Recession watch: the downsized are ruining my hangout


This post is part of a series about real-life signs we're in a recession.

My idea of a perfect coffee house is one that offers great java, free WiFi, comfortable chairs, electrical outlets, and not too many customers. I like a place that has enough traffic to stay in business, but not so much that it is crowded during the morning.

My current fave, where I set up shop to blog each morning, has undergone a change for the worse in the past few months. More and more frequently, formerly vacant tables are occupied by middle-aged executive types with their brand-new laptops, cell phones and lattes poised for action that never comes. I know one of these fellows, and suspect the rest are in the same boat he is, recently cut free as part of a recession-driven downsizing.

One day last week every single table and chair was occupied, forcing me to take my coffee home to sulk. When will the madness end? I'm talking to you, Mr. Bernanke- get these people back to work! And out of my chair.