Monday, May 22, 2006

Random Thoughts Inspired by Starbucks: Part One

I recently caved into my inability to do work at home and started going to coffee places to do work. The most common place I frequent now is Starbucks and since I saw something rather odd there today, I thought I'd share some of my random thoughts about Starbucks' customers with you. This is part one because with finals coming up, I'm sure there'll be a part two.

I once sat at a Starbucks for hours working on a paper. Since I was sitting at the table nearest the door, I looked up every time someone entered the store. Amazingly, about 80% of the people who came in followed the same pattern. They opened the door, walked inside, dropped an empty Starbucks cup into the garbage near the door, and then went to place their orders. I probably wouldn’t have noticed that this throwing-out-an-old-cup was a trend if I hadn’t been there for hours, but it happens to be that I had a lot of work and was looking for more distractions than Starbucks provided.
I don’t know why so many people did this and still think about it. Perhaps it’s because that Starbucks is located on a major highway and the people who came in while I was there regularly stop in. If you picked up a Caramel Macchiato (I recently learned about this drink), on your way home everyday, would you bring the empty cup inside your house when you got home or just leave it in the cup-holder until returning to Starbucks the next day? Or, perhaps most of the people stopping in were on long journeys along some Starbucks’ route. You can’t, after all, put a cup in an already occupied cup holder. I don't know; it was pretty bizarre.

I always find it funny when people come into Starbucks and pick up a New York Times. If you’re picking it up to read because you want to look intellectual, you might as well just get Glamour or People magazines. I mean, you clearly don't subscribe to it because if you did, you wouldn't need to pick it up for free at a coffee shop at 2 in the afternoon, right? And you are also clearly not aware that you can read it (mostly) for free online while you're bored at work where you don't have to bother learning how to fold those impossibly large and flimsy pages. So there! I know your secret!

And as for today, I was sitting in one of those comfortable chairs doing my work when I looked at the man sitting in the chair opposite me and noticed that his body was stretched out, head back and mouth open. Folks, he was out cold. I know that if I were to fall asleep in Starbucks, I’d want to be woken, but I was not going to pass judgment on this man. When I took my earphones off to make a quick trip to the bathroom, I realized that this sleeping man across from me was snoring softly. That’s right, the man sitting across from me in Starbucks was not only asleep--he was snoring.
After doing some more work, I saw him jump up and answer his phone (which must have vibrated in his pocket or something). He took one phone call, another, and then as he was placing his phone down, started talking to me. Turning my music down, I asked him to repeat what he had said.
“Man, I’m so embarrassed I just fell asleep here. Did you happen to notice if...well...was I snoring?”
“I don’t think so,” I said, “I mean, I didn’t notice anything.”
“Oh good, because that would be so embarrassing.”
“At least you didn’t fall asleep on the train. It’s so embarrassing when people fall asleep and their heads bob up and down.”
“Yeah, that is the worst.”
And the moral of the story is that if you ever see me slumped over a pile of books on a random table at Starbucks...please wake me.

5 original thoughts out there

Blogger MJS said...

Caramel Macchiato isn't kosher.

Bummer, right?

I was in the Starbucks near Stern, and I ordered something, and Vicki, my completely unethnically identifiable Barista, said, "Umm. You know that's not kosher, right?"

Freaked me right out.

Turns out she was a Stern student by day, Barista by other parts of the day.

I e-mailed Yoni Kaganoff at the OU, and a couple of other folks, to get the scoop.

Plain coffee is ok. Vanilla's ok. Mocha's not. Frappucinos and Macchiatos are not ok. If you want, I'll e-mail you the responses I got from the OU. They were somewhat contradictory.

Otherwise, keep on caffeinatin'.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

That's okay, I've never had one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

i used to be in denial that fraps werent kosher- i mean it doesnt make sense- the bars are kosher- the bottles are kosher= so it follows that the drinks should also be- but alas. i would be interested in seeing the complete list of what is kosher

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 2:17:00 PM  
Anonymous brown eyed girl said...

i sleep on the train, all the time, everyday. i commute to brooklyn for work... and i'll be damned if i don't use my two hours to get some sleep.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 5:31:00 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Get a Caramel Latte (syrup, no sauce - make sure to tell them). It's good and kosher.

In defense of the Times' readers... my parents used to not get the Times on purpose, and while my mother read the parts she wanted to online, I found it was a good way to pass time in Starbucks. I hate just sitting there with nothing to read. But I'd never subscribe to it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 2:23:00 AM  

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