Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Am I THAT Out of Touch?

I’m more out of touch with the world than I thought! I rode the BV up to one of the local Starbucks this morning figuring I’d grab something cold and chocolaty and coffesque to sip on while surfing some of my favorite bike sites on their wi-fi network. I ordered a mocha frappuccino and asked if they had bagels. As is my usual luck, they were out of them and the girl remarked that even if they had any their toaster was broken. I chuckled at my typical luck and lightheartedly remarked with a smile, “Gee, I hope your wi-fi is working.” A young guy behind the counter replied, “It is,” and then added in a rather snotty and condescending tone, “It’s not free though.”

And, there’s my being out of touch. I thought that all these coffee places, bistros, fast food joints, and such had free wi-fi to entice customers to linger and to keep coming back for more of their brew and grub. Not so.

Now my dander is up, too. What was it about me that made that kid tell me rather curtly and unpleasantly that the wi-fi isn’t free? Was it my age? I’m half tempted to go back inside when I’m done typing this into Word by one of their outdoor tables to return the unpleasantness and ask him point blank why he was rude, but I won’t do that because I’m in a good mood after having talked to my principal this morning and having leaned that I have the teaching assignments and load for next year that I’d hoped to have.

There’s a kicker too. I was giving Starbucks another chance to prove that their beverages don't always taste like burnt tar. I much prefer Dunkin Donuts or the even cheaper but almost as delicious Sheetz blends. The frap wasn't bad tasting, but at close to $5 the price was somewhat ridiculous! You won’t catch me at another Starbucks - ever!

So, was I totally wrong? Are none of the restaurant wi-fi’s free?


Here I am at Panera Bread, not a mile away from the lousy Starbucks. I’m connected to their FREE wireless network and working merrily away on continuing this entry! Maybe I wasn’t as out of touch as I thought. Maybe Starbucks is just inadequate with their wi-fi as they are with their bitter java. Here at Panera I got an everything bagel with cream cheese and a bottomless cup of soda for less than just the drink at Starbucks. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll check out the McDonald’s wi-fi to see if it's readily accessible, or maybe I’ll just ask the girls who seem to know all that cool stuff that dear old dad doesn’t.

Panera Bread will get my business over Starbucks every time.


Marc said...

As far as chain store coffee is concerned (IMHO):

Dunkin' > Sheetz > Panera > Starbucks

I still haven't tried Sheetz's "barista" drinks. I usually get drip coffee or those cappuccino drinks from the hot chocolate machines. With your recommendation, I might just try one. :)

Yeah, Starbucks is a very snooty, unfriendly place. I avoid them as much as possible.

The Starbucks girl was probably trying to keep you from coming back up to the counter in 5 minutes complaining that the WiFi wasn't free...

LOL @ the circle slash over the Starbucks logo in your photo at the top of the entry.


Not-So-Random questions:

How are you taking photographs of yourself in different locations? Tripod? Help of a passer-by?

What camera & computer are you using?

irondad said...

McDonald's wi-fi is free. Around here, though, the signal is weak in most stores. Where the heck do you find a Dunkin' Donuts? Here in Oregon I think they are all gone. As much as I hate to admit it, those places used to be my field offices.

By the way, now that you're famous I'll have to come hang out here more!

Lance said...

Joe, I agree with you - I think that Starbucks not providing free wifi goes counter to what I thought they were trying to do - encourage people to come to their shops and work on-line over coffee. In the Seattle area, we have Tully's which doesn't charge for wifi, so whenever I can, I patronize them. I also like the small independent coffee shops in the area (with or without wifi). I'll have to check out Panera's.

On another subject, I really like your Piaggio - what cc is it?


Joe said...

Hey, Lance! It's a Piaggio BV250.

And be sure to check out the pastries at Panera. I highly recommend the chocolate filled ones!


joseph.peightel said...

For coffee, lately I'm fond of McDonalds if its fresh. For the free Wi-Fi, Panera is hard to beat because they encourage you to stay with outlets near every booth. The coffee @ 4bucks isn't bad, but no outlets and the pay as you go Wi-Fi makes it unfriendly.

Wi-Fi is free in Balto's Inner Harbor area. - Sixstring Joe

Lance said...

Joe, just checked out Panera's today - we have a nice one about 20 minutes from where we live, and the breakfast sandwiches and coffee are great. Thanks for the tip!

Marc said...

My wife and I had breakfast @ Dunkin' Donuts this past Saturday. They had a sign in the window: "Free WiFi".