Writing in Cafes: Befriending the Barista

Rhoads_Stanzacafe_2020Maybe it’s that the cafes I write in these days have more turnover in their staff, but I really prefer not knowing the barista very well.  I don’t want my entrance in a cafe to be a Cheers moment, where everyone knows my name.  I just want to slink in, order my breakfast, and settle in to work without having to ask after anyone’s family. (Which is not to say that I refuse to make polite conversation: I just want my conversations to last no longer than it takes to tip for my food.)

Maybe it’s that I have a series of cafes I rotate through now, so I’m not dropping in to the same place every morning at the same time ordering the same thing.  When we lived in our previous home, there weren’t many cafes to choose from, so I ended up in the same place every morning.  Business was leisurely and the owner had time to chat.  Eventually, I started spacing my visits out for the days that I felt like interacting with someone else.  Standing around gossiping was cutting into my working time.

What’s your preference?  Do you want a cafe where you’re greeted by name and your regular order is already in process by the time you reach the register?  Or are you like me, preferring to ghost in and ghost out without tying yourself down to a predictable order?

I’m not sure one way is any better than the other, but I do tend to shy from overly friendly cafes just so that my head isn’t cluttered with other people’s drama when I’m there to do my work.

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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