People stop being polite and start acting real before they've had their caffeine fix for the day. And it turns out that coffee-shop waitresses bear the brunt of diners' boorish behavior.
The SF Foodie looked at why servers in coffee shops might hate their customers. And it turns out that coffee sippers are not only rude but also, in some cases, just a bit too friendly.
Most of the observations fall under the category of simple human decency. For example, customers shouldn't touch servers' tattoos, stay past closing or leave a tip of items other than money. Although my favorite has to be a knock on those who choose to hit on waitresses:
Once you've asked and been shot down, stop asking. Otherwise, what you're doing, basically, is a form of romantic hostage-taking: You've got a captive target behind a counter who has no choice but to stand there and passively absorb your come-ons or risk getting in trouble with her boss.
I do believe that you should be able to ask your server what her favorite thing is on the menu or ask for a recommendation. SF Foodie talked to one server who was a vegan and didn't drink caffeine. I respect her dietary choices, but she can at least manage an answer based on what's popular. Everyone has an opinion about what is good in the restaurant they work, and I'd just want you to share it.
I asked a coffee-shop server in Kansas City if there's anything she would add to the list, and she had a few choice words for one special set of customers: the men who stare at laptops. To those who consider her cafe their office away from home, she had this to say:
"I get that you're working. The thing is, I'm working, too. And when you sit at my table for four hours without ordering anything else, I can't work. Doesn't your house have plugs and the Internet?"
Other servers feel free to rant in this space. As for you coffee-shop devotees, the complaint box goes two ways. Feel free to share your pet peeves.
[Image via Flickr: Charleston The_Digitel]