In this weekend’s New York Times, Roxane Gay gives a litany of reasons to hate the beach.
In Haiti, beach bodies are simply bodies, and beach reads are simply books, because the beach is all around you. … But for the rest of us, the beach exerts a different kind of gravitational pull. Sixty-one percent of Americans don’t live anywhere near a beach. We spend a surprising amount of time hearing about this place we will hardly ever see. We watch commercials, TV shows and movies in which nubile young women and their strapping male counterparts frolic on sand, their hair golden and sun-streaked. Long walks on the beach are the supposed holy grail of a romantic evening. The beach becomes a kind of utopia — the place where all our dreams come true.
August First Bakery & Café in Vermont used to offer free Wi-Fi to customers when it opened its doors four years ago, but it has figured out a better way to make money: get rid of Wi-Fi and implement a “no screens” policy during lunch hours (smartphones are okay):
“We saw a lot of customers come in, look for a table, not be able to find one and leave,” [owner Jody] Whalen says. “It was money flowing out the door for us.”
That’s why Whalen decided there’d be no more screens. It was a gradual move. She started by shutting down the Wi-Fi two years ago. Then, the cafe banned screens during lunch.
“A lot of people were disappointed,” Whalen says. “But we actually saw our sales increase.”
What’s socially acceptable when it comes to using a laptop in public, anyway? Student Luna Colt says it’s about how much money you spend.
But according to Whalen, it’s less about how much a laptop user buys and more about how much space and time they take up.
We recently got a new office, and while I waited for it to be ready, I worked from home and tried working at a coffee shop a few times. The Wi-Fi cut in and out and I didn’t want to feel like I was wearing out my welcome, so instead, I spent the month working from my couch.
Photo: Anthony Mayfield
Christopher Groskopf works remotely as a developer for NPR, and he wrote a post on OpenNews
about what he's learned about working from home.
When I worked in an office and was having a bad day, I coped by keeping to myself at my desk, and taking breaks to go outside and breathe. If something was bothering me, I tried to not let it show on my face. NPR's The Salt asked some waiters how they cope with having a bad day while having to interact with customers
and provide service with a smile.