With the growing trend in telecommuting, more and more people find themselves setting up shop in places that offer free Wi-Fi. Café owners offer Internet access in order to draw the teleworkers who would like to partake of this coffee house perk.
Are you one of these public Internet users? If so, you must realize there are certain do’s and don’ts on your part when taking advantage of this social perk.
Here are 17 Tips for Appropriate Internet Café behavior:
- Do order something and be sure to leave a tip as a thank you for using their real estate for a period of time.
- Don’t talk on the phone or text while ordering. Give the service staff your full attention when placing an order. You will more than likely receive exactly what you ordered and the server will not be left wondering if you are speaking to them or your cell phone buddy.
- Don’t snag a seat before you have placed your order. Show respect for the other patrons in line that are following protocol. Order and pay, then choose a seat.
- Don’t hover in the condiment area for ten minutes pretending to be a mixologist, making your coffee just right while other people are waiting and their coffee is getting cold. Also, clean up any spills and trash. Leave the area clean for the people that come after you.
- Don’t make your own breve or latte by ordering a shot of espresso and then adding the condiment cream and milk.
- Don’t take the largest table in the café if you are by yourself and then spread your things all about. Leave the bigger tables for larger groups. Should a large table be the only one available, offer to share it with another Wi-Fi user.
- Do make sure your laptop is charged before you arrive since everyone will be vying for the outlet seats. If you have enough battery life for an hour or so, choose a seat that doesn’t have an outlet so someone else may use it.
- Do keep your shoes on! If you prefer to work in your bare feet, then please do everyone a favor and work from home.
- Do try to purchase something every hour to show financial support and good manners toward the café owner. Keep in mind $1.95 doesn’t buy you Wi-Fi Internet access and office space.
- Don’t ever bring your own coffee or a four course meal. Wi-Fi is an expense to the establishment, so do your part and purchase something.
- Don’t leave your entire office computer, phone, or other tech and ask someone else to keep it on lockdown while you go to the restroom. Be responsible for your own equipment.
- Do keep Internet stations open for Wi-Fi users. It is polite to read your magazines, books, and newspaper in non-Wi-Fi locations.
- Don’t overstay your welcome. If you see the café is crowded and others would like to use Wi-Fi, then 30 minutes is a fair amount of time. If it is not crowded, then use your best judgment.
- Do clean up your cups, papers, plates, and anything else lying around that you used.
- Do move tables and chairs back to their original resting place, if you moved them out of place, when you are ready to pack it up. This is a show of respect and fine manners.
- Do become friendly with the café owner, managers or attendants if this is a place you intend to frequent on a regular basis.
I hope these tips bring you and other patrons you share the Internet café with greater happiness and productivity.
Did any specific tip resonate most strongly with you? Did I miss any major piece of café’ etiquette? Please weigh in below!