Despite what you may or may not have heard, coffee shops are under no obligation to let people camp there for multiple hours, working on their laptops.
This may come as news to a certain man from New York City who thinks the law provides recourse for people who are mildly inconvenienced by a coffee shop's insistence that he move his laptop-camping ass elsewhere.In one of the best examples of a "first-world problem," Jonathan, aka "JJ," moans about his harrowing experience at Starbucks in a post on his blog.
At about 12:00 pm (less than 3 hours after my arrival), a man in a button down approached me and politely asked, "What brings you into Starbucks today?". I glanced up from the work I was doing and replied, "Just here to get some work done". Here is where the story takes a sharp left. I was expecting his next sentence to be something along the lines of "How has your experience been in our store today?" or "Would you mind filling out a feedback form?". My prediction was off...WAY off. He stated, "Okay well we like to reserve our seating for those who are enjoying our beverages". Go ahead and let that simmer. Being completely caught off-guard, I looked at the store employee who was cowering behind him and I said, "I had breakfast and coffee this morning". He reiterated, "Yes, but we would like to reserve our seating for those who are enjoying one of our beverages. Would you like another beverage?". I replied, "No, I'm not quite ready for another one yet". He, again, repeated his previous 2 statements. At this point, he's literally standing over me waiting for me to either say "Okay I would like something else" or "No thanks, I'll leave". So I asked him, "Are you a Starbucks district manager or something?". He nodded and again asked me if I would like something to drink. Again, I declined and told him that I was leaving.
JJ's missive goes on and on and includes claims of being "verbally flogged" by the mean old manager. At one point he claims "I know I would have a case for [suing Starbucks]" for "discrimination and emotional distress," but then he immediately says he won't sue, because he's "not a law-suit kinda guy."
How nice of him.
JJ says he wants a stated policy of how long he can camp out at Starbucks before being asked to either buy something else or take a hike.
Fortunately for him, there already is such a policy at Starbucks, like there is at any establishment besides a public library that offers tables capable of supporting a laptop--it's called: Whenever the friggin' manager tells you to.