There were times - especially back before I was married - when my schedule was thrown hideously out of whack. I'd wake up at 3am, full of vim and vigor, strangely itching to work but not wanting to hang around the apartment. So I'd walk the ten minutes to Union Square and enter a 24 hour Starbucks. Late at night, it's like a different world. I'd see drug addicts, drunks, late-night partiers just coming out of the nightclubs or bars, and yes - a homeless guy or two. The staff would crank up the music to ridiculous levels in order to prevent patrons from falling asleep (which they did, often).
My schedule is pretty normal these days, but if you ever play Blackwell Legacy or Blackwell Unbound, you can play them knowing that a good chunk was programmed while some frazzled drunk was at the next table, squinting at my screen and wondering what the heck I was doing.
Anyway, I was reminded of those carefree days when I entered one of my usual cafés this morning. It was a Cosi's, one of several that are scattered downtown. I went to this one because it is close to home and it was absolutely pouring rain outside. The staff know me (I go a lot) and it has a wall-length window that gives an awesome view of the street. The only problem is that there is only one decent electrical outlet. If the table is free, it's a sweet spot to work. It's tucked away in the corner and nobody bothers you. For some reason, this table is usually free in the mornings when I show up.
So this morning I enter the cafe, drenched from the rain, and see that the table is free. I make my way over, but then notice one small niggle. The outlet was partially blocked by a chair - one of those big, faux leather things. Normally not a big deal, as I'd just maneuver my electrical cord around the chair. The problem was what was IN the chair - an overstuffed, scruffy, middle-aged guy in dirty clothes who was snoring away with his head slumped on his chest. Next to him was a small coffee - evidentially purchased to justify his staying there - but he wasn't planning on drinking it any time soon. The staff at the place were looking at him with distain, but were saying and doing nothing about it. I asked one of the staff ladies, and she said that the "Manager said it was OK, since he bought a drink." Like it or not, the guy was staying.
So, I had a choice. One - I could go to the table and start working without plugging in my laptop, hoping the creepy guy would get up and leave before my battery ran dry. Two - I could actually WAKE the guy so I could move his chair and plug my cord in. Or Three - go back out into the torrential rain and go somewhere else.
I took another look at the guy. He was starting to drool. My mind made up, I chose the third option. I walked out into the drenching downpour and made my way to another place. So I began my day significantly wetter, but significantly less creeped out.
What would you have done in this situation?