I’m sitting in a Panera, enjoying some early afternoon coffee and working on finishing up a client’s web project. As I write this, there are two guys sitting in the middle of the front of the cafe, right by the front door, both clad in khaki and polo. They have a PC laptop open, switching back and forth between PowerPoint and Excel, discussing sales and financial trend data with a third guy, presumably also in khaki and polo, via speakerphone conference call on a Blackberry.
Yes, I said speakerphone. And conference call. On a Blackberry. In a Panera.
I’m three tables away at least, and I can clearly hear everything from the guy on the other end, so I can’t imagine how annoying this must be for all the folks sitting here trying to enjoy themselves in peace.
The best moment so far was watching one of the guys attempt to shield the conversation from the sound of the barista steaming milk for a latte. He’s juggling the phone between his ear and the ear of the other guy, waving his hand around in a futile attempt to block the penetrating screech of the steamer, all the while spewing a stream of buzz words in a mad cacophony of literally phoning it in.
I love that my office is mobile. I especially love being able to tether my laptop and/or iPad to my 3G wireless service via my phone (only downside of owning an iPhone so far is having to wait and pay extra to have this feature my pre-iPhone device offered free). These things enable me to get my ass out of the house and be around people, while still being productive. They also give me opportunities to appreciate the insensitivity and tactlessness of others through mockery and sarcasm.