Panera No More

So friends, what would you say if I had a sign out front “Free Self-Serve Car Wash with every book purchase” and, after you bought my book you pulled around back to discover there is no water, would you have a complaint?

I think so, and that is why I am complaining about Panera.

I spent over two hours in their Peters Road #203830 (205 North Peters Road Knoxville, TN 37923) trying to connect to the internet.  I even made the most boring YouTube video ever about one attempt.  It takes about 2 min. to find out that, yes everybody who got there before you can connect, but their system can’t handle the crushing usage of 20 people.  Yes, you heard me.  There were other people working away online, but when I tried to connect, they were overloaded or something.

Now, one of my Facebook friends claims I have no right to complain, because I could have brought my own connection.  Does that make any sense to you, dear reader?  If I had my own connection, I would not bother with a joint that charges almost $6 for chocolate and coffee (mocha, for you fancy-pantsers).

There was something that drew me to that cafe, something called THE OFFER OF FREE INTERNET CONNECTIONS!  Now mind you, I am not one to just plop down, take up space and bandwidth, make a mess, and expect someone to clean up after me.  No, I hung in there trying to connect through the business I actually made a purchase from, I even asked the staff about it not once, but twice.  Also, the price of my hot beverage was elevated to pay for the one thing I was really there for, to get some work don while connected to the internet.

Finally, I connected to the Lowe’s up the hill so I could email my wife and let her know I would be picking her up for an appointment.

All was not lost, I did make the most boring 2 min. video ever uploaded to YouTube.  Well, unless there is a paint drying video up there.  The experience was 60 times longer than the video and quite annoying.  Also, on Facebook I did get what someone thinks passes for a speech about commerce when she informed me that I should have brought my own internet.  You know, just like you should bring your own water to that free car wash with every fill-up, or book.  Makes me wonder if everybody 50 years old or younger received their economics education from Marx and Keynes, just like president Obama.

Rather than dining at Panera, like I had planned, I relocated to the nearby Krystal and sure enough, those folks know how to run a WiFi connection all the way up to the cloud.

Bottom line: If your internet is not working, be a good enough businessperson to put out a sign.

Steve is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Finance.  He is a 30 year veteran Aviation Officer of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, and former Defense Contractor in Resource Management.  He has always had a libertarian streak, no matter which major Party flag he flew. Today he is a Minarchist leaning to Anarcho-Capitalism. He and his wife reside in a secret, undisclosed, subterranean lair with the clan motto of “Leave us alone and nobody gets hurt.” The Anarchist’s Soufflé  Book is Steve’s current work in progress, along with Time Bomber: The Forgotten Yippie, coming soon any year now.  Steve has been published by the Reason Foundation, and the Foundation for Economic Education.  Follow Steve @AustrianAnarchy and view his Austrian Anarchy blog.