Coffee House Squatting Etiquette

Sitting at a coffee house to work, meet with friends, or just get away can be a great way to spend an afternoon. Modern Manners Guy has 3 tips to keep things carefree and caffeinated.

Richie Frieman,
February 27, 2012
Episode #190

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Tip #2 – Only One Cup?

I’m not sure what’s more of a ripoff, the cost of a gallon of gas these days or the cost of a cup of coffee. And I’m not talking about the 5,000 calorie lattes that taste like heaven, but just the regular cup of coffee. Come on – $3 for beans and water?! At least with the latte there’s a modicum of service involved. Still, when you go to a coffee house and buy one cup of coffee but stay there for 5 hours – that’s a waste of everyone’s time. Not only are you really just using the place for their free WiFi, but you are taking up the seat of someone else who actually plans to spend some time and money there.

So if you are going to squat at a coffee house, you should enjoy everything that comes with it. Coffee houses have some of the best snack foods I’ve ever had. 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 when I walk in there, I can’t help myself. I am tricked every time. So, if you are planning on squatting at a coffee house, bring a few extra bucks and enjoy the amenities.

Tip #3 – Don’t Pump Up the Volume

If you’ve read my bio, you know that I’m a huge music lover, having interviewed nearly 1,000 musicians to date for my digital magazine, PensEyeView. So, I totally understand when people want to listen to music while they are doing work in coffee houses or just at home. But unlike at home, a coffee house does not offer the accommodations of a closed door or solitary quarters. Whenever I go to the counter to get my coffee, inevitably one person will be listening to music, video chatting, or watching Beyonce perform on YouTube at full blast – or at blast enough that while in line, I can hear the soundtrack to their lives…in more ways than one. Coffee houses are public and your music should be kept private.

There is no reason why everyone should not have a pair of headphones with them if they plan to use 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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