Feb 27 2011
Because I have no office at school, I’ve taken to working at the local coffee shop. In undergraduate, it never appealed to me. I just found the environment too distracting then. Now I find it a nice change of pace. There is enough noise to not feel isolated, yet quiet enough to work.
Since I’ve begun doing schoolwork at the closest coffee shop, I’ve noticed some behaviors that are a little off to me. Although I’m familiar with going to coffee shops, the whole “using the coffee shop as your office” thing is new to me.
The most problematic behavior is people who camp out here and buy very little. I’ve done marathon days here myself, but I try to buy enough things I feel justify my space. I’ve been looking up what the “right” etiquette is on this one; there is no true consensus, but many people claim that one should buy a cup of coffee every hour. I’m not sure if one can really measure how much to buy, but it’s just rude, in my opinion, to buy an inexpensive cup of coffee and take up massive amounts of space for 5 hours during busy times. I understand that the bulk of the customers where I go are college students, but I also know that the university campus has many libraries, several other campus center-areas to work, etc.
Some may argue that it’s the coffee shop’s problem for not creating a time limit, but I do think people should be mindful of their manners. I’ve watched customers leave (and have left myself) if there is no room to sit, so not only does the business not profit off of you but it also loses additional paying business. While it isn’t 100% the customer’s responsibility to help the business keep itself afloat or make money, it is in the customer’s best interest; if the shop doesn’t make money, it’ll close, leaving you without your favorite place to work.
Are there any other particular manners that go along with working at a coffee shop?