Coffee shop laptopWalk into The Chatterbox, a coffee shop in Westville, KZN, South Africa (now you know exactly where it is!). Only having about 30 minutes, I order a muffin and coffee. Settle back and switch on my laptop. Damn… need power but no problem, my table has a plug point right next to it. Plug in and get to work. “Sorry Sir” the polite waitress says…

“you have to make a minimum order of R29 if you wish to use the plug point”. I find out the owner has made the rule, but when I offer to phone the owner am told that they cannot give out her number. Fair enough.
Anyway, long story short. I explain why the rule is simply idiotic even though I can understand the sentiment behind it (people who ‘power up’ and then spend all day there over a single cup of coffee). These places rely on quick turn-over, but being aware of this I would be sensitive to the situation. At this point, however, I am the only person in the establishment.
Starbucks actually encourage students to frequent their establishment and hang-out there doing work!
The Chatterbox: another example of people who simply don’t ‘get it’ in today’s Connection Economy. Let me say this though, the waitress who I dealt with was polite and clearly she had been put in a riduculous situation by someone who makes the rules but doesn’t understand the consequence of her rule-making.

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