"...when a visit to Barnes & Noble turned ridiculous. I had been seated for about 15 minutes when an extremely pleasant woman approached. “Excuse me, sir. I’m the general manager and I was wondering if you were going to be having a meal here at the cafe today?,” she said. “Not really. I’m just reading this magazine.” The GM explained that the Barnes & Noble cafe had a large amount of people in need of seats. She politely asked that I find somewhere else to read. First, Barnes & Noble is a tremendous bookstore in MarketFair Mall; decent food, attentive staff, expansive book collection. My summer stops there follow rounds of golf or practice at Princeton Country Club. The most recent visit offered time for water, a golf magazine and air conditioning. It’s difficult to imagine how a manager decides which customer has spent an extended time at one table. Just, for instance, a teacher who tutors students had finished one session and started another during my 15-minute visit. The tutor showed no sign of food consumption but essentially used Barnes & Noble as an office with no overhead. A Barnes & Noble representative emailed a response that read “We genuinely welcome everyone who visits our bookstores and cafes, but we must be fair to all of our customers.” Unfortunately, the African-American general manager selected to dismiss the lone black man in the entire cafe area, probably in the entire bookstore..." #personal #local #irl #marketfair #barnes_and_noble #pub