For dinner tonight, I felt like getting something new. There’s a spot near my grocery store, Philladelphia’s, that sells sandwiches and microbrew. I’d tried them in the past a few times, because whenever I walk past it, it smells great. However, every time I’ve actually eaten there, I’d come away mildly disappointed in the sandwiches – too expensive for the blah food.

They had recently added free wifi as an option and that gave me incentive to try them one more time.

Again, the food was blah and spendy. I’ll never learn to stop thinking with my senses.

While I was there, I pulled out my new sexy thing and poked around. Their access point requires a password that’s cleverly hidden so that only customers can see it, not folks sitting outside or walking past, and it looks like they change it from time to time. They’re using WEP encryption which is almost worse than not having encryption at all, considering how easily the encryption can be brute-forced and broken, but I’ll give them an “E” for effort.

After a bit another, older balder gentleman came in and opened up his Dell laptop. After poking around and showing increasing signs of frustration, he asked one of the employees for help. I didn’t hear the conversation but the employee looked helpless and subservient and the bald guy looked like… well, like a pointy-haired boss who didn’t understand what he was doing but was damned if he was going to back down.

After seeing the hapless employee, a twenty-something, tall and skinny and dark-haired, finally shrug, the bald PHB (not a contradiction in terms) said, annoyed, loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear, “Well, you should find out because I imagine you’re going to get this question a lot!


The twenty-something guy (he wasn’t a waiter, and wasn’t a cook… cashier, basically) saw that I had a computer out, too, and stepped over. “You’re online right now, right?” he asked me hopefully.

“Yes,” I said, finally paying them some non-hidden attention.

“Where do you put in the password to get connected?” he asked, stepping around to see my screen.

Damn. Where was my “No, I will not fix your computer” t-shirt? At home in the laundry. I could empathize with the poor kid, but the PHB was being obnoxious about the cost-free wifi. I didn’t feel like rewarding the PHB for his rudeness. So, even though I knew very well how to connect a Windows PC to a wireless network, I feigned ignorance.

“Sorry,” I said, pointing at my beautiful bright wide-screened sexy laptop with it’s lick-able interface, “I’m using a Mac. It just… works.”

“Oh,” the kid said, knowingly but disappointed at the lack of assistance, “yeah… it just… finds the network, huh?”

“Yeah,” I said brightly. “Sorry!”

The kid shuffled back over to the PHB. “Well… let’s try this again…”

I feel a bit guilty but dammit, I’m not tech support for the world. There’s a reason I get paid a lot to work on Windows but choose to use a Mac for personal use.

They did, eventually, figure it out, which made me feel better for the kid but I didn’t like the smugness of old-and-baldy. Oh, well, not my gig.