Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let's Talk About Coffee Shop Etiquette For Like One Second


What I need you, the reader, to do here is as simple as it is uncomplicated: I need you to use your imagination and, ever so briefly, put yourself in someone else's shoes. You can do that, right? Yeah, no problem.

Here goes . . .

So you're a regular customer.* You have "your" coffee shop. You go there at the same time every day (sometimes two or three times a day --- no one wants to call you an addict, but you honestly buy so many lattes and so many pastries that you more or less  pay the light bill every month, all by yourself) and almost always get the same thing. All of the baristas know your name, and you know a few of theirs.

You're sitting in the dining room on a typical busy Saturday evening, enjoying the free wi-fi and your sixth refill of the day, when, due to the layout of the shop, you are the first person to witness another customer --- who, to be sure, is a complete stranger to you, but still a fellow human being --- walk out of the bathroom and collapse. One second he's walking, the next second he's not.**


A) Whistle at the closest barista (yes, whistle. Like he's a dog) and jerk your thumb in the general direction of the FELLOW HUMAN BEING who has just LOST CONSCIOUSNESS and MAY BE IN URGENT NEED OF MEDICAL ATTENTION and then, without saying so much as one word, go back to whatever you were doing on the Internet.**

B) Get off your ass and go see if the guy is okay.

C) Stop texting and use your phone to call 911.

D) Yell, "Hey, that guy just passed out!" (Which would actually make a fair amount of sense, as a significant number of this particular coffee shop's other regular customers are medical professionals of one sort or another, and chances are somebody could help him.)

E) Do nothing.

F) Any of the above that is not A) or E).

*Technically, the customer who inspired this post is not actually a customer. He is at one of our tables all day every day (that's an exaggeration, but only slightly) with his laptop, but he never buys anything. Ever. That bit about paying the light bill was thrown in purely for humorous effect.

    If the second witness hadn't said something, I would've had absolutely no idea what was going on. And I might have thrown the guy out for being rude.

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