Here we go again . . . I’ve been reminded that the warning about coffee shop business meetings is worth repeating. Today I was in our village coffee shop hoping to find a quiet table in a corner to spend an hour or two editing a document. For some reason, coffee shops and libraries are good for this kind of activity—a good portion of my book was written in coffee shops and libraries.
Anyway, I found a table, settled down, and started working. Then I realized that two guys at a nearby table were having quite a serious discussion about a business deal, and they didn’t seem to care that I and others could hear everything they were saying. This is risky in a big city, but in a small village where almost everyone knows almost everything about almost everyone else, it’s a huge risk. They were plotting a takeover against someone called Peter. If I’d known who this “Peter” was, I could have possibly caused some serious damage to their plan.
In retrospect, I should have referred them, as I’m going to do for you now, to a story I wrote a few years ago. Here’s an excerpt:
“I’ve been telling people for years to be careful about the business they discuss in public places like coffee shops. Now, thanks to a recent report in a British newspaper, I have a classic example to illustrate my point . . .
A patron was having his coffee shop experience ruined by a group of people loudly discussing a new business venture. His 26-word tweet from the coffee shop tells the story:‘Coffee shop. People next to me are loud and rude. They just found the perfect name for their new business. I just bought the domain name.’ “
So, the message is clear—don’t discuss business in public places like coffee shops.