Working out of a “third place”

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Fun article in USA Today that captures pretty well what goes on in cafes used as third places. Something, as you know, that I do a lot of and that I see more and more people doing in an ever larger selection of cafes.

He says waiters here don’t hover. Instead, “there’s an understanding that for every hour or so you’re here, you’ll buy something.” … That arrangement works just fine for Keir Beadling, 38, who, when he isn’t snacking, keeps the iced teas and coffees coming. As head of a company that markets Mavericks, an area big-wave surfing competition, Beadling has an office nearby. It’s just that he finds he can’t get any work done there.

The unspoken teleworker/waiter code is that you give up your table if the place starts hopping… But it’s 3 p.m., and the lunch crowd has long since left The Grove. Now it’s caffeine-fueled crunch time. Nearly 20 laptops are whirring away in various parts of the cafe, both indoors and out. For all this energy, you can hear an espresso spoon drop. Silent focus radiates off the faces of the cultural rainbow assembled here.

Emphasis mine on the last quote and that’s something I wish more people would do. For example at Laïka even though I’ve never felt pressure to do so, if I’m there between noon and 13h30-14h I eat there or if I’m going knowing I wont eat, I wait until that time to get there because during those hours the place is usually completely packed and I want to let them “make their money” and hogging a table for the price of a cup of tea doesn’t let them do that in my opinion.

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