You probably don't know it, but every time you go to a Starbucks, 14 people behind you in line are shooting daggers at you and trying to kill you by modulating their alpha waves . . . and yes, it's your fault. You're the inconsiderate, self-absorbed douchebag, and you infest every coffee shop in America.
The following list is meant to serve as an open intervention to you all. There is hope; cast aside your douchebaggery.
6. Know what you want before you get to the display case.
Not when you get to the front of the line; most coffeehouses are smart enough, during the morning caffeine rush, to take orders for the barista long before you get to the front of the line. Know what you want, and be on the lookout for the person peering past the shortening-laden pastries to inquire as to your caffeination needs.
5. Tip your barista, especially if you require some ridiculously complex thing.
Baristas are tipped employees, just like waitstaff. You're already spending $4.39 for your triple half-caf upside-down soy caramel macchiato, no whip; toss a buck in the bucket . . . and don't be the douchebag who announces it, either. Every barista knows when someone puts money in the tip jar, so casually announcing you don't like to carry change because it makes your pockets jingle is just a crass attempt at currying favor.
4. Get off your damn smartphone.
If your email, Twitter or Words With Friends is so all-fired important that you can't take 30 seconds to order a drink and pay, get the hell out of line. Seriously. Go finish what you're doing on your flickering electronic leash, then get coffee when you feel you can live in meatspace for a few minutes.
3. Don't crowd the pickup area.
There are 40 people in the coffee shop; do you magically think your "hand-crafted coffee drink" is going to be ready in the 7 seconds it takes you to push past half those people and stand directly in front of the pickup window? They call names and orders for a reason. Get out of the way until you see people who were in front of you in line picking up their stuff.
2. Don't be a space hog at the condiment bar.
The standard condiment bar at a Starbucks fits three people. Same with Peet's. Some of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf bars fit three or four, even taking into account the fact that we Americans are notorious fatasses. Stand in one spot and reach politely for what you need ("excuse my reach . . ."). And, for the love of Martin Diedrich, throw your trash in the garbage can when you're done.
1. Learn to drink actual coffee.
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Seriously, long orders (that triple half-caf upside-down soy caramel macchiato, no whip, for example) take forever to write down; they have to be repeated because nobody remembers the order for the stupid jargon, and then it takes forever to enter it into the point-of-sale system (i.e., the cash register). Just drink a damn cup of coffee, would you? You'll get it faster, too--no more waiting at the pickup area for your name and embarrassingly long order to be called. Doctor the plain java at the condiment bar if you need to--and if it's Starbucks, you surely will.