I’ve been in San Francisco for the past week, and as such have found myself on a tour of the hilly city’s many wifi equipped cafes. As someone who commonly works from the communal environs of cafes in New York, I’ve found San Fran’s cafes to be severely lacking in the etiquette required to facilitate effective and productive laptop harmony. And this despite the fact that these cafes are packed full of people that also seem to be working–the San Franciscan system is sincerely working against the freelance amongst us. Here are 8 very reasonable complaints I have about working in cafes in San Francisco.
No Bagels After Breakfast
At several cafes I have been refused a bagel past 11am. Ahem. Bagels, especially to those of us who work from cafes, are and should always be an all day food. Bagels should be available constantly and without discrimination. Bagels are timeless. In fact, there should be a way to inject bagel straight into the bloodstream. There should be a bagel drip. Viva la bagel!
Without exception, at every cafe I have worked in, despite there being an overwhelming majority of people in said cafe working, the barista has insisted upon blasting deafeningly loud, screamy, chaotic music. If you ask me, that’s playing a dangerous game with your tips you’re probably not going to win.
Milk station, no milk. Only one unmarked jar of what is normally half-and-half or cream, and a puzzled look when you go to the counter to ask for regular milk. Living in New York, I do so enjoy the luxury of having roughly 7 types of milk to chose from at the milk station.
Everyone Is Rude
What’s with the attitude guys? In a city where everything is fair trade and organic, the general surliness of service staff is incongruous to the community garden/eco-harmony vibe. At one cafe I was greeted with a “whaddaya want?” while the server gazed off into the distance, unsmiling.
In San Francisco, we are all Jennifer Aniston’s crust punk brother.
Or Heading To Burning Man
It’s very distracting when you’re trying to work if there’s a constant parade of dudes with mangy dreds, keffiyehs and sand goggles attached to their utility belts while their cowboy boot clad girlfriends twirl next to them. It’s people watching at its car-crashing best.
Go over here to order. Pay there. But ask that guy over there for your coffee. Wait but you have to go back over there to actually pay for the coffee. Now go order it. But wait did you tell the first person you want the croissant? And so it goes.
My favorite thing when I’m working in a cafe is for crusties on opposite sides of the room to conduct a loud yelling conversation over the top of everyone’s laptops.