What is it with these thoughtless laptop users in eateries?

I had lunch today with a coworker at a great little place in Austin called Cafe Java. He was pressed for time and the place was very busy. We had a bit of a wait for a small table for two. My coworker had to leave before we had both finished to get back to work.

However, what frosts me is that there was a some hipster with an Apple notebook and a single beverage glass camping a table for four the whole time. He was there when we arrived (and appeared to have been there a while). He was still there when we left. He was happily camping that table as customers put their names on waiting lists to get a seat.

Now, Cafe Java has signs posted on all of the tables asking mobile device users to please be courteous and limit their use during rush periods when there are more customers than available seats. The sign on the table was less than a foot away from our oblivious Mac user as he noodled away on both his notebook and a smart phone. He was working a different device with both hands.

The same restaurant has a lunch counter where single people with mobile devices can generally work away for longer periods of time without causing anyone to wait for a table. The lone regulars know to take their notebooks to the counter when it is busy.

I spoke to the restaurant staff on the way out and asked them if they could tactfully explain their mobile devices table-camping policy to this person when he checked out.

Yet, this is just common courtesy. One shouldn’t need to have to post signs everywhere and even be spoken to in person. Taking up a table for four with a laptop and a drink glass while others are waiting for tables is being a jerk. Doing so despite a clearly posted policy asking you NOT TO DO IT is being obnoxious.

Hey, it is great you have a nice Mac and a smart phone. Congrats! Now show you also have a clue when it comes to busy restaurant etiquette and common courtesy. Please limit your mobile device use at tables or booths when you can see a backlog or take it to the lunch counter and free up a table for a larger party.

Sadly, this isn’t a rare event. I quit going to one coffee shop in Austin after watching people camp tables for six with a single cup of coffee during an entire breakfast rush. Meanwhile, I was standing there waiting to sit down.

OK, so you have homework to do. Please go to the library or your dorm room or just come back later when it is slow.

Oh, and while on a rant about thoughtless mobile device users, I also need to toss in a dig at the guy who sat one table over from me at the patio of an outdoor eating place. I was with a ten year-old girl (my granddaughter) and her stepfather. This yahoo spent the entire meal loudly dropping F-Bombs and other obscenities into his ongoing phone conversation within full earshot of the other diners.

Dude, get a clue! Go be a jerk out of earshot of the other people who are trying to enjoy a meal.

Not all of us want to hear you act like like a character in a bad Quentin Tarantino flick — and I darn sure didn’t want my granddaughter exposed to it. I sent her to a play area next to the patio to get her away from the F-Bomb splatter zone.

This was an older gentleman, which means he really should have known better. But then, he had a strong accent from somewhere in the Northeast, so maybe he never learned manners.

NOTE: I don’t know why it is, but this post has turned into my number one draw for fake “comments” from spammers. I guess spammers are drawn to a post about people who abuse technology and act like jerks. It is topic they know well…


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One Response to “What is it with these thoughtless laptop users in eateries?”

  1. jamesacooley Says:

    NOTE FROM ME: For whatever reason, this post has become the #1 magnet for spammer fake comments.

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