when they return to their favorite coffee shop/work area, only to find their power source eliminated.
It’s that image that brings me happiness.
In a perfect world, I would have the time to camp out beside these former power outlets and spend the day watching the squatters approach their favorite table only to realize that their plans for electrical subjugation have been foiled.
It’s a pleasure drawn from suffering and cruel amusement, I know.
But if I’m being honest, it’s also the sole reason that this story attracted my attention in the first place.
Sort of my own personal version of watching a NASCAR race to see an accident, but with fewer potentially dire consequences.