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And does the intent matter?
I’m settling in to do some writing at my local
coffee joint, getting all prepared to talk…you know…ethics ‘n’
stuff. I make sure I buy enough (a
black & white cookie and a large decaf latte) to justify the amount of time
I’ll be hanging around taking up one of their tables (maybe half an hour, tops). I
only grab as much sweetener as might actually, feasibly sweeten the coffee I have, rather than stuffing 80 packets in
my purse, the way some people do.
Heck, I don’t even plug my laptop in without first making sure the staff don’t
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, I believe in good
restaurant etiquette. I know these little java joints have a slim profit
margin, and nibblers like me aren’t helping by hogging their tables, mooching
off their internet while we nurse a single bagel for three hours.
Which is why I tip at least a buck with each purchase when I plan to hang out
in a coffee house to work, even if all I’m getting is a beverage that costs
roughly that same amount.
Yet when I dropped my dollar in the bucket today, I got
grumpy. Not that I resented spending the money. If I want to save cash, I can
work from home. And the baristas are quite nice at the café I frequent. So it wasn’t the money or the service that got my goat.
The problem was, they
I’m reminded of a classic Seinfeld episode, “The