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Category Archives: Interesting Adventures

Is Starbucks your “office”?

Everyday I think all my full-time entrepreneur friends have the BEST life!  In the middle of the day they can stop what they are doing and head out to Starbucks to meet someone to talk business or just to sip coffee and reminisce about life.  Having been a full-time entrepreneur in a past life I realize that sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is.  The truth is, you may get the chance to do that from time to time, and attend networking events during the day, and other things that being trapped by a 9:00-5:00 does not allow, but at 2:00 am when you suddenly jump out of bed because the project you’ve been working on for 4 weeks pops into your head…there is no going back to sleep until you figure that out!

My friend AS is one of those entrepreneurs who gets to do her thing everyday instead of marching to the beat of the corporate drummer.  And the other day (Monday, August 6th to be exact) after she made her way to local Starbucks to meet up with a friend for a little social time she encountered quite the scenario due to some men who decided that on that particular day Starbucks was going to be their “office.”  Upon reading her status update on Facebook I responded with a comment and specifically made mention to blogging about this issue.  Due to other things I decided I wanted to do on Monday and Tuesday night I did not write said blog post and had all intention of doing so today.  Well…let me just say that this behavior at Starbucks must be an epidemic!  Because last night as I lay in bed reading other blogs that I follow regularly I came across a very interesting post from Intuit – they wrote a post titled: 8 Rules of Etiquette for Working in Coffee ShopsRead more here.  Perhaps this is where I should say “great minds think alike.”

Now, without further ado I’d like to share with you AS’s post and all the comments that followed.  I’ve used initials for all those who commented with the exception of my comments which say HEATHER.  Let’s face it – I’m blogging and always speaking my mind so I have no reason not to say which comment it mine, but out of respect for the others who commented I will not post their names.

AS: Just found myself at the center of a Starbuck’s etiquette controversy: I was in a crowded, in-town location that was full of middle-age white guys with laptops using the Starbucks as an office. I was there to meet a friend for coffee and to socialize, the entire point of a Starbucks. We hadn’t been seated for two minutes before a guy turns to us and says, “Ladies, people are trying to work here so you need to lower your voices.” Before either of us can say anything a debate breaks out around us about whether or not Starbucks is “the library,” that ended in name calling. Clearly, people are riled up about proper coffee house behavior. To me, this is a PSA for coworking–there is no expectation of silence at Starbucks.

Oh the comments this status update stirred up!
MF: Geez louise! These guys better get a grip. They’re in a coffee house for chrissakes!  Hey, somebody break out a guitar! 😉
KG: Agreed! You give up your right to privacy ( & quiet) the moment you walk to into Starbucks, the nerve!
JC: I witnessed this same kind of thing at my regular Starbucks one morning. A guy who uses Starbucks as his office was upset because another guy was on his phone. He berated the guy in front of everyone and when it got back to the manager, he was actually the one the that got in trouble. All of the staff told him that what he did was not appropriate. Turns out he had been kicked out of another Starbucks before. I haven’t seen him in a long time!
UH: Are you serious? Starbucks is not your private office…they have appropriate places to conduct business…its just a courtesy on Starbucks part to let people come in with their computers and “work”. I just can’t believe it.
KW: Smh. Wow. The WHOLE Starbucks and other coffee houses as offices has gotten so out of control. It is NOT an office. I have even seen them ask ppl to move so they could plug up!
KY: ‎AS I believe this deserves a tweet to Starbucks Howard Schultz I have NEVER seen a sign at ANY Starbucks (or Caribou or any other coffee house) that required a vow of silence. Sheesh….totally out of line if you ask me!
KTC: You were right. They were wrong. IMHO.  People should work in coffee shops because they like that environment, not because they don’t have their own office space.  Interesting interaction though, thanks for posting.
KY: KTC Think they should rent an office suite somewhere instead of freeloading an office for the price of a coffee? Just sayin’
HEATHER: What is this world coming to? Now, if I’m on a restaurant trying to enjoy a meal I do have a problem with phone conversations (when overly loud) but if you want a quiet workspace go rent one or work from home…or just anywhere but a coffee house. I’m really tired of everyone feeling entitled to EVERYTHING these days!
OH: makes me wish I were there
KY: OH I know… maybe we should schedule a group meeting with a speaker! LOL
HEATHER: I would have said something to the for sure! And then they would have become the subject of my blog (although that may still happen because I’ve been on a rant lately)!
KW: @ OH & KY ~ Count me in for the group meeting! Lol… I will bring a power point and all!
KW: @KY ~ I have seen cases where they do NOT buy anything! And I really think that should b a deal breaker. Smh…
KY: @KW That is even MORE unbelievable!
KY: And yes, PPT is perfect!
KY: @Heather, blogging on this… DEFINITELY!!!
KTC: …@ KY, OH, KW …. maybe a flash mob…
AP: Call me crazy, but when I need it to be “library quiet” I go to the library.
AS: ‎KY I am planning on contacting Starbucks Howard Schultz about this. I’m a huge fan of his book “Onward,” which is all about Starbucks as a place to socialize and connect with community.
VK: There is no such thing to preferred atmosphere or entitlement to that preference whilst in a public space (from planes to coffee houses).
I have been both the social meeter as well as focused worker. When I want quiet but desperately need Internet/lunch I make sure to bring my sound canceling headphones.  This is a huge economical issue from the standpoint of the coffee house owner that sprung up during the recession. Someone buying one cup of coffee and parking in a seat (or two or four) for 8hrs using Internet, electricity and the bathroom.  Some coffee houses have tried to fight the library atmosphere by imposing a limit on the Internet access or in the case of @octane coffee Intown by the cemetery don’t even have plugs available, which has brought the atmosphere back to the traditional setting.
KY: ‎AS Good for you! I’d say your experience was the perfect example of a few hijacking the socializing and connecting atmosphere for the many! You go, girl!
KY: Only wish you’d gotten it on video! (DId you?)
AS: KY No video–I was too stunned to catch it.
KY: Oh well, your description paints enough of a picture! 🙂
PB: Its a coffee house. Neighborhood Socializing. Work at home if you have no office….sorry (I have been on both sides).
RPA: Ah ha! One of the very reasons that I wanted to open The BizLynks Center. There are great coworking locations throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Check us out!
AS: Here’s an irony: I had just come from looking at a shared office space. Had a fight not broken out, I probably would have given him a heads up on coworking nearby.
KW: ‎@Heather ~ Yes, blog about it! What is your blog address?
TS: spill your coffee on the persons keyboard…problem solved
PR: Insanity. No, no silence. Good grief
KRG: Sheesh…would love to see what they do when I bring my 7yo twins in for steamed milk when it gets cold.
EB: Good grief!
CB: Time for a Starbuck revolution??? <smile> That is crazy!
CM: Wow. another reason I can avoid Starbucks.
JS: Wow , Starbuck’s office
RL: I would have LOvED to be there!
PT: I think so many people are out of work and trying to minimize overhead by not having internet access at home. They use Starbucks instead (or Caribbou or Pannera or…..). I am amazed that they are allowed to stay for so long with maybe the purchase of a single coffee. There is one coffee shop that doesn’t allow that to happen. Will be interesting to see how long he lasts.
KW: So who is all in for THE STARBUCKS FLASHMOB that Kristen Colier suggested? Rehersal at my house…Lol
CD: Unbelievable!
KRG: AS, message me which Starbucks. The littles and I are ready for a field trip!

I completely understand the need/want to reduce the cost of overhead especially given today’s economy.  Here’s an idea…find a little space in your own darn home then.  When you enter a public place that was originally created as a meeting place for friends to gather and enjoy some downtime you certainly are stepping across the line when you get mad at people for talking!  That being said, I’m not overly fond of the children who are allowed to release constant blood curdling screams while I’m out to eat.  It’s funny how parents can ignore that type of behavior, but grown men who take over the local Starbucks cannot overlook the fact that people are at Starbucks to relax and meet up with friends!  Maybe someday we will all find a way to get along together – even at the local coffee shop!

It could only happen to me…

I have to bring this to my blog – I posted this on Facebook on January 31st at 6:37 pm.

So…a guy at the bar at the local Chili’s literally saved my life tonight!! I choked on a crouton from my grilled chicken cesaer salad and he gave me the heimlich . Wow!!

And here are the comments that followed:

APRIL M:  HOLY COW! January 31 at 6:40pm

WES S: Wow – have not seen anyone use that pick up line before :). Glad you are ok… January 31 at 6:53pm

WANDA M:OMG. Glad you are ok. January 31 at 6:55pm

NANCY J:  Oh my gosh. You have a hero! That must have been scary. So glad you are ok. January 31 at 7:13pm

HEATHER P:  Whew, that was a close one!! You see?! And here I was thinking salad was GOOD for me?!! WTH! Did you get his number? THAT would be such a cute “how did you two meet” story, wouldn’t it?? January 31 at 7:24pm

STEPHANIE A: I’m so glad you’re okay! January 31 at 7:31pm

CHRISTINE B: Wow, I’m thankful he was thinking on his toes. Glad you are okay!! January 31 at 7:39pm

HEATHER (ME): So, here’s a back story regarding coughing. My mom has been on blood pressure medicine for years and it makes her cough (a lot) and people always look at me funny when I’m not doing anything about her coughing – I know she’s not choking, just coughing. I tell my friends when they worry about her coughing that until she bangs on the table she’s fine. Tonight I am definitely choking and I forget our code – bang on the table! My mother is laughing all is said and done and she knows I’m breathing because not ONE person tried to help her when she was coughing only seconds before I accidentally inhaled the crouton into my throat. And, as far as “how did you two meet” he was a retired USMC drunk (or at least one drink away from) and I’m just glad he was at least cognizant enough to save my life!!! I offered to buy him a drink before my server told me that he’s in there drinking (too much) all time. Also, he was WAY taller than me which meant that he ended up doing the heimlich  a little higher up than my belly button area and I think I will be all bruised tomorrow. My mother jumped up from her chair and started whacking me on the back and he jumps up, a chair goes flying, he pushes my mother aside and next thing I know he’s making a piece of crouton go flying out of my mouth (sorry if someone slips on that later). In true, Heather, fashion the whole thing made me pee my pants!! LOL January 31 at 7:39pm

LISA H: Glad you’re ok! January 31 at 7:41pm

HEATHER (ME): Thanks everyone – I like to keep things interesting! For the record, tomorrow is MY New Year’s Day since the real one sucked with being in the ER. I wasn’t planning on ending my year 2x on a bad note. 🙂 January 31 at 7:42pm

RANDI T: Holy moly! Thank goodness he reacted with a cool head in a crisis! Are you ok? Any broken ribs?  January 31 at 7:44pm

CORINNE E: Was he cute? Did you get his number so you can thank him properly? 😉 January 31 at 7:46pm

HEATHER (ME): Nothing broken…no numbers exchanged…a little bruised, I think…and definitely (above all) thankful!! January 31 at 7:48pm

CORINNE E: glad you are ok Heather!! January 31 at 7:52pm

HELEN V: Wow, that was far more interesting then my evening! January 31 at 8:16pm

HEATHER (ME):  I would have been okay with a dull evening LOL January 31 at 8:25pm

DAWN S: Happy that someone stepped up to the plate to help, glad for mom too =) January 31 at 8:48pm

DAWN S:  Side question what meds does ur mom take ??? You can pm me if you’d like. I cough too, wonder if we are taking the same thing January 31 at 8:50pm

KARA B: Marines kick ass!!! Better bruised than dead. Glad you’re still with us. I hope you hugged our hero. January 31 at 8:50pm

TUESDAY W: OH MY GOODNESS! January 31 at 8:52pm

TUESDAY W: I am SO glad that we are hearing the story from YOU and not someone else!!! Angels were watching out for you! Xoxooxxoxoxoxo January 31 at 8:52pm

MEGAN K: Wow. Glad he was there drunk or not! January 31 at 8:53pm

JENNIFER W: I read this and thought, “only my best friend!” Glad he was there! January 31 at 8:56pm

LIZ M: oh my girl, I am so glad you are ok, and thank goodness for him!! 🙂 February 1 at 12:33am

LISA G: I am glad you are ok ,but your story made me almost pee my pants laughed so hard I cried! Will you please write your book already! lol! February 1 at 8:16am

SCOTT (MY BROTHER): Omg!!!!! This could only happen to you. I’m so glad that your here to tell us about it.
Tell that Guy thank you from your brother 🙂 February 1 at 8:42am

I have to tell you…stuff like this has been happening to me my whole life.  Today there was an “incident” with a BIG roach and the service elevator at work.  I did a little dance, almost got stuck in the elevator, and then jumped out to avoid said roach.  If there was a video I’d probably win some money!

The thing is, I’m not sure I’d want my life any other way.  I have great family. I have great friends.  And they ALL. LOVE. ME. JUST. THE. WAY. I. AM!!  I’m not sure why they do, but they do and I’m giddy about that. 🙂

 

My Sunday

I started my Sunday at church and then it went downhill from there.

Carole and I met up for church and listened to a great sermon on personal finances. From there we realized some not so great things about someone we both used to date which got us both fired up. But, we figured we could get over it because we were on our way to tap into our inner child…

Our next stop was for a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. Not the best food choices, but offers just enough to make you full but not over stuffed.

From there we headed to the Atlanta History Center to see the Jim Henson exhibit. We met up with @SmplyUnprdctble and @richall and had fun singing “Dance your cares away (clap clap clap)…worries for another day…Down to Fraggle Rock” and “Mahna Mahna Do Do Do Do Do Mahna Mahna Do Do Do Do Mahna Mahna Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do…” It was BIG fun! I got to see Bert and Ernie and Kermit! (Don’t tell anyone we snuck this pic)

After that we went back to Carole’s shop because @SmplyUnprdctble had a terrible unibrow we had to take care of. It was here that I started asking questions about @Smply and @richall’s relationship. I am very happy that “my” GFF (@Smply) has found a great guy! He deserves it!

I don’t know how the subject got to this but at some point it was discussed that I had never been to a (ssshhh…don’t tell anyone) sex shop. So, we all went on a field trip to Inserection. It was very enlightening, but I don’t believe I will be going on another adventure such as that for a while IF EVER. There was a lot of dust in there. I’m not a fan of dust – makes you need to wash your hands A LOT!
Anyway, that was my Sunday! What did you do?