Article by Erica Dermer, Celiac and the Beast
As some of you know, I’m currently a freelancer. That means that I’m working for several people all at once (or often no one, all at once) and working from home to get my projects done. Every now and then I’ll have an itch to go outside of my daily life with the kids (read: cats) and go write somewhere other than home.
However, there’s some major pieces of etiquette that should be unwritten rules that apparently some people were never told. So right now, I’m going to write my own contract. Hopefully you can all be better coffee shop workers next time you head to your local joint to work.
1) Keep your shoes on. As I type this I’m eyeballing some dude’s feet up on the couches. WHAT? WHY? PUT YOUR SHOES ON! This happens on airplanes too. Why don’t you just wear comforable shoes? Why don’t you just have some respect. I actually like feet. I’m not grossed out by them at all. Hey, you’ve got great manicured toenails in those flip-flops girl – high five. But a stranger’s foot on where my seat should be – that’s just not cool. This is a public space, not your buddy’s rec room.
2) Earbuds. While I was at Starbucks the other day, a woman had her laptop on full blast and her iphone on full blast without earbuds. For an hour. I believe that the two women were listening to some sort of class lecture together. However, two lectures at once? On two devices? Without earbuds? Do you not know that everyone else now has to listen to this? Or music – why do people want to jam out at coffee shops when there’s already music going on pipped through the speakers?
3) Don’t hog the plugs. I admit that I’m a plug hog at airports, plugging in every single iAnything before my long flights to conferences. However, when I’m at the coffee shop just writing I like to not use a plug until I need it, and only use a plug for one item at a time. I saw someone plug in a phone, computer, and a portable wi-fi station. That’s a lot of things.
4) Actually buy coffee. While Starbucks prides itself on being a “third place,” it also needs to make money. Okay, maybe a mega corp was a bad example, but you should always support the business that you are at when you are out working. Buy one item and hour minimum, and tip the barista.
5) Don’t make out. I went on a lot of coffee shop dates when I was on Match.com (okay, one – and it went horribly), but I saved the PDA for outside the shop. I don’t need to see people exchanging bodily fluids while I’m having an iced Americano, thank you very much.
6) Seats are for butts. Don’t hog seats with purses, laptop cases, or other items (when it’s busy). People want to sit down and your purse can sit on the floor. Also, keep your feet off the chairs (even if you’re nice enough to keep your shoes on).
7) You smell. Don’t. This dude just walked in and it smelled like he bathed in cologne before coming in to watch the soccer game at this coffee shop. This is not an outdoor bar, this is an enclosed room in a coffee shop the size of a house. I can smell you. Everyone can smell you. Can you not smell yourself? Same rule for an airplane – keep your scents subtle and less nauseating for everyone.
Seriously. This is a place of business. I’m trying to get my work done. And enjoy some much-needed caffeine. Please have some respect. And try the toddy – it’s delicious.