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Common courtesy: The golden rules of Starbucks


Starbucks: an office away from the office for so many. Crowds of business people, students, and those who just need a place to go fill the coffee shop’s interior daily seeking  sustenance in caffeinated form. With so many occupying the often tiny space, there are a few things we should all keep in mind to make each other’s Frappuccino slurping, pastry-munching, business-handling experience as pleasant as possible.

Order quickly or move it.

We can all agree that sometimes it takes a little time to decide whether you’re in a coffee or tea mood. Should it be grande or venti sized? Caramel or chocolate? Hot or cold? Iced or Blended? With or without whipped cream? The options are literally endless. But don’t make others wait while you mull through each choice. Most of us are true to a few specific drinks and can recite the order as easy as we can recite our phone numbers. There’s no harm in stepping to the side to further examine the menu while allowing everyone else to quickly be united with their morning pick-me-up.

Keep your conversation (and your music!) to yourself.

This tip goes into effect whenever you’re in a public place with a reasonable expectation of peace. The rest of us needn’t be privy to the intimate details of your on-the-go business meeting nor do we want to hear a one-sided tale of last night’s debauchery as you scream into your iPhone (well, if it’s a good story we may be slightly intrigued.).

In no way should you conduct yourself like you’re in your college campus’ law library, but be aware that there are others around you. It’s no great feat for a room to be filled with people using their inside voices. We’re all adults here, guys.

Also, turn your music down.

Be aware of personal space.

You’ve settled at your table, laptop bag, purse, and book bag in tow. You’re in for a long day of researching, writing, editing, and blonde roast refills. It’s crunch time. We can all see the look of determination on your face. But for the love of all that’s good, tighten up some.

Though Starbucks is comfortable, it isn’t your home. Having your items strewn around with regard to the fact that others must also use the space is simply rude. If you find that you don’t have enough room to work successfully, you may want to get your coffee to-go and head to the library.

Clean up after yourself.

The work is finally done. For once, Twitter didn’t distract you from the task at hand with it’s ever-updating timeline. You can head home at decent hour with a decent caffeine buzz and the satisfaction that you did it. On your way out do us all a quick favor: clean up your mess. None of us want to be bothered with disposing your cups, stirrers, or this mountain of balled-up sheets of notebook paper.

It isn’t that hard. There’s probably a trashcan near the door.

About the Author

Parys Grigsby

Parys received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in May 2013 from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She enjoys photography, writing, and interior design and looks forward to one day giving urban youth an outlet to explore their writing passion.