Update: I’ve written a comment below responding to some questions and clarifying my point a little. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
Am I missing something?
I consider myself a pretty respectful and courteous guy, especially to strangers and their businesses.
In my job, I find myself all over the city, and quite often in the lobbies of various doctors and city governmental agencies. Because I’m on the road, my phone is my main connection to the rest of the world (to varying degrees of success. To those that I’ve never returned your emails, I’m sorry, it’s easy for me to lose sight of things when I only have my phone to email with), so it runs out of battery pretty easily (I am, what the marketers call, a “power user”).
And so I try and plug in my phone wherever I can, whenever I can.
Increasingly, though, more and more security guards in these lobbies are yelling at me to un-plug my phone, and telling me it’s “rude”, I “should ask permission”, and that it is simply “common courtesy” not use these outlets. The most amusing was today when, after my phone had been plugged in for twenty minutes with no problem, the front desk security “guard” told me (quite forcefully and impassionedly) that I had to unplug because it would “set off their alarms”. That doesn’t even make sense.
But anyway, when did this happen? When did plugging in your phone begin falling under the “rude” heading? I would understand if I was attempting to set up an entire workstation–plugging in a laptop, phone, external hard-drive, and coffee-maker–but a phone? If you’re using the services of this building, and not just loitering, I tend to liken plugging in your phone to using their restroom, staying in their lobby a few minutes longer to wait for your ride when it’s raining, drinking coffee in a covered container while you wait, or throwing your gum wrapper or coffee cup in their trash.
I would understand if a sign was up, or if the particular place of business understood that you can plug in at most other places, but they are just being weird for whatever reason (and so the misunderstanding is more because of their quirk than your inconsideration). But the level of anger, frustration, and condescension I’ve experienced over this is very odd to me.
Perhaps my expectations have just been ruined by coffee-shops, airports, libraries, and subways which all freely allow others to plug in while they work or wait.
So that’s my venting, what do you all think?