Coffee shop culture clash

Coffee from North Tea Power

I wrote a while ago about working most Fridays from coffee shops in the northern quarter of Manchester instead of working out of my home.

However someone at work pointed me to this blog post from a guy who is complaining about people treating coffee shops like there personal offices.

Dickheads with cups of coffee so dry they were probably ordered three hours ago. Dickheads reading the tea leaves in their empty glasses. Dickheads with just some free water.

Dickheads with absolutely no sign of having consumed anything except some three-week old canned tomato soup stains on their emo punk pop hip hop band t-shirts, the ones that proved they were at that concert nobody else gave a shit about.

One of them even had the pierced balls to get a banana out of this bag and proceeded to eat it as he scribed the novel he’s never going to publish, looking at his Samsung Galaxy III—iPhones are so passé—at the same time.

And here I was, (delicious) coffee in hand, waiting for my sandwich, with nowhere to eat it. And I wasn’t alone—there were two more people like me. While I waited, three more people came in, and, after looking around fruitlessly for five minutes, left without ever touching ass to chair. I didn’t need telepathic powers to read their minds. DICKHEADS.

To be honest I found the whole thing pretty funny but I do get what he sometimes means. I personally buy and spend too much money at coffee shops including FYG, North Tea Power and Vivid Lounge. So I would agree with all the points the writer makes…

  1. Buy at least a coffee. Don’t just go ahead and sit there with your computer. If you do the latter, I hope your genitals drop rotten into the toilet bowl one day.
  2. When you are done with your coffee—it’s ok, take your time, as long as you do it at some reasonable pace—you can stay around for five minutes. Perhaps ten. Then leave.
  3. If you want to stay longer, buy another coffee. A pastry would be fine too. Perhaps a sandwich. Anything. Whatever. But keep buying things. This is the rent you pay. It’s much less than getting your own office. Or a real apartment.

However I still don’t like places which go out of there way to restrict laptop users.

In Manchester when I first arrived, Teacup and Drip Coffee was a great place to enjoy a chat, read and catch up with some work. Now they both seemed to turn hostile on computer users by taping up plug sockets, messing with the wifi and general snobbery of laptop users. In Teacup you need to be shown a place which makes it too formal for my own liking. But fear not others have stepped in to fill the void.

Interestingly North Tea Power not only fills the void but takes customer service to another level, really encouraging laptop users… Love those guys!

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.