(This post is inspired by Revisited: Hanging out at Panera by davisw. Read his blog. It’s funny.)
I wish free wi-fi were available everywhere. If all places of business had it, I wouldn’t feel so bad using it when I haven’t bought anything significant or borrowing it when I’m not even in the place that is supplying it or getting my jollies out of trying to crack the password. I have such a guilty conscience. It’s time for confessions.
Confession 1: I was headed out of town to meet up with some friends for a weekend at a rental house. I was the only one with that Friday off, so I could get there early to pick up the key before the office closed at 6:00. The only problem was, I had a critical deadline to meet. I had to have web access at 4:00 so that I could attempt to… umm… win a meet-and-greet with my favorite musician! In order to win such a prize, I had to compete in an online, timed, be-ready-right-at-4:00 trivia contest. Leaving from the house would cut it close. If I ran into traffic, I might not get to the office before it closed. What to do?… Well, I ended up leaving the house really early, knocking 45 minutes off my drive, having lunch at Panera, shopping at the mall, and making my last stop at Barnes and Noble to secure some wi-fi. The problem, though, was that they didn’t have free wi-fi at the time and I didn’t know it! Dang you! Embarrassed about returning to the same Panera to borrow wi-fi, I quickly drove to the Panera deeper in the city… and spent $1.50 on a chocolate chip scone… and set up in the far back corner. The result? I didn’t win the contest and a Panera worker kept leering at me, even though I was one of three customers in the place. It’s not like I was taking space away from others.
Confession 2: When I was in search of the baby laptop, I went to Best Buy to do some investigation. I needed to feel how small the keys were and if I could manage using such a small computer. After exploring the options, I headed to Panera… to use the wi-fi… and to have lunch. I should have written that the other way. I promise I went there to have lunch first, but I did go there specifically because of the wi-fi so that I could use my iPod Touch to email the hubby and see what he thought of the computer I was considering. “But, wait,” you are thinking, “why didn’t you just call him?” Good question, lovely reader. Well, my cell phone battery was kaput and I was not at the BB in our town, I was up the highway about 45 minutes. The result? We decided the HP Laptop was the one to buy. When I returned to BB, they said the laptop I wanted was no longer in stock, which is surprising since they told me there were 3 available before I left. In the end, it turned out to be a good thing because the HP laptop didn’t have all the outputs we needed. We got the Asus instead.
Confession 3: The hubby and I were at Barnes and Noble roaming around as we like to do following a big meal out. I rarely buy books but the hubby buys quite a few, along with magazines. Most of the time, the magazines are bought locally and the books are purchased on Amazon.com. If I do happen to find a book I think I’d like, I usually hold off and check on it’s price when I get home. That evening, I found a book I wanted but rather than waiting, I busted out the iPod and used B&N’s (finally) free wi-fi… and went to Amazon to check the price. The result? It was cheaper online but I felt bad about using their own free wi-fi against them and bought the book in person at the store. ugh.
What is your judgment upon me, readers? Am I just being a resourceful cheapskate? Do I get to slide? Are you in the modern era and have a snazzy smart phone with interwebz access and laugh at take pity upon guilt-ridden peasants like me?