Like most of my fellow Connecticutians, I have been wandering the Nutmeg State since Sunday in search of warmth, electricity, and an internet connection—in that order. I found warmth at a friend’s house thanks to his fireplace, and on Monday morning after checking in on my grandmother I headed to the mall, which never lost power. I, along with much of the greater Hartford area, was looking for free WiFi and a plug to charge my various devices.
I was out of luck.
The line out of the Starbucks was so long I didn’t even bother to stop for a chai latte, and instead I started walking up and down the aisles, stepping over teenagers without school and past their parents who were either sick of being stuck at home with them, or were trying to work. The children’s section was filled with adults, sprawled out around low, brightly colored tables with laptops and iPads (and sometimes both).
The first free outlet I found was outside the actual store in the mall. As I sat down on the floor in front of the pillar and outlet a mattress salesman emerged from his store to warn me that the outlet did not work—he’d been watching people sit down, plug-in, and then leave disappointed all morning. I should have known it was too good to be true. My laptop had some battery power left, however, and I was able to get onto the WiFi so I stayed put… until I realized that the hundreds of people who had the same idea I did were bogging down the connection. (more…)