I can gladly report my own fix to this problem, just in case it helps someone else (even though I seem to be the only one experiencing this phenomenon:).
In one of my previous posts I mentioned that one of the only things I had pointed to the Drobo FS from my laptop was my iTunes library, but didn't even think of this as a possible cause because iTunes was not open (active) when the error would pop up. However, for different reasons, I changed the source for my iTunes library and pointed to an itl file on an external hard drive instead of the Drobo FS and...Voila, no more pop up error, outside my network or when booting up.
I don't know that I understand why having my iTunes library file (itl) pointed toward the Drobo FS caused the laptop to try to autoconnect to it, even when iTunes was not opened, but that's what seemed to cause the problem (at least for me).
Thanks for your help!