we’re in public, people.

My normal speaking volume is just below a yell. I’ve been that girl who accidentally announces too much information in a public place more times than I can even bare to estimate. During my years in the service industry, I have overheard some seriously strange things. I’ve also noticed that for some reason, when you put a counter between two people, one of them will very likely confide personal information with the other.  I know that people will never stop having loud personal conversations in public, and I know that my voice carries more than I can even believe. This discussion is all about conduct and awareness. We’re in public, people.

I want to first make it clear that I love being in a profession where people are comfortable talking to me about their feelings. However, I have to add that I am a barista not a therapist. Empty stools at a bar are not an open invitation to pour your heart out to your barista, though you’re always welcome to use them as such. Remember that you’re talking to a stranger who genuinely cares, but whose list of skills include pulling shots and pouring milk.

If you’ve never served or bussed tables for a living, you have missed out on the strangest and most wonderful opportunity for observation. Whether you’re on a first date, a last date, at a Bible study, or a business meeting, just know that people can see and hear you. I don’t care how good your date is going, please don’t move to the same side of the booth. Nuzzling in public is absolutely unacceptable. It is nauseating for everyone, especially the unfortunate person sitting in the booth across from you trying unsuccessfully to focus on her computer screen.

Bible studies and business meetings are just two examples of groups who love using their public setting as a platform to spread their message/product/service. I’ve learned a lot about Jesus from bussing tables. I’ve also heard of new bands, job openings, industry trends, and other information I didn’t ask for and didn’t particularly care to know. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do business or discuss religion in public. But be aware that not everyone wants to be subjected to your opinions while they’re trying to enjoy their meal.

Did you know that a woman can give birth at age 65? I do. And you know why? A doctor told me. When I asked if he was finished with his oatmeal, I was looking for a simple yes or no. 


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