Expectations 2009 Out and About

So an interesting day today, and with a few minutes of downtime, I thought I would take a minute to chronicle it, because its an interesting view on how 2009 has played out-between the economy, technology and in reality service.

By way of background to understand how I got to a Quizznos in Mastic, NY to kill 90 minutes or so, we have to go back to the beginning of the summer.  I pushed my kids (especially my older one) to make friends at camp, get their phone numbers and then encourage them to call their friends and remain social with them after camp.  So yesterday was the last day of camp.

Today, the younger one decided to call a camp friend and set up a play date.  So, she called me on it. Mastic is 30-35 minutes from my house.  So rather than spend 2+ hours today shuttling back and forth, I decided to bring the lap top, do some work and figured there is a Starbucks in pretty much every other shopping center so I’ll have a place to hang and plentiful WiFi to use.

So, I pull into a new (and very large) shopping center in Mastic-and to my surprise, no Starbucks.  How is that even possible? There are four Starbucks within 3 miles of my house-literally every other strip mall.  So, I looked around and there is a pizza place, a bagel place and Quizznos.  I figured a Tuna Torpedo at Quizznos and all of the fountain soda I can handle would kill the time.

So, I order-second encounter with what we now face in modern times: The service was awful. No tuna, two guys on the counter who barely speak above a mumble, no diet Pepsi.  In fact in a moment that made me feel better about my own inability to wait on line, a mother with two kids walked out because there were two people on line in front of her, and it took more than 15 minutes for her to even place her order.  Go ahead sit in a Quizznos for a bit and you too shall understand what it means to observe.

But, there is plentiful WiFi-thanks to one of my of my former employers.  Cablevisions Optimum WiFi is cranking here.  Now the interesting thing, when I sit at the pool near my house, or up at Cedar Beach in Sound Beach-Optimum WiFi is not so plentiful.

So, in the economic downturn, this is clearly the land that Starbucks overlooked.  Service sucks, the tip jar next to the register has to be a joke.  And somehow Cablevision is less than equal with its distribution of WiFi.

Not sure what conclusion to draw fro all of this–other than the economy, the service industry and broad WiFi all remain a work in progress.

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