Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paying the rent

Tonight while I was over at Tattered Cover, I noticed a sign that said that if you are a student of North High School that it was ok to eat your lunch in the bookstore provided that you had brought something at the coffee shop. Now considering that I was there meeting an occult associate (time will tell if they are a friend), I quickly checked my guilt meter. After all, I was using their coffee shop as a public meeting spot.

I was ok. I had already brought a sandwich and a juice. And considering that I can't step into Tattered Cover without buying some book or another, I knew that they were going to get some money out of my wallet before I left (ended up buying a book of mandalas).

But I have noticed over the years that not everyone who uses public places (restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores) as meeting spots spend a reasonable amount of money at them (occasionally they spend none). And honestly, I think that other people have also noticed this one. Recently I read a blog about things to think about when considering opening an occult store; one of the suggestions was to consider renting a smaller place because the income from having a meeting spot for occultists was generally less than the cost of renting the additional room to allow them to use the place as a meeting space.

(I don't remember what blog I read this on; if you know what blog I am talking about please leave a link in the comment section, so that I can link to the post.)

I think that it is just good form to actually spend money at the places that we use for meeting up with our occult associates. Maybe I am just strange (twenty years of restaurant work will do that to you).


Ali said...

I would completely agree with you.... if there were more viable, free alternatives where people could meet and mingle without having to "pay rent." But sadly, such noncommercial public spaces are growing increasingly scarce, and plenty of the ones that do exist explicitly prohibit "loitering."

So while I will purchase a drink and maybe a sandwich at a local café if I plan on being there a while (and I will keep an eye on just how many tables are open so I'm not taking space from another customer) - I don't feel overly guilty for holding meetings or even just sitting doing work on my computer. I worked as a waitress for half a decade in an all-night diner, where management referred to tables as "revenue generating stations" and would have no problem kicking out the homeless person who'd come in to get a coffee and get warm, even if there were no other customers waiting for that table. Just out of spite, because they hadn't "paid" for the space. That, in my book, is not okay.

Unknown said...

I believe that was Jason's Advice for those looking to open Occult/Magic/New Age stores, points #7, 8, and 9.

Honestly, I think this is just good form. A 2% tip wouldn't be appropriate for a waiter, why should a $2 bundle of sage be fair for your local woowoo or book shop putting up with you for an hour?

Robert said...

Hi, I don't have time to find the link right now but the blog was Jason Miller's http://strategicsorcery.blogspot.com