I spend a fair amount of time working in coffee shops. Though I try to choose coffee shops that encourage an environment conducive to working and meeting (my favorite is Uptown Espresso), some people slip through the cracks and don’t understand they aren’t at Starbucks. Or, that they are actually in public. Sometimes I don’t understand why these things not to do in a coffee shop aren’t taught in a life skills class in high school. (Do they even still have those?)
Take 10 minutes to order
Coffee is generally the same wherever you go. If you have ordered it once, or generally know what you want your coffee to consist of (milk, espresso, ice?) you can order coffee without staring at a menu board for 10 minutes. What amazes me is that people can walk into Starbucks and rattle off a 25 word drink, but in any other local coffee shop, people are clueless was to what to order – and end up with a “mocha”. It’s as if the lack of a familiar Frappucino on the menu stuns even Seattle natives into a deer in the headlights when it is their turn to order. Please, if you honestly can’t decide between a breve or a latte, step aside until you can.
Talk to the barista for 10 minutes after you order
I understand a good latte takes a few minutes, and I appreciate pulled espresso (rather than the machines at Starbucks.) But that doesn’t mean you should carry on the conversation with the barista for 10 minutes after you have your coffee and hold the line up behind you in the meantime, exacerbating their wait time for that latte. While people have a patience for a good cup of coffee, there is a limit to how long they will wait while a jackass to tries relentless to get a date with the girl behind the bar. And yes, that means if you’re that guy, you’re a jackass. Get your coffee, and move on with your day.
Drum on tables
Smartphones and iPods are great. We can stick in our earbuds and listen to our favorite songs, tuning the rest of the world out. Here’s a note for those dashboard drummers out there, though: a coffee shop is not your car. I know that song is probably your favorite, and I’m probably actually a little curious what it is, but I have work to do and am trying to concentrate. Please don’t drum on the tables in the coffeeshop as if you’re playing Rock Band. Save it for the drive home.
Talk really loud
A coffee shop typically has a nice hum to it. The music is on one level, and the conversation at a low murmur. But there is always that one guy who has to talk louder than all the other noise in the room. You can hear every word he says, which actually sounds like he’s talking to himself since you can’t hear anything from his meek girlfriend. Does he not see people staring at him? Does he not realize everyone else is working and he’s rocking back in his chair laughing at his own (not funny) jokes? Or does he enjoy being an asshole? (He’s probably actually the same guy who hit on the barista for 10 minutes holding everyone else up in line.)
What are other annoying things people do in coffee shops that they shouldn’t?