coffee shop etiquette: improper conversations

December 27, 2005 | 7 Comments

The time I spend working in coffee shops is leading me to a whole new awareness of things that shouldn’t happen in them. I think I’m going to become the Mr Manners of coffee shop etiquette.

I already posted about the loud cell phoner recently. Today, however, a new trauma happened to me which still has my stomach in convulsions.

Two mom-type forty something ladies are sitting about 7 feet from me. They have been there for quite a while, and I really haven’t heard any of there conversation over the general noise of this Starbucks. Then, a few moments ago, one single clear sentence resonated out. I promise I wasn’t listening — I have no interest in what they are saying. I don’t think they changed volume — if anything, perhaps they got softer, but it was just so clear. One of the ladies asked the other…

“Are you regular?”

Everyone, please hear me. Don’t discuss this at a coffee shop. Save it for a phone conversation while both parties are locked in a closet. Or perhaps a secured IM conversation, or an encrypted email. Just please don’t ever discuss it in a coffee shop!

  • Oh the trauma… My heart goes out to you John.

  • Sheltered Kid

    Regular? Like, is she a regular, normal person? Or regular vs. decaffinated?

    I don’t understand…

  • Haha that was awesome …. thanks for sharing 😀

  • I find Sheltered Kid’s reponse as funny as your story, John.

    While I am here, let me offer one more that I experienced, probably in the same coffee shop.

    I am sitting a stuffed chair with my feet up on an ottoman that faces across the coffee shop. On the far side of the room is a couch (which I sometimes occupy if the chair is already taken.) In comes two teenagers, maybe 14-15 years old. Let’s just say not driving age and I’m guessing they just wanted to be out of the house (where Mom was at) because they simply sat on the couch and proceeded to get sloppy on each other for almost an hour-long PDA-fest. I had to leave.

  • That’s gross!

  • Josh W

    PDA fest? Like, playing with their PDA’s? Sharing information? I don’t understand.

    Just kidding! 🙂

    Let me add, that as a “Certified Starbucks Barista”, (let’s pause for a moment of silence), that the comments and conversations of that nature aren’t limited to the seating area…

    A lady came up to the register the other day, and in mid-cellphone conversation with a girlfriend, proceeded to tell her in explicit detail about her sexual acrobatics last night; all the while not skipping a beat with rattling off her “Decaf Quad Grande Sugar-Free Vanilla Non-Fat Extra-Hot No-Foam Latte”.

  • Dean, I had the same experience just last night, except these people were full-blown adults. They were practically on top of eachother. And then they started feeding eachother. Not like, here try some of this tasty pastry I bought, feeding. It was, let me put some of this tasty pastry in my mouth and then transfer it to yours. It was horrifying. Come on. We’re trying to have a civilization here people.