Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I've started seeing Starbucks again.
Starbucks is frighteningly ubiquitous. There's at least one in your town, no matter how small. In some places, you might stand on a single corner and be able to see two. When I lived in Home City, I actually worked for this outfit, and while the beans are a bit overroasted for my taste, the general product is fine, and they were a good company to work for, proof that profit & ethics don't have to be mutually exclusive.
But I make it a general principle to support local businesses, so I rarely go into Starbucks. When they put one in our school library (see photo), I was incensed, for too many reasons to go into. And Fellowship City, Job City, and Home City are all rife with indie shops, so there's no excuse (as there is in an airport or a small town) for not patronizing the locals.
But lately, I've been spending more time in Starbucks, even going out of my way to do so. Why? Because Starbucks is the last coffee shop in the country without free wifi. And like many people, I'm utterly unable to resist the lure of my e-mail account, everyone else's blog, and so many other things. God forbid I'm online and alone, because there's a website that has links to every episode of nearly every TV show you've ever heard of that has become my latest time suck. And on and on. Starbucks provides enforced isolation from all this, like a technological monastery. And I've found that my productivity triples when I can't go online.
So, until I learn some self-control, I'm back.
[In ID news, for those of you who know him and/or are interested, he's arrived in Smallville (pseudonym subject to change without notice) safely, and has unpacked the moving truck. Apropos of this post, he informs me that Smallville allegedly has one Starbucks, but he has yet to figure out where it is, and the nearest one that the company website admits to is 90 minutes away.]