What not to do at Starbucks

The following is a coffee shop violation that happened this morning. I arrived at Starbucks for a meeting I had scheduled with a friend from church. I was there first, so I set out to get a table for us. The Starbucks was so packed there was only one table open. So I walked over, pulled out a chair, and began to sit down. While I was doing this, a college student with a laptop pulled out the other chair, mumbled "hi" to me, and started spreading his stuff out on the table. No "is someone sitting in this chair" or "do you mind if I use this table too." Nothing but the nonverbal version of "I have to plug in my laptop, so I'm going to sit here." In his mind, we were going to share this table like we were in the university library or something. Then again, the dude was listening to his iPod and was really focused on his laptop, so I'm not sure he really knew I was there to begin with. Maybe I should have said, "Dude, this is not a study date. I don't want to share this table with you." Or the more mature thing to say would have been, "I'm sorry, but I'm saving that seat for someone." But I thought the situation was so awkward and funny that I just walked away and waited for another table (one opened up a couple of minutes later). Sometimes awkwardness has to be appreciated and marveled at, like an exquisite sculpture.

I don't know what your coffee shop rules of etiquette are, but to me, plopping your stuff down on a table someone else is sitting at is a violation. However, when done with sufficient insensitivity, it is a spectacular moment of awkwardness!


  1. Bring you laptop next time or better yet put you bible down open with a note pad and read and prays while waiting and when the person sits downs say God sent you here for a divine appointment. either you can share God's redemptive plan or perhaps they would scurry off somewhere else!


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