This post originally ran on February 1st, 2016. Since all the coffee chains haven’t gone out of business, the advice is still helpful. I hope you enjoy it.
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The inspiration for this list was a visit to a bustling Coffee chain and then a need to put down in words some of the thoughts that have bothered me since.
Top Ten Things Not to Do in a Fancy Coffee Chain Store
10 Do not try to maintain your individuality by insisting your name be spelled correctly on your cup. If you do, at best, your exact words will be handed back to you with your drink. (see above) At worst, the rest of the room will take notice of your insecurity and cover you with eye rolls. (You are bothered by eye rolls, or you wouldn’t have been so particular about your name. Right?)
9 Do not order a fancy drink believing it makes you a superstar. If you do, at best, the drink will be wrong. At worst, the drink will be wrong, and you’ll not know it. (Exactly what that twenty-something was counting on when she handed you that regular coffee)
8 Do not look at the pastries while standing in the longest line ever. If you do, at best, your stomach will announce to those in front, and behind that, you are an animal. At worst, you pick one up and suffer from calorie and budget overload. (How could something so small cost so much?)
7 Do not offer to pick up something for your co-workers. If you do, at best, they’ll order strange coffees and give you money. At worst, they’ll order several breakfast sandwiches and give you enough money to cover about half. (The reaction when you ask for the rest is like you embezzled the funds)
6 Do not go to the drive-through with less than half a tank of gas. If you do, at best, you will need to shut the car off several times. At worst, you will forget and run out of gas before you reach the window. (It makes you wonder why you didn’t just go in the first place.)
5 Do not attempt to strike up a conversation with the barista. If you do, at best, you’ll realize you are talking to yourself. At worst, the barista will be distracted and make your drink the way the previous person ordered it. (Just try and get that corrected)
4 Do not stand in line and then start thinking about what you want when you reach the point of ordering. If you do, at best, the audible groan from your fellow fancy coffee drinkers will make you nervous. At worst, you will be the recipient of the kind of insults last heard during the NFL season directed at the commissioner. (You are not making the kind of money to put up with that abuse)
3 Do not pass the tip jar without making a deposit. If you do, at best, you will be marked for special treatment next time. At worst, you are still waiting for your drink, and everyone behind you has left. (Yes, a tip is for good service, but here it is paid in advance, much like a toll to the troll under the bridge)
2 Do not take more than one napkin and one stir stick from the condiment bar. If you do, at best, you will be reminded to conserve paper. At worst, the environmental enforcer who looks much like Tiny, the World Wrestling Federation champ, will relieve you of the extra. (You hope he puts you down on your feet after he is through holding you by the ankles and shaking the napkin free)
1 Do not try to pay for your drink with a gift card that does not have enough to cover. If you do, at best. You will be delayed while the difference is figured out. At worst, you will get the feeling that the next move will be the arrival of a SWAT team to take you down for violating what the cashier is sure is a Federal offense. (You have to wonder why you don’t keep the receipt from the previous visit since it clearly states your balance. Silly you.)