I have worked hard in my office all week but the beautiful weather today enticed me out from behind the desk and down to the neighborhood coffee shop.  I’ve been here for a while but sadly the experience hasn’t been as good nor as productive as […]

coffee_man_2I have worked hard in my office all week but the beautiful weather today enticed me out from behind the desk and down to the neighborhood coffee shop.  I’ve been here for a while but sadly the experience hasn’t been as good nor as productive as usual.  It seems it’s phone (call) day at the local haunt and frankly it’s made it hard to concentrate on getting work done.

Two of the 10 folks working away here are salesmen, and there’s no doubt that’s what they are because they have both been on their phones for over an hour.  One phone call after another, making sales pitches and setting up meetings for next week.  They’re loud enough that we can all hear everything they say and could even tell you the names of some of those they’ve called.  Needless to say it gets pretty darn annoying after a while and it points out that getting work done in the coffee shop is not a given.

Do you run into this often?  I admit I don’t but I am not in a bustling area of town where this could easily be the norm.  What do you do when confronted with the overly loud coffee shop and you need to get some work done?  I have to admit I threw my laptop in a bag and headed out and found I don’t have any earplugs or headphones with me.  Ouch.

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  1. Yes, and frankly, it annoys me as well. Worse yet, can you imagine being on the receiving end of those calls? I mean, I hate sales pitches enough, much less with a noisy coffee shop in the background.

    ‘You see, sir, I can save you $50 a month if…TRIPLE SHOT VANILLA LATTE FOR FRANK…and that’s still offering the same level of service you’re currently getting.’


  2. Got your Kodak HD cam with you? Tape’em and put’em up on YouTube (and link here, so people can find it).

    Yes, it’s mega annoying. Some people just don’t realize that they are poluting the place for everyone else with their blather.

  3. Frustrated Consumer Friday, January 23, 2009

    I live near a university and we had a ‘coffee house rage’ incident a couple of weeks ago. Some guy got all bent out of shape with a group of students being ‘too loud’ in a coffee shop. The students shouted back it was a coffee shop, not a library. Cops were called, it even made the paper.

    Frankly, I think it’s a little extreme to expect peace & quiet in a public food establishment. Bars, restaurants, and yes – even coffee shops – are meant to be meeting places for people to gather and talk. Not sit and stare at each other. Loud people on cell phones are certainly annoying, but I don’t think they’re out of character. If you really need quiet time to get your work done, I do think a library is more appropriate for that.

  4. I have also found the business people in my local Starbux or wifi-enabled Panera annoying. Seems a lot of people are using wifi spots as their main offices these days, and talking loud. iPod and earphones are a blessing!

  5. I don’t know. If we’re all “working” phone calls come with the territory.

    But there’s this family (two or three sisters?) that comes into one of my SBUX with four children (one’s an infant) who run wild, kicking things over, throwing things, screaming, trying to touch my laptop, etc. It’s quite unpleasant. I outwaited them yesterday, but usually I just bail when I see them (weekly). I also feel bad for the staff, because all their food and drinks end up on the floor, cafe sandwiches end up with the mugs, etc. Then again, the staff could tell them to behave.

    Although, I do have to say I stopped going to Panera. Too many people siphoning off the free Wifi (that’s why they should charge) which ended up being a place for college team projects and business meetings.

  6. Because I always have My Precious (HTC Advantage X7501) with me, I always have a set of bluetooth earphones around my neck (the ear canal Sony’s that block most of the noise). I agree with AnnG that the earphones help in these places as well as others (like the very loud subway and some movie theaters where the projectionist lacks a basic grasp of the volume control)! :0

  7. Yeah, I should probably add I keep a pair of foam ear plugs in my bag. It’s great for noisy environments and on airplanes. Doesn’t keep random kids from trying to touch my laptop though.

  8. Sure, a coffee shop isn’t a library. But there are different ways you can have your phone conversation. If the entire place can follow it, you’re too loud.

  9. Frankly, I don’t think a coffee shop is the place to conduct business. That means business meetings and business phone calls. I mean, this is NOT your private facility where you can do what you want.

    But no matter who you are, or where you are, common courtesy indicates you should conduct your affairs in a manner that will allow others to enjoy the atmosphere too.

  10. A little business is okay, but really some folks are pretty loud, and stay at it for a long time either on the phone, or “taking a meeting”.

    I always bring along some in-ear phones or more recently a some Audio-Technica noise-cancelling headphones that can be had pretty cheaply these days. Besides I’d rather listen to my own music than muzak.

    Unless the weather is sub zero I take my calls outside of the coffee shop or keep them short.

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