I am in coffee shops almost every single day. Between writing and school work, I probably spend a good 30 – 40 percent of the week in my favorite coffee shops, and yes I have more than one. Inevitably, when you spend this much time in a place, you also begin to people-watch and coffee shops as I have observed, are filled with interesting types of people. Here are a few I’ve noticed:
1.The very important business person or VIBP
You will spot the very important business person by his or her attire. Although not necessarily in a suit, he or she is undaunted by the casual atmosphere they are in. In fact, even if they are in exercise sweats, somehow they manage to make it look like a formal outfit. Aside from their attire, this person has A LOT of important phone calls to make – and you know these calls are important by the amount of nervous walking and sighing the person is doing around the entire coffee shop. The VIBP also takes up the amount of space that could be filled by three people probably because of all their important paperwork. In this person’s world, a coffee shop is their office and you had better not make any sudden movements around them – they could be in the middle of closing a major deal or something.
2. The couple that forgets that they are in a coffee shop
I have accepted that there is some unwritten law of my existence in which I have an 83% chance of being surrounded by an overly affectionate couple, and I use, “overly affectionate” quite liberally. I am not anti-PDA, I really am not, but it’s hard to pay attention to the work that’s in front of me while a couple next to me is groping each other loudly. The thing about this couple is that they legitimately look like they’re in love so you don’t want to be a hater. But for God’s sake, paying attention to Discourse theory while hearing you smack each other’s lips is not my version of a productive afternoon. So excuse me while I accidentally on-purpose spill my Vanilla Rooibos tea all over you. Okay, I won’t actually do it but I’ve contemplated it.
3. The frustrated student
The frustrated student takes deep sighs every five minutes or at least that’s what it feels like. More than likely, they are hurrying to meet a deadline and thus you can see the panic in their eyes. He or she gets up for coffee every hour on the hour, presumably because they haven’t slept for three days. Your heart goes out to them but you wonder if those deeps sighs are really necessary and whether they’ll turn in their assignment on time. Actually you don’t wonder about their assignment, you just wish they would stop the moans and groans long enough for you to hear yourself think. You also avoid sudden movements around them because judging by their agitation and their obviously sleep-deprived appearance, you’re not willing to find out what would happen if they crack. And at any moment, it looks like they might crack.
4.The annoying TMI group
No coffee shop experience is complete without a bunch of annoying people huddled in a corner that have sadly mistaken a coffee shop for their personal living room. It took me some time but I eventually learned to avoid a particular coffee shop I enjoyed going to on Monday mornings. There was a gathering of five or six women – who I termed, “The Real Housewives of Chicago” who proceeded to obnoxiously and loudly talk about their weekend events without a single consideration that there were other people around them. The TMI group is the absolute worst and if you have the displeasure of being in their company, your faith in humanity will be lost during those hours.
5.The tortured artists
The tortured artists live in the coffee shop well at least that’s what it feels like because you will likely see them in the same spot every single time you’re there. You can also point them out by their long periods of intense focus on whatever it is their working on. In between these long periods however, sometimes they’ll try to start conversations with fellow coffee shop goers where they will look forward to telling them about their craft. But mostly, they’re just anti-social and wish coffee shops would band loud noises and maybe 98% of all people in general.