With a Starbucks almost on every corner, chances are you have spent time (and $5 on a cup of coffee) in at least one of them. The next time you find yourself grabbing a tall, iced, half-caff, 4-pump sugar-free vanilla, light ice, soy latte (first of all, make that order more simple or make it yourself…) take a look around at the patrons.
After spending lots of time in various Starbucks, I started to notice a pattern. There are 9 distinct people you will always find in any Starbucks. I ran this list by a few friends who are Baristas and they all verified the list to be hilariously 100% accurate.
Sit back and observe.
The Job Hunter
LinkedIn is the only bookmark saved in Chrome. Their desktop is riddled with at least 15 versions of their resume. On a good day, they look put together (unemployment gives you time to try that new beach wave technique). If they are SUPER put together and you see a notebook instead of a laptop, it’s interview time baby! On a bad day, they will look like the walking dead. They are hunched over their computer with disheveled hair and a fierce look of desperation in their eyes. If you make eye contact with a Job Hunter, just offer a small smile of encouragement and leave them to practice their answer to, “so tell me about yourself.”
This Starbucks is their office. They stick to a fairly regular schedule-structure is crucial to keep them on task. They hate that they have to come to such a corporate location and wish they could support a local shop but the wi-fi is free, strong, and unlimited. They spend all their contract money (when it actually comes through from clients) on single espressos and streetwear instead of health insurance. You gotta look fresh for those new client meetings, right? The black beanie + acid wash jean jacket combo is usually the best way to spot a Freelancer.
They have been here longer than the Freelancer and resent that kids are turning this place into an office/study lounge. “Go to the library and leave me in peace!” People watching is their inspiration. Real people are their muse. The Writer will always have ancient Dell laptop that amazes everyone with its ability to still power on, let alone have the storage capacity for any file larger than a JPG of a squiggle made in MS Paint. The Baristas know them by name and the Writers know all the Baristas. They sit in the corner and observe. They are silent observers. They are real-life Batmen (minus the whole vigilante thing and being billionaires…ok so not really like Batman). Do not speak to them. Let them brood in peace. Sure they have been coming to this same Starbucks every day for the last 10 years, but a true masterpiece takes time.
Make way for chaos. Sometimes alone but usually they travel in packs of at least 3, the Student will enter and take over. Covering chairs and tables and floors with supplies. Its as though they are filming a Staples commercial there. There is always a mountain of highlighters. Far more highlighters than you would ever need in your entire life. Students, take note. The number of highlighters you have with you does not increase your grade. Sorry.
The tourists stand awkwardly in the middle of the shop. “Are you in line,” you ask them. AKA you’re in my way and I have no idea what you’re doing right now so please move so I can order a coffee and get the hell out of here. Backpack strapped to their chest, mild panic, and sensible shoes-yikes. They are far from Times Square. Good for them for venturing out! They ask you for directions to Times Square. Oh well.
The New Mom
She’s venturing out for the first time or the first time in far too long. She isn’t using a nanny because she really wants to bond with baby but she is secretly regretting that now. Other than the obvious baby stroller, diaper bag, and baby-the new mom has a look. She’s pale. She hasn’t seen direct sunlight in over 3 months. Her dark circles are so strong, you had no idea they could reach that shade without special effects makeup. She is probably wearing athleisure that only matches depending on her level of exhaustion. She has truly mastered the art of the top knot and has used more dry shampoo than actual shampoo this month. She is a confusing combination of ecstatic and exhausted. Maybe offer to grab her coffee when they call her name for the 7th time. Chances are she forgot she even ordered anything (Mom Brain is REAL) and she probably can’t get up to grab it anyway. You’re doing great!!! Just ignore the puke stains and carry on.
The Executive Assistant
Overworked and underpaid, these poor souls are the very definition of organized chaos. Two phones in one hand and a tray of caffeinated fuel in the other, make sure to not get in their way. At this point they are running on a handful of almonds they grabbed between meetings and they will run you over without looking back. Clear a path and listen for the symphony of text and email notifications as they run out the door. Here’s hoping that her tray is well-balanced and that she doesn’t have to wait to cross.
The Tinder Dater
Yes, this is an actual thing that really exists outside of romcoms. Some people love a good coffee date in lieu of yet another happy hour. Potentially romantic? Hell yes. One major challenge is the obvious lack of liquid courage. They are probably both wishing Starbucks sold Baileys. Like bars, Starbucks does play music but they can actually hear each other. This means you can hear them too. Get ready for cringe central. Avoid the temptation to eavesdrop but it will be impossible and you will regret it.
The Restroom Dasher
“Restrooms are for customers only.” Not for these brave souls. Those bathrooms are a nightmare and only reserved for true emergencies. Be ready to watch each one of them ask a Barista for the code because no one wants to hold the door and touch it for any longer than needed. You will probably feel the urge to lather in Purelle after thinking about how gross those things are. Save your squatting skills for the gym.