Some Tips to Coffee Shop Patrons


People wonder why baristas so frequently come off haughty, snotty and holier than thou. Well, we have reason, and it’s a perfectly human one: people are careless and inconsiderate, and we get tired of it. So, here are some tips to coffee shop patrons so you can prevent your barista from reacting poorly!

1. Do not come to my coffee shop to break up. I promise not to come to your Olive Garden or wherever you work to spread my personal life all over you and everyone else in the vicinity. It’s inappropriate. Everyone around you knows what is going on and it makes them uncomfortable. Also, it’s just a dick move in general. Go to a public place where no one can make a scene. Did you think about the consequences here? What happens when they must hold onto you forever and nothing you say will make them accept that you’re over this “relationship”? Awkward. Uncomfortable. You don’t even want to have to sit through it. Please remember, you have been reaping the benefits of the coupling for however many months. We haven’t all been getting laid with this person, just you. It’s the price you pay. Forcing others to pay interest on your loan is not fair. Do it at home kids.

2. A. No PDA. I don’t care how in love you are. Unless you’re a returning soldier seeing his wife for the first time since being deployed, keep it PG. And if you are a returning soldier, why are you at a coffee shop? Let me make it for free, thank you so very much for serving our country. Otherwise, I don’t care how old you are, if you kiss in front of the counter, or are dangling on each other while ordering, you’re an idiot. The only PDA that is appropriate is cute old couples holding hands while they order. And then the old man has to carry both of their coffees over to the table where they drink them black and read the morning paper together. This goes down as adorable.

B. In the line of relationships, do not come with your mistress to my coffee shop. This happens so much more often than one would think and it’s really inappropriate. Skip the frozen coffee drinks and go straight to the sleazy hotel room you’re going to later. It’s just disgusting. She’s wearing six-inch heels at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and her skirt is short and tight. YOU PICKED A WINNER. You’re cuddling in the corner. This breaks rule 2A. Don’t take her out in public. Someone you know might see you and rat to your wife who is probably a saint. On the other hand someone in general might see you, which is just as bad. To reiterate: keep your sleaze in private please.

3. Real quick: let’s look at the exits. And the trash cans. See them? They’re kind of hard to miss because you have to walk past them to leave. Put your paper cups in the trashcans. Put your glasses and mugs in the dispenser above the trashcan. I promise every time I see you leave a cup, or mug, or even a napkin on your abandoned table, I openly wish a flat tire on you. In a rainstorm. Scratch. Thunderstorm. Really. Today, someone left a plate on my laptop, which was sitting on the far end of the counter. WHAT? In what universe does my Mac look like an appropriate place to set your plate? You couldn’t set your plate next to my computer on the counter? You, sir, I openly denounce as a good person, and very much wish that every time you try to eat a strawberry for the rest of your life, you find it moldy after the first bite. And get food poisoning from the mold.

Now, to counter this, I will say some people think they are helping when they hand me a cup or mug. ‘It saves her a trip,’ they think. However, I have to make that trip anyways because everyone else can’t follow the rules… so why can’t you? Thanks.

4. Finally, for Jesus’ Christ’s sake, tip. Not only are you tipping us for the beautiful, skinny, hazelnut latte with an extra shot we just made you, but you’re also tipping us because we made all those beautiful desserts in the display. You’re tipping us because we don’t “pool” tips and closers have a significantly less volume of customers than openers. Closers, however – we run the shop. And you, college student, expect us to be a safe haven on study nights. We love to be that haven. And we understand, you don’t have an endless budget for coffee. Your change will do. Before you sat down, who made sure your table was wiped down? Not you, and don’t get us wrong, we wouldn’t dream of expecting you to do that. And that’s fine, it’s our job. But, we don’t make boocoos of money either. We make just above minimum wage. Tip us. Dear Business Man, I know you come down here from the office building every night and order a sweet tea. I purposefully leave the tea out so you can get as many refills as you want. Tip me. Dear Christian College Girl, I just politely waited while you asked for a “crazy” drink. “I know this is crazy, but can I just have a mocha with mint latte?” Girl, you are insane! And so original! You want a mint mocha?! I don’t know if I’m capable of fulfilling your order. See, I didn’t say that to you. You should tip me for my patience. Dear Kind-of-Creepy-Old-Guy, you just talked for ten minutes about a robber who fell through a sun light and got caught. I listened. Tip.

Anyway you cut it, you should tip, ESPECIALLY if you paid in cash. Then you have no excuse. Dropping your 75 cents in adds up. So do it. If you’re a regular, we know you tip. We know to cut your drink to the front of the line, because we can count on you. So, sweet little Christian college girl… you never tip, and so: your drink can wait.

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image – Petteri Sulonen