Cafes: shirkers over here, workers over there

We hear a lot about workers with laptops and smartphones settling down to work in a cafe, and how fantastically liberated and open the world has become when people can do this.

However, there is something of a case against the kaffearbeitskraf (don’t these expressions always sound superb in German?) or “laptoptards” Here are ten reasons why, when you have left the office at home or – heaven forbid – the office, they might just be annoying:

  1. Hogging tables all day, nursing a cup with the coffee drying on
  2. Saving seats for imaginary colleagues – “I’m having a meeting here soon”
  3. Trailing cables and leads across the floor when they cannot get to the table by the wall, and sighing loudly when you trip over them
  4. Holding inane phone conversations at full volume – “yes Malcolm, the solution can only be responsive reciprocal mobility. Ciao” (I just got that from the wonderful Gobbledygook Generator, but I am sure I have heard it)
  5. Ensuring they have Call Waiting activated so they can advertise importance by saying “Hold on Rog, I’ve got another important call coming in!”
  6. Setting their phone ringtone to “Eye of the Tiger” at full volume so as to emphasise a “go-get-em” attitude
  7. When not wittering on the phone, attempting to look thoughtful and pensive, imagining they are Hemingway in Les Deux Magots
  8. Looking up and glaring when you sit down, like you have invaded their space – “do you mind, I am TRYING to work here?”
  9. Getting visibly annoyed with children when go and press their “Esc” key before they have saved their work (after all, they do it at home don’t they?)
  10. Taking offence when you refuse to look after their laptop when they want to use the toilet

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