The 5 People You Meet in Starbucks
I must first begin by saying that this post will probably contain more than 5 examples. Honestly I just liked the cute “5 People You Meet in Heaven” tie in. Will that apply? No. Will that many people find it amusing or interesting or the least bit relatable? Probably not. But it made me laugh… and that is my goal.
I recently spent the few days in NYC for a rather meaningful audition. Prior to that I had spent the better part of two weeks working on a pretty massive branding analysis report for a non-profit. These two rather unrelated things really are just my #humblebrag way of saying I have spent a crap ton of time in coffee shops this month (and by this month I mean July). Now if you haven’t picked up on this from reading my previous posts (which you should do if you haven’t), I love people watching in coffee shops. Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it. We’ve all decided “you know what would be an awesome idea… 6 hours of working in a coffee shop”. Then somewhere around hour 2 you realize that there is a dull buzzing in your right ear and you can’t feel your toes. This is the moment when you realize you have been holding your breath while working on whatever you’re working on and you need a breather. You then choose to take a brief respite, buy another 4 shot latte, and look at the other similar crazies around you. And so we begin: The 5 People You Meet in Starbucks (and by meet I mean creepily watch in between sips of coffee, hoping desperately not to make eye contact.)
1) Mr. I’m Just Here for an Outlet: This man is particularly popular in New York. He’s walking around Times Square. He’s taking an alarming number of blurry photos on his iPhone. If you’re lucky he may even have one of those telescoping selfie sticks that so many tourists have. Regardless of the situation his phone suddenly has no power and he has hours more of selfie-time left in the day. This has created a massive problem. So this man has decided that Starbucks would be the perfect place to sit down and charge every electronic device he has ever owned. The clincher: He doesn’t order anything. Just because this is a place with an unlocked door, table and chairs, and outlets does not make it your living room.
2) Miss I’m Helping My Co-Workers: Picture this. You’re new at your internship. You want to make a good impression. So you naively say “I’ll pick up coffee on my way from the subway”. Little do you realize the Homeric quest you are beginning. Now people will begin sending you 8 thousand different texts with their orders. Also you didn’t realize until this moment that you work with a bunch of non-fat, half-caf tree-hugging folk who have the most specific coffee orders ever. So here you stand, in line at Starbucks, with a plethora of coffee orders that you not only have to retrieve from 8 thousand different texts, but you also have to some how relay them to the employee who has, in this moment, gone deaf and can’t understand what you’re saying. Then you must join a line of people and wait for this laundry list of drinks. But one will be forgotten… because there is always one cup that didn’t make it those 3 feet from cashier to barista. God speed my friend… God speed.
3) Mrs. I Don’t Like to Work at Home: I realize that by labeling this person, I am insulting myself… but let me explain. There are those who “work” in coffee shops by bringing a laptop… perhaps a notebook. In English we would call these people “polite”. Then there are those who work in a coffee shop by taking their place of work and moving it into a coffee shop. I’m talking about those who set up a laptop, an iPad, three notebooks, a graphing calculator, four pencils, an eraser, two pens, a well of ink, a typewriter, a dictaphone, and four messenger pigeons. It’s a travesty. You’re practically waiting for them to pouch two tables together just so that they have more workspace. If you need to rearrange the furniture to accommodate your workspace needs, you might want to tone it down.
4) Miss Do You Like My Sports Bra: Now if you know me or have read this article, you know I am prone to a good ole panic attack. So a few months ago I had the terrifying realization that I am 23. That’s 2 years off from 25. 25 is half of 50. 50 is half of 100. And I will definitely be dead by 100 because I’m bad at making decisions. So I decided that I needed to work out more because clearly at 23, I have one foot in the grave. Now not only did I decide to work out, but I decided to do Insanity, because I hate not only myself by everyone around me, my physical possessions, and possibly even people I don’t know. It hurts so badly on a level that should never be attained. So that all being said, I find a particularly high level of disdain for those who go to Starbucks in tennis shoes and a tshirt over a sports bra (or if you’re a gent, basketball shorts work just fine). This is two fold. 1) If you did truly just work out, I don’t want your nasty sweatiness all around me. After I work out the last thing I would want to do is sit and chat in a coffee shop. Or 2) You didn’t work out and instead chose that outfit specifically because it gives the illusion of working out without the physical effort. This is only compounded by those who order a venti
5) Mr. My Phone Has a Volume Button?: I’m loud. I accept that. In fact, in many ways I celebrate that fact. On more than one occasion my seemingly unearthly volume has come in handy. However I have also had to learn my limits. Talking loud… great for talking to friends in clubs, bars, or concert venues. Talking loud… great when you are trying to get someone’s attention across a beach, amusement park, or Target parking lot. Talking loud… great when the traffic is awful and I need to have a hardcore jam session with the steering wheel. Talking loud… not Ok in public on a phone. There is always someone in a Starbucks, rarely in a discreet location, that has decided that this of all places is the ideal location to not only have a phone conversation, but to have a heated conversation. Apparently the middle of Starbucks is where his marriage needs to fall apart or a stock purchase deal needs to be made or he is just simply quite emphatic about his lunch order. The subject does not matter. What does matter is that, if your individual production of decibels exceeds that of Times Square, we are going to have a problem. Use your 6 inch voice.
I kept it to 5. I’m proud of myself. You should be proud of me. Pride should be abounding through all of us, even though it cometh before the fall (also who uses the word cometh). So the take home point is don’t be these people. Or if you already are these people, try to tone it down. Or if you don’t want to turn it down, let your freak flag fly and keep on keeping on. Who am I to tell you how to live your life? After all, if everyone stopped their annoying habits, I would have very little comedic material left.
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