Doh! Coffee is not for kids, apparently

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Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Coffeehouse observation No. 348 – Tired, old pickup lines in the coffeehouse

A guy with a German Shepherd in the coffeehouse is killing time by hitting on the woman at the next table. From what I’ve been able to overhear, he’s doesn’t have a job or home – by choice, he says – and that he’s meandering his way to Tucson, Ariz., to end a relationship with a woman. He’s not looking forward to “doing the right thing” in breaking up with the Tucson woman, while he hits on the woman in the coffeehouse. Some guys have chutzpah!

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 344 – Funny barista rant song!

[OK, this is funny. True, he might go a little overboard, but haven’t we all wanted to rant like this about something or other. Too bad Starbucks couldn’t take a freakin’ joke. – KM]

Starbucks barista disses picky patrons | CNN videos

Click for the YouTube video.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 342 – What did I do to deserve this?

Annoying people keep showing up at the coffeehouse. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this, but I take it back. Whatever it was!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 341 – Well, pardon my space

They may need a traffic light at the coffeehouse door. A woman was just cut off by another woman just as they approached the door. Oddly, the woman who was cut off said “thank you” as the woman who cut her off briefly held open the door for her. I mean, she was very nearly slammed into and she says “thank you”? Better manners than I would have had in the situation. And certainly far better manners than the woman who cut her off.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 331 – Ghostly coffeehouse experience

The quiet sanctuary of the coffeehouse was disturbed the other evening when a local paranormal society parked itself in the seats next to mine. The only ghosts I want in my coffeehouse are those of my most recent coffee. … And why do they call going around in the dark “investigations”? Really?

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 328 – Like, um, cut it out!

If the woman at the next table uses the phrase “like, um, you know” one more time, I may need to scratch up some bail money. Can I count on donations?

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

 

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Coffeehouse observation No. 321 – Potentially shocking experience to come?

A sign taped to one of the tables reads “Wet floor. Don’t sit here.” A guy just came in, read the sign, ripped it off the table, sat down and plugged in his computer. I hope he doesn’t electrocute everyone in the coffeehouse. That would simply ruin my day.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 319 – Not a reflection of coffeehouse humor

The guy sitting at the next table is not nearly as funny as he thinks. Not nearly at all.

And, no, I am not sitting next to a mirror.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 317 – Coffee slackers leave coffeehouse nearly empty

Quiet coffee at the coffeehouse. The joint is nearly empty … in the middle of a holiday weekend. Some of you are simply not keeping up on your end of the bargain.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

 

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Coffeehouse observation No. 314 – Lunch doesn’t mean finger food or finger talk

It’s lunchtime and the guy at the next table at the coffeehouse is talking about how one of his employees had a finger amputated. … At lunch you’re taking about amputations?! And in way too much detail?! At lunch?! … Really?!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 306 – The store is closed, folks; Really it is

The at&t store across the street from the coffeehouse has been closed for the past week or so. There are several signs reading “This AT&T location has closed.” But at least every hour someone – a current or prospective at&t customer, it can be assumed – walks up to the door, pulls on the handle, rattles the door just to make sure that it is in fact locked, and puts their hands up to their faces to shield their eyes from the glare as they peer into the closed store. Some have even grabbed the handle again and tried the door one more time before walking away with a slightly befuddled look on their faces. The store is closed, folks. Trust me.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 301 – Sweet, sweet … sweet … coffee

I just watched a guy put about six sugars in his coffee. Why bother with the coffee? … What an amateur!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 298 – So few people, so much annoyance

Is it bad that .00000001 percent of the world’s people annoy me 98 percent of the time? … I might be off a couple of zeroes in that first percentage.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

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Coffeehouse observation No.296 – Today’s guest commentary

[Sometimes the best stuff that happens in a coffeehouse happens to my friends in coffeehouses when I’m not around. Here’s something a former colleague and Facebook connection posted to my wall and it seemed appropriate here as a guest commentary. – KM]

“I thought of you today. My daughter took me to a cafe in SF and while we were sitting there, this young woman answers her cellphone and then proceeds to have a too-loud conversation with her mother in which she complained bitterly about her father while debating whether to see him or not, then discussed ad nauseum her psychiatric condition and which of the recommended medications she should take. I just kept thinking, ‘Anyone who thinks this is a conversation that should be done in public is clearly disturbed.’”

 

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Coffeehouse observation No. 295 – Caressing those keys like a jackhammer

I read somewhere not too long ago that the average life expectancy for a laptop is about three years. After all, laptops are portable … and drop-able. The guy sitting at a nearby table is caressing the keyboard on his laptop like a jackhammer, slamming down each key in staccato fashion. I think he is affecting the curve and bringing down the life expectancy average.

By the way, I don’t get the feeling that he is angry – at the laptop or in general – but merely mindlessly abusive to the laptop.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 293 – Let’s reunite this bike with this barista

Reunite this bicycle with this barista.

Reunite this bicycle with this barista.

Hey there! For anyone living in Stockton – especially those living or venturing near Yosemite and Harding – please keep an eye out for this bicycle. It was stolen yesterday. The sentimental value is high and the bicycle’s owner – a barista at Empresso on the Miracle Mile in Stockton — would very much appreciate its return.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 289 – Mighty mite snuffs out smoker

A guy – he looks pretty down on his luck and smells as if it has been quite a while since his most recent shower – is sitting near the windows of the coffeehouse. A little while ago he lit a cigarette and I exchanged glances of disbelief with the guy sitting at the table next to me. Smokers in California haven’t been allowed to light up inside businesses for years. A mite of a woman here checking her email – because she wasn’t keeping her tiny boys in check – spoke up and told him to go outside to smoke. He didn’t and she went for a barista. Baristas are the law in the coffeehouse, as you probably know. The fellow sitting by the window put it out by the time the barista arrived. Good for the tiny woman for speaking up, although it would be nice if she directed a bit of that toward wrangling in her boys.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 281 — Crowded coffeehouse and kids running on sugar

It is much more crowded at the coffeehouse than would be expected on such a bright, sunny day in California. Families are out and about, which is nice. Unfortunately, every kid in the place seems to be riding a freakin’ sugar high. A little parental control would be nice.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 277 – There’s an etiquette to all this, you know!

Coffeehouse etiquette is overlooked far too often.

Granted, I am no Emily Post – those who have seen me can attest that I am a guy and those who know me rightfully might question my place to offer up etiquette suggestions.

But this is not about how to properly place a tea setting. This is about plain, simple manners to consider when venturing out to the neighborhood coffeehouse.

Mainly, coffeehouse etiquette follows everyday norms of behavior and several rules that apply to checkout lines also apply in coffeehouse etiquette. Unfortunately, some people simply do not get it.

Polite, reasonable adults do not stroll into the “15 items or less” line with a fully loaded grocery cart and pay for the items with a check. Not unless they are looking for someone to throw down with the evil eye. An express line should be just that – an express line.

And polite, reasonable adults do not wait until their groceries are checked and bagged to realize that they forgot to pick up Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder and then run off to search the aisles of the store as fellow patrons wait – impatiently – to buy their own items. Their lives are important, too, and “I’ll be right back” only emphasizes that the person is a nit and never should have been let out of “the home” in the first place. Grocery stores – and other establishments that have checkout lines – really should consider installing trap doors to be triggered whenever the words “I’ll be right back” are uttered. People who have forgotten an item and offer up those words should be forced to go to the end of the line.

Also, polite, reasonable people do not wait until their groceries are checked and bagged to decide just how they are going to pay for them. People who are still in the Stone Age and pay for items with checks should be encouraged to at least start writing out the check even before they are asked “Is plastic OK for you, today?” They should not wait until the checker asks “Will that be all?” to start writing out the check. A shopper should know the name of the store they are in. A shopper should know the date. A shopper should be able to sign the check while the checker finishes up what he or she is doing. If a shopper is prepared, all they need to do is write in the amount. The people standing in line behind check-writer will appreciate it.

There are some pretty similar coffeehouse etiquette rules, all pretty much based on common sense and planning.

First and foremost, be polite to your host. The coffeehouse owners and/or baristas are there to take your order, take your money, serve you beverages and treats, and do the best they can to provide a pleasant and even entertaining experience. Do not be rude to them.

And don’t forget to tip them. (I personally fail at this one far too often. I have been out of work for two years so even quarters, dimes and nickels mean quite a bit to me. When I am working and I have money, I am generous. When I do not have money, I cannot be nearly as generous as I would like.)

Polite, reasonable people do not cut line. You never know just how jittery a coffeehouse patron might be or how a person who has been caffeine-deprived might react to such a violation of person space. To expect no reaction is like poking a bear with a sharp stick and expecting it to simply roll over.

A person should not wait until they get to the register to begin deciding what they want to drink. They should know what they want and order it. And they should have a backup drink just in case the barista is unable to fill the first request.

A coffeehouse patron should not wait until the barista is asking for their money to begin considering whether to ask for a pastry. Caffeinated beverages and pasties go together like Linsey Lohan and the legal system – you cannot think of one without the other. Of course, it is perfectly OK to ask “Is that cherry or strawberry?” if it is unclear. But do not wait until the barista asks “Will there be anything else?” to look at the pastry display for the first time and say “Hmm, what do I want? What do I want? I just don’t know what I want. What do I want?” That will not make friends of anyone standing in line behind you.

Polite, reasonable adults should not spill on other coffeehouse patrons. Do I really need to explain this one? … OK, here’s a clarification – spilling coffee, period, is wrong. Don’t do it. Spilling it on another coffeehouse patron is worse. Spilling it onto another coffeehouse patron’s laptop is a hangin’ offense.

Polite, reasonable adults should avoid ordering overly obnoxious or complicated drinks just to impress friends. Other patrons in the line will only roll their eyes and be convinced that the person making the order is a coffeehouse snob. Or worse, a coffeehouse neophyte. And I doubt the baristas at the neighborhood coffeehouse will be overly impressed by an order for an extra large, extra hot, extra shot, no-fat, half decaf soy mocha with extra whip cream and chocolate powder, especially when there is a line out the door. If there is a long line, keep it simple; keep the complicated orders for when there is no line.

Polite, reasonable people do not wait until the barista has handed over the drink to pull out their wallet from the handbag that was likely designed to be hoisted by Himalayan sherpas. Have the money or alternative payment method in hand. And if the coffeehouse hands out drink cards – buy 10 and get the 11th free – have that out with the money. A polite, reasonable person most likely will forgo the stamp if the line is long and they cannot immediately produce the card. Or – and this most likely is faster than fishing through a large duffle-bag purse for a wallet – ask for a new card.

Polite, reasonable people do not take up more space than do small nations. I have seen people place their books, laptops and other belongings on one table and move to a completely different table to read a book or newspaper. I have seen a boyfriend and girlfriend sit at different tables and then sit on a coffeehouse sofa smooching, tying up two tables and a sofa on a busy day for the coffeehouse. That leaves patrons standing and it is not polite or fair.

Here are a couple of other etiquette items that should be considered. And I would not mention them unless I had reason, such as grievance violations of each of these:

Do not ask to use a complete stranger’s laptop. Just don’t do it.

Do not let children run around screaming at the coffeehouse. Just don’t let it happen.

Do not loudly dictate a letter over a cell phone. For that matter, do not speak loudly – on your cellphone or to a “bestest buddy” – in the coffeehouse. Other people are trying to accomplish other things at the coffeehouse – even if it is quiet time between appointments – and they should be given the courtesy that we should all expect.

Do not forget headphones or ear buds. If I am using the WiFi graciously offered by the coffeehouse to its paying patrons, I do not want to hear screaming, yelling, music or talking coming from someone’s laptop that is loud enough to drown out the music in the coffeehouse. That’s just plain rude.

Polite, reasonable people will bus their own tables. It is simply rude to consume a bagel at one table and move to another, leaving behind the plate, crumbs and wadded up napkins.

OK, I have had my etiquette rant for 2011. Now go out and enjoy your coffeehouse.

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