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Cafe’s are the town squares of modern times — a place for people to gather, exchange ideas, and conduct business. I spend a good (probably too much) amount of time at cafes. Sometimes I’m working. Sometimes I’m “working.” So I consider myself an expert on the art of sitting quietly at tables with $5 lattes. Here’s my guide on Proper Internet Cafe Etiquette.
Share The Plug. Twenty people. Fifteen laptops. Two electrical outlets. You do the math. Juice up before you hit the tables, and give other people a shot at charging their devices if you happen to be lucky enough to be near one. And be nice when doing the whole hey-can-I-get-my-power-cable-under-your-seat-yeah-thanks thing.
Courtesy is King. Your little screenplay you’re working on may mean the world to you, but it don’t mean jack to everyone else at the cafe, so don’t be so zoned out and self-centered that you can’t have basic courtesy. Be aware of your surroundings.
Get Close. Most cafes haven’t optimized the number-of-tables-to-number-of-customers equation yet, meaning often there’s big tables with just one person, and small tables shared by big groups. If you’re flying solo, grab a smaller space. Or, if you happen to be at a big table, let others sit down as well. Which leads me to…
Control Your Crap. So take your bag off of that spare chair so an actual human being can sit down. And don’t spread your junk all over the communal table.
Finally, Respect the Staff. Unlike you and your screenplay, the baristas are hardworking folks contributing to society. So be sure to treat them right: clean up after your mess, push in chairs, etc. And of course, be sure to buy stuff intermittently if you plan to camp out for the whole day. Think of it as rent for that chair you’re sitting on.