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Category Archives: Polite

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!

How can you be “PC” when you talk politics??

It’s 2011, the economy stinks (that’s my stab at being “PC”), politicians are ruining this great country of ours and the “little” people are just trying to keep their heads above water.

When I think of politics and what is happening in government today it is really hard for me to act “PC” and say things that won’t offend SOMEONE out there.  Hell…I’m sure today everyone seems to be offended at least once a day!

Here are the major problems I have…

  1. I go to work and I have a “real” job for which I get paid and the government is trying to tell me how I can spend it – how much goes to taxes, how much I spend on healthcare (and what kind of healthcare I can have), how much I can contribute to a 401(k) or an IRA, etc.  And this job for which I get paid has a market point for the region where I am located (basically stating that an Executive Assistant in the Atlanta area can make up to XX dollars per year on average and so forth for other regions).  However, I have no say really in how far I get related to that market point – I can work my butt off and still only get to the level dictated by the economy and the going rate for that position.  Now, if I were, say, a Congressman (woman) I could sit around smoking cigars with my fellow Congress people and say “You know what we should do?  We should vote ourselves a raise.”  And everyone else would say, “I think that’s brilliant.”  It would have nothing to do with what they have contributed, how much they have worked, or whether or not they are even good at being Congress people.  It would simply be a decision that is made by them.  And then they would get their paycheck and they would not have lots of taxes, healthcare fees, 401(k) and all the other deductions I have taken out of my little check.  And then they would have more time off than me, get $200 haircuts, go to Hollywood A-list parties, jet set all over the world, and raise all kinds of money to get re-elected.  I wonder, do YOU see a problem with this?
  2. For some reason most of our politicians do not want to talk about Fair Tax.  Do you think it’s because the word FAIR is in the name?  Politicians don’t seem to want to be “fair” about anything.  They do not live in a world of what’s good for the people is good for them.  They are above the laws they try to pass for us to abide by.  In a Fair Tax world people being paid under the table, drug dealers, and illegal aliens would still be contributing to our society because they would be TAXED when they spend the money they earned “unnoticed.”  I scratch my head and wonder why this wouldn’t be a good change for our tax system.
  3. Welfare programs – can you PLEASE tell me why people who get up and go to a legitimate job everyday often have to pass a drug screen for said paying job, yet a welfare recipient can keep collecting money that every hard-working citizen has funded and they DO NOT have to pass a drug test?  Can I deny taking one next time my prospective employer requires it and say it’s against my constitutional rights?
  4. Raising money for campaigns – the government is begging, borrowing, and stealing from the American people in order to fund all kinds of efforts they feel are important (not necessarily the ones we voted for or were the platforms they ran on) yet they campaign for greater than a year for an upcoming election and raise well above the millions (maybe billions) as a collective lot.  Here’s an idea – American companies are having to cut back on their marketing budgets because the US economy is tanking and yet they are surviving on lean, mean budgets because they HAVE TO.  If you are running for office why don’t you try the same thing??!!  Let’s see what you can get done on a dime.  Let’s stop wasting money touring the country repeating the same old tired rhetoric that you are force feeding us and that you will never actually follow through with. Instead of these massive print ads, television ads, billboards, yard signs (that by-the-way you fail to pick up when elections are over and as far as I’m concerned you should be fined for each day they are up after the election) and bashing sessions – why don’t you post your damn resume on Facebook or some government webpage so I can read what you’ve really done – I mean, what you have truly accomplished in your life.  I want to know how you successfully ran a company, maintained a lean budget, and how you progressed through the years.  I don’t want to know how you think you are right but anyone who doesn’t think like you is wrong.  I want to know what you can do for me and my country – not what you think is wrong with every other candidate.  I want you to tell me about YOU.  Don’t worry about the others – they can do their own good (or damage as it may be).  Mind your own business, and tell me what you are really going to do about running this country (state or town).
  5. It does matter if you treat your spouse like crap, cheat or steal.  Just like it matters if I do it – it matters if you do.  I do not want someone leading my local community or my country who is a liar, cheater or thief.  I want someone I can respect – and that means I don’t care what your race, nationality, sex, religion or political party is.  It means I want the person who says what he/she is going to do and accomplish and they really mean it.  I want the person who is true to him/herself and honest with their family, friends and community.
  6. If you are going to take away my belief in God can you take away their belief in no God?  If you think it is okay to take away any notion of God or this country being founded on the principles of God than why can’t I say it’s not okay to “not” believe?  If I can’t talk about God – you can’t talk about “no” God.  If you don’t like it – don’t spend the money.

We have an election so close on the horizon and a country that is falling apart…we all need to really sit down and reflect on what we want in the next few years.  Do not vote simply because you do or don’t like someone’s race, do or don’t want a woman, absolutely have to vote democrat or republican – listen to everything the candidates have to say.  Sometimes the one you least expect could be the best one to get us out of this mess!  America is soon going to become a country people do not want to run to if we all ignore the signs and don’t stand up for ourselves as citizens of this country.  We vote these people in office and we have to hold them accountable!  If they do not do what they promise we should be writing letters, making phone calls, marching outside their offices!

I hate your Trash!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. I hate trash and when people throw their trash on the ground! Even if it is biodegradable!
Several months ago I was on my way to my car at work so I could head home for the day and this is what I found!

I just want to know why someone can’t wrap this up in a napkin and throw it away when they get home! It’s so disrespectful of the other people around you!

I have no Couth!

I have always tried to pride myself on being respectful of people’s differences and being brought up to not make fun of people, but the other day I found out I truly have no couth at all! I met a really nice guy on a dating site (Plenty of Fish to be exact – although it may be a play on words because I don’t think there are really “plenty” out there). While talking and sharing lots of laughs one thing came to light and I will share it with you now… I have copied and pasted this from the e-mail that I sent to a friend (so dates/times are not exact but you will get the point).

I was really, really raised better than this. My ONLY saving grace – POF guy has a terrific sense of humor and didn’t make me feel bad about being a jackass with absolutely no manners whatsoever!! And…if he’s reading – you did, in a round about way, give me permission to write this. 🙂

As discussed with my friends and co-workers in the past, teeth are very important to me. Equal to a nice smile is a nice set of well taken care of (and perhaps, pedicured) feet. So after last week’s little rendezvous and meeting the guy who had jacked up teeth I felt it important to point out these things to my new potential suitor. I told him how important teeth and feet are to me.

I then asked him a question I often ask guys – “So, would you ever go get a pedicure with a woman you are dating?” He says no and I say, “Why? They are so fantastic! Once a guy gets one he is usually addicted.” He just isn’t interested. Hmmm…should this be a red flag?

We continue on with our conversation and something else directs us toward feet again. Now he says that I probably wouldn’t like him because of his feet. Oh no! What could it be? And I say “What’s the matter, do you only have 3 toes?” He says, “No, I have 5 toes…Only 5 toes.” I gasp out of disbelief and the horrible feeling that I just said something awful and offensive. “OMG, what happened,” I ask. Well, when he was 2 years old he goes running out of the house while his mother is mowing the lawn. He runs between her and the lawn mower and there is an accident. He actually is missing half his foot. He said if you look down the front of your leg and straight down that’s where his foot ends.I really don’t know what to say at this point, but I do manage to say “Wow! Your mother must have been devastated.” He said he never really thought of that until he was an adult. I ask if he has a prosthetic foot and he says he has some kind of device that he puts in his shoe and it goes around his ankle. As I am not very discreet, but rather very inquisitive I say “You have a strap on foot?” He laughs (whew). And then I ask if he limps and other such questions. I ask him if he has ever told people that he lost his foot because of an alligator – terrorizing people can be fun sometimes. He says he did have some fun as a kid charging a quarter, and even marbles, to the kids at school if they wanted to see his foot. He said he would sometimes put his shoe on backwards and walk around being funny.

THIS GUY HAS A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR! I am completely turned on by it, and his ability to laugh in the face of adversity. Of course, it also helps because then I can keep asking questions and not feel too bad. I did ask him if this subject had ever come up so early when first meeting someone. He said it usually doesn’t come up until he and his date are at a point of getting to know each other and taking their shoes off.

Toward the end of our 4 hour conversation (believe it or not he kept talking to me) I said to him…”You know, I am totally going to have to see your foot when we go out.” He says he knows. And then I say, “I won’t make you whip it out in the restaurant or anything. We’ll have to go to the car.” He just laughs. (Again, whew)

Today we text a few times while working. I text at one point…”Thank you for keeping me laughing! I love it! You have a great sense of humor!!” His reply, “I learned to be funny to compensate for my feet and tooth.” Of course, he said tooth because he knows I have a teeth and foot fetish! Not fair – he’s roping me in with his humor. Making me laugh at things I shouldn’t!

I did learn a lesson though, you kind of have to be careful when you are telling someone you are a stickler about something such as nice teeth and feet… you never know the circumstances that may prevent them from having that!

PS…my mother knows this story and she thinks I am off my rocker! She can’t believe (well, yes she can) that I asked any of these questions or laughed or any of it! She definitely thinks she raised me better. She did, but I don’t seem to have a filter on my mouth!