What’s Happened To The Once Friendly Coffee Shop Culture?

This is going to be a tirade about selfish people. While the context of this particular incident took place in a coffee shop, the same vein of inconsiderate behaviour that seems to plague modernity is similarly applicable to numerous situations.

Tonight started out like a typical weeknight โ€“ I grabbed my laptop and hauled butt over to the nearest 24-hour Starbucks, purchased a drink, and got ready to settle down and get to work. There werenโ€™t any entirely free tables, but one gentleman kindly agreed to share his small round table. Looking around, there were a total of three empty chairs. Two of these were located at separate small tables, and the two men guarding these responded apologetically that they were waiting for a friend. The last unused chair stood at the communal table amidst a group of giggly girls dolled up in makeup, straightened air and high-pitched voices. I politely inquired whether the chair was in use.

One of the girls giggled back a breathy, โ€œSorryโ€ and waved her arm over it protectively.

Well then, half a table wonโ€™t do me much good if there are no chairs to go with it. Sighing internally, I schlep my stuff, growing heavier by the minute, over to the second nearest Starbucks, and manage to get a decent amount of work done before being informed that they were closing a half hour earlier tonight.

So back to the 24-hour Starbucks we go! Nearly an hour has elapsed by this point, and I enter the Starbucks to find a good ten or so people standing around inside. I start scanning for empty seats with a sinking heart. The two gentlemen whoโ€™d been waiting for friends earlier have now indeed been joined by their friends, and seem to be engrossed in fun conversations.

I look over at the gaggle of girls at the communal table โ€“ thereโ€™s only two of them now, and the chair that had been empty earlier? Itโ€™s still empty โ€“ one of the girls is using it as a foot rest. Thereโ€™s another empty chair at the communal table, but itโ€™s been taken up by a huge purse.

I walk over and politely ask again whether the chair is being used. And once again she splays her arms out protectively over both chairs and giggles an airy, โ€œSorryโ€ that somehow doesnโ€™t sound sorry at all. Apparently her need to have a place to rest her precious feet is a need that must be fulfilled. Communal table in a public coffee shop be damned, standing patrons be screwed.

Is this really what coffee shop culture has come to? TC mark

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image – Dennis Wong

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