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3 Rules for Coffee House Squatters

Moder Manners Guy's top 3 tips for proper coffee house squatting etiquette.

By
Richie Frieman
February 28, 2012

We’ve all spotted coffee house squatters who set up camp at a table for hours on end, with a laptop, book, or e-reader, while nursing endless cups of coffee. In the 1990s we were introduced to – and fell in love with – the notion of sitting in a coffee house for hours with friends or with coworkers. Then somewhere along the line, people entered coffee houses and never left. So before you sit down for a cup of Joe with every form of technology you own, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for proper coffee house squatting etiquette: 

Tip #1: The In-Flight Luggage Rule

If you’re going to squat at a coffee house, and you bring so many items that an airline would have to charge you a baggage fee, then you know you have to reevaluate your logistics. I love meeting at coffee houses to do work with others and just catch up, but I don’t pack like I’m a walking Best Buy. When you plan to sit down at a coffee house for longer than it takes to drink your beverage, stick to what you can bring in a backpack or messenger bag. If you need more, you shouldn’t be meeting at a coffee house in the first place.

Tip #2: Order Up

Coffee houses have some of the best snack foods ever -- cupcakes, muffins, biscotti, oh my! The really good ones have homemade treats that are to die for. Sure, the stuff in the mega-chain coffee houses may be filled with preservatives and stuff that Get-Fit Guy would never eat, but I can’t help myself. So, if you are planning on squatting at a coffee house, bring a few extra bucks and enjoy the amenities. Don't just take up space.

Tip #3: Don’t Pump Up the Volume

There is no reason why everyone shouldn't have a pair of headphones with them if they plan on using their laptop or portable music player in public. And this goes double for coffee house squatters. I don’t care if you are the reincarnation of Frank Sinatra and are airing your own personal recordings, no one wants to hear your music or videos blasting out loud. If you are going to squat, show some respect for your fellow coffee drinkers and use your headphones. If you don’t have a pair, than guess what – you’re out of luck. And think about this: the last thing you want is to have a bunch of caffeine-hyped people jump down your throat when you won’t turn down the volume.

Do you have a great story about a coffee house squatter experience? Post all the details in Comments below.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Check out my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page, follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.

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