Imagine this: you walk into a coffee (or tea) shop and purchase your favorite beverage. Maybe you’re a little hungry, so you pick up a small sandwich or salad. Now, you look around for a place to sit. Maybe it’s the comfortable leather chair or the rustic table by the window. Either way, you are ready to enjoy the products you’ve just purchased.
Instead, you find that all the seats are taken up by plaid-wearing hipsters with huge Sennheiser headphones on, Apple MacBooks propped open, and belongings scattered all over the table. Whether it be students studying or startup developers developing, they have completely prevented you from sitting and enjoying your beverage.
The Coffee Shop is NOT your Office
People who don’t understand this are annoying. The baristas aren’t there to serve as your butler for the day while you work on pushing out the latest feature for CraptasticStartupProductNobodyUses.com. If you’re a student, just because you have five classes that each require 5-inch thick, overpriced textbooks doesn’t mean you are entitled to take up an entire table to lay each one out to review the crap you’re going to forget next week anyway. The coffee shop is primarily there to sell coffee and provide a comfortable environment to enjoy that coffee.
Coffee Shop Commandments
As someone who has the freedom to work from anywhere, I will sometimes take up space at my favorite tea joint and write some code for an extended period of time. Before I do, I try to remember these simple guidelines:
- Thou shall not occupy more than a single space.
- Thou shall not complain about anything subjective in the environment. If thou does not like the environment provided, thou can get the fuck out.
- Thou shall not occupy space unless thou purchases something every 30-40 minutes. Thou is and always will be nothing but a customer to the venue and its employees.
Yes, I’ve broken these guidelines myself in the past and I understand there may be exceptions to them in different situations. But, most of the time, adhering to them will prevent you from being a complete douchebag.