Carol Ellison tells a good story about the travails of trying to work at hotspots: Her story is familiar, but she tells it well. She's trying for a little productivity--paying nothing for it in one case, and using a fee-based service in the other. She can read the tea leaves--or coffee grounds--by watching her fellow laptop users frustration levels rise, or when they pack up and leave.
Still, she does manage to eke a few productive hours out of a few more of trying--and that might be more than any of us pull off in an office. For irony, she buys the television show The Office on DVD.