Coffee shops function as surrogate offices. As places to meet people and jitter together while discussing poetry or something. But the more people get comfortable with their favorite cafe, the more they abuse the place, treating it like their living room sans the sweet bean bag chairs. And stuck playing Mom in that over-caffeinated living room is some poor barista who's forced to be nice to your dumb ass because you provide tips. The following 10 behaviors are surefire ways to seriously piss off these hard-working bean-grinders... and, if you're a culprit, you might be getting more than just coffee and milk in that double, soy half-caff latte.
Flickr user Esparta Palma
1. Ordering like you're at Starbucks
Outside of Starbucks, the word "grande" is reserved for burritos, and the word "venti" is baby talk. And if you order a macchiato at an authentic coffee shop, you're not gonna get a jug of hot milk & coffee w/ enough caramel to make the spoon stick up. You're getting a shot of espresso w/ a little milk in it. Go ahead and complain... you'll go from pissing off the barista to making his day because you refuse to believe in a world outside of your bubble.
2. Leaving your dishes on the serving counter
You may be trying to be helpful, but by ignoring the gigantic bus tub with the "DISHES HERE" sign in bold, you're creating a mess. The barista has to clear off the counter before finishing whatever drink he's making, then scrub the counter down because you just soiled it.
3. Talking on your phone in line...
... or anywhere, really. If it's an important call, go outside. It's not. Nobody gives a crap about what you ate for breakfast. Nobody wants to hear you baby-talking to your dog on the answering machine. And nobody wants to wait extra-long for their drink because you're too busy gabbing to pay attention and act like a human being.
4. Ordering overcomplicated milk combinations
Pick a milk and stick with it. Want soy? Fine. Want half & half? Fine. But don't be the d-bag who orders 1/3 skim, 1/3 soy, 1/3 whole milk, then gets impatient when it takes extra time to make because you're dominating the steamers... because you're 100% a pain in the ass.
5. Ordering nothing but water and staying all day
You've seen this dude. He'll park at a six-top table, grab a glass of water, then unload the contents of a backpack on all six spaces at the table, plug his computer into an outlet three tables away (creating a tripping hazard), then sit there all day drinking water like a camel. When he leaves, the table's covered in empty glasses, torn paper, and crumbs from the snacks he packed from home. Somebody has to clean up after him. That person's not very happy.
6. Dumping liquids in the trash
Once again ignoring the gigantic "DISHES HERE" sign, these folks think a trash bag is a sink. At the end of the shift, when baristas take out the trash as the last task of the evening, these bags'll eventually rip (if they're biodegradable bags, it's almost guaranteed), leaving a trail of rank coffee and garbage streaked across the freshly cleaned floor. They'll then spend every stroke of the mop trying to figure out who you are and plotting their revenge.
7. Bringing out your guitar
No. No no no. Never. No guitar, no ukulele, no violin, no nothing. Don't even tap on the table. You are the worst person on the face of the Earth.
8. Tipping a nickel
Baristas do amazing things, typically for minimum wage. They wake you up in the morning. They toast your bagel. They pretend to like you. They make dainty floral designs on your foam. Yet some people see fit to tip them a nickel and, even worse, make sure the barista is looking as they put the change in the jar just so they can see how generous Daddy Warbucks really is. If this is you, don't be surprised if that floral design soon becomes an "F U" design.
9. Imagining you have a real, non-customer-service relationship
Sometimes, a customer can forge a real amazing friendship w/ a barista. Maybe they'll even hook up. But just because you see somebody every day at their place of work doesn't mean you should get them a BFF locket. Or stalk them on Facebook. Or call them. Or spend your daily existence cornering them at the counter where they're paid to be polite to you. If this person is your friend, they'll give you their number.
10. Making a ghetto latte
We get it. Times are tough. But there's nothing more obnoxious than ordering a shot of espresso, then requesting ice to put in it (after tipping that shiny new nickel), then going over to the cream and making yourself the poor-man's latte, spilling cream and sugar all over the place in the process. You get a nasty, heavy-cream latte for a discounted price. The barista gets a crappy tip and the task of cleaning up your mess... right after he fills up the cream for the fifth time since you got there.