6 kinds of techie you’ll find in every fashionable coffee shop

Coffee Shop Techie

Coffee Shop Techie

Jeez. Self-employed techies. A big part of our working life is the coffee-shop-hop. We find our favourite places and we build relationships. We choose preferred tables, menu items and waiters and over time, people begin to know us by name.

But then… There are six types of people who make coffee-shop-hopping unpleasant. You know who they are; you’ve engaged with them before. So we’ve gone one step further, by naming (and hopefully shaming) each member of the Coffee Shop Mafia.

Vinnie: the public Skyper
Coffee shops are a haven for tech types and creatives, but forget the age of information – this is the age of over-share. You can usually block everyone out. Until…‘brrt brrt’ – a Skype call. And then, “Tannie, can you see me? No, Tannie, I can only see your nostrils.” Twenty minutes later: “Here Rusty, bark for me… c’mon boy, woofles!” Vinnie, serial Skypist, will subject you (and everyone else) to a public call.

Donatella: the general offender
She’s just dreadful. She spreads her stuff everywhere, talks too loudly on her cell, clicks her pen like she’s got some sort of syndrome, insists on using an ancient laptop that requires noisy stabbing of the keys, and beckons the server by clicking her fingers. Donatella’s a pain. And you know from being a regular (who asks leading questions of the waiters) that she never, ever leaves a tip. And steals the sweetener.

Alfredo: the unsolicited chatterer
The Deadline. It’s all you can think about. You don’t have time to chitchat. With anyone. Not even the waiter serving your tramezzini. Until, ‘…Is that your sandwich? That looks good. Is it good? Do you want to share?’ To your horror, Alfredo — an unsolicited chatterer — has sidled up. “I love sandwiches. Did you know I’ve got a startup? I’m an entrepreneur who likes sandwiches. What are you doing? Your hair is nice.”

Luigi: the over-the-shoulder-reader
As a soloist, you know your work is done when whatever-it-is is finished. Until then, it’s a masterpiece in progress and no-one — no-one — is allowed to see it. Much less the leering gargoyle Luigi, who you don’t know from Luisa, but who peers at your screen behind you and occasionally comments on what you’re doing. “Oh, you’re a developer? That’s exciting! I developed some photos once; can I watch you?”

Gigi: the street artist
When someone takes a surreptitious photo of you, you can tell, right? Especially when there’s zooming. Now imagine you’re sitting at a table, banging away at some important endeavour, when some weirdo starts to gaze at you. Meet Gigi. She’s not admiring your profile and composing love songs; she’s drawing you in caricature. Or warping your face on an app. Or enlarging your mammoth zit for her Facebook page.

Franco: the plugpoint-hogger
You feel eyes on you, but you shrug it off as post-Pistorius paranoia. Then, glancing up from your keyboard, you notice hippie Franco (complete with tofu stuck in his face fluff) staring hungrily at your feet. You escape to the bathroom and on your return, Franco’s hard at work on his laptop. Thank goodness. But within 20 minutes, your computer has shut itself down faster than a Japanese nuclear reactor. Franco, that half-baked wookie, wasn’t stalking you (or your feet). He was hunting the plug point.

Who’ve we left out? One of the best things about self-employment is the varied personality types (that you don’t have to see daily), so dive in. Let’s have it.

Image: Ed Yourdon (via Flickr).



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