The coffee shop is the new place to hangout; whether with friends or family. Or the perfect place to meet an acquaintance since it’s a fairly neutral ground. Or the place to cure that hangover after an alcohol-infused dinner of seafood sisig (oh days of yore!). 😉
Several years ago, you can escape to a coffee shop for some needed me time; to read a book, compose a blog post, do some people-watching or just simply chat with friends.
Now, that is just wishful thinking when you’re out looking for a table for even two people during those peak hours (and by that I mean Friday, weekend and payday nights). Wending your way through the café requires a steady heart rate and a cool head because these supposedly decent people frequenting the place have lost a fair amount of sensitivity and consideration for others on their way to the coffee shop.
It has now transformed into the new library where lone students, especially those taking up post-graduate degrees, occupy a table that’s meant to sit four people. I can understand occupying two seats, but four?! Really?!! Because the laptop, books, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, and of course the trusty iPod are all on blatant display for everyone to see and realize that, “You have to understand me. I’m busy studying Law and I need this whole stretch of gorgeous wooden table to my just as gorgeous, studious self.”
On those not-so-busy hours, maybe you can have that luxury but when people starts pouring in, at least have the civility to gather your stuff on one side and let the others have that nifty little space. You are all customers and you all have a right to the table. So quit hoarding that space to yourself like you owned the place.
What makes the coffee shop scene odder these days is the presence of kids. I love kids but unruly kids left unfettered by their parents or guardians because they are busy chatting with their friends or reading the paper really peeves me. I’m not saying that you do not bring your kids; we bring my niblings along because they love the chocolate drinks. But is it really too much to ask to rein in your kids when they start getting restless and their antics aren’t cute anymore? Our kids know that if they start that attitude, we will leave whether they like it or not.
And when you do discipline your kids, please do not yell at them. It doesn’t make you look any good that you’re disciplining your kid; it makes you look obtuse on parenthood.
While coffee shops may entice customers with wi-fi access for your purchase, it does not translate to you actually living there for the day, mooching off their internet connection for as long as your shamelessness will allow. But should you ever have to do this out of sheer necessity, at least drop a nice tip in their tip jar as a token for allowing a leech like you stay at the comfiest couch in the coffee shop.
Funny that with all those observations, I still trod down to a coffee shop whenever I need to feel recharged or just enjoy some quiet time by myself. The thing is, hunt down those coffee shop branches that are not easily accessible or go there on off-peak hours so you can live on that couch and not feel guilty that you’re hogging it to yourself. 🙂