I’ve been spending a lot of time in coffee shops lately. My office at the University has no windows and I think the lack of sunlight is starting to get to me. Also, I really just need a change of pace now and then and a coffee shop is a more active environment compared to my office, the library, or my apartment. I think a stimulating but nonintrusive atmosphere jogs my brain and I tend to get more done.
Now, sometimes I do need quiet to focus but I can usually work in a semi-quiet environment like a coffee shop.
Anyway, since I try to take a mental and visual break for a minute or two from my computer every half hour, I take a look around the room to see who is occupying the place. After visiting many coffee shops, I’ve noticed a lot of themes regarding the people that *spend time* in the coffee houses.
This list is not meant to offend. This is merely a fun mental exercise for me.
This is me.
I go to the coffee shop, order something quick, and find a place to cocoon myself. I emerge from the cocoon and react with surprise at the amount of time spent in that spot. Laptops are common along with books and notebooks. The drink is usually downed way to fast or savored slowly… mainly because I can’t afford a lot of coffee.
These people are usually in small groups and I often wish I could join them. They talk about everything and nothing and all that is in-between. They solve the world’s problems before they can down their vanilla chai teas and iced caramel lattes.
They always have a book or a newspaper. Their steaming beverage sits in front of them like a third wheel and some of them become so engrossed in their reading that they can’t understand why their drink is cold.
The Life Therapists
Due to proximity, sometimes I hear a lot about people’s lives. These people are normally telling their friend or confidant about a problem that they have. The problems range from personal to professional. While I do not like to overhear, sometimes I am privileged enough to hear excellent advice to another human being from their good friend or kindly mentor. The ones seeking advice often sip their drinks and cradle the cup out of a need for comfort. The advice givers usually mirror their charges in sympathy.
These people are usually on and off their phones or they sit by a window and don’t seem to do much. In some ways, they don’t want to be bothered, especially the ones that find the window and all that lies beyond it fascinating. For some of them though, with the way that they look around, you almost want to see if they are okay. These are the people that interest me most because these people probably have some of the best stories to tell. The way they drink ranges but it is often contemplative and/or savory.
Obviously there are other types that stay in coffee places. I have a feeling that this list will be updated.
What is your coffee shop personality?
This post was partly inspired by this page.