• Lifestyle

R-e-s-p-e-c-t, and Free Wi-fi

The NYT was all over freelancers' issues this week; besides the "middle-class and uninsured" story noted below, there was a piece in the Job Market section about how independent consultants can get more respect (sample suggestions: give your company a name separate from yours, and its own phone line) and one in Digital Domain about how free wi-fi is the new air-con. Huh? "...the movie theater owners of almost a century ago understood that not every amenity, every service, every offering must have a separate price tag attached. The owners and the architects sought to give theatergoers an environment that was pleasing in all aspects. Marcus Loew, the head of a nationwide chain, once said, “We sell tickets to theaters, not movies." That's right, we're talking to you, Starbucks and airports. Quit gouging poor freelancers who need workspace with steep hourly charges for wi-fi. Be more like Panera Bread (which has a name for us non-lunch-hour lingerers, "the chill-out business.") No coincidence, the writer, Randall Stross, is a part-time freelancer himself. If you're looking to open your laptop, order a coffee and get online for free in New York City, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, check out the site Wi-fi FreeSpot.

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