I’m Not Polite Until I Get My Coffee.


Seriously. Help.

Yesterday, a man approached my bar in jeans and a blazer, phone in hand. Maybe his dress has nothing to do with it, maybe it does. Anyhow, he hadn’t yet made it to the proper stranger speaking distance (AKA close enough to not be yelling at me as if I was his daughter or wife or close friend), when he shouted out something about “coffee” and “do I ask you or get it myself”.

“Hi! How are you?” I responded with a smile. After all, isn’t that the proper way to begin a conversation with someone you’ve never laid eyes on?

“Coffee?” he said again, in question form this time, obviously confused by my politeness.

How are you?” I asked again. I’m a stubborn biotch sometimes.

“GOOD” he shouted. He was annoyed. I smiled and said I’d bring it right over.

“Thank you so much,” he said as I placed the cup in front of him. I was even nice enough to bring the creamers he hadn’t asked for! “I’m not polite until I get my coffee.”

Let us pray.

Let us pray.

For those of you who don’t know, I bartend in an airport. While these kinds of people are found everywhere, I feel like major international airports are breeding grounds for a whole other kind of crazy. If you travel often, people watch. Listen to questions asked, conversations had. Entertainment, guaranteed.

Sometimes I think it’s me. I deal with this sort of rude stupidity so often, the lines begin to blur. Am I miserable today, or did that asshole really flail his hands in the air SOS style because he wanted another side of hot peppers? Are all these premature gray hairs the result of my own anger issues or am I really being aged by moron customers?!

No, seriously. Look at this shit.

No, seriously. Look at this shit.

Manners are a dying art, people. We don’t care how others are doing anymore. You see a body behind the bar, the counter, the desk, and you bark a demand. We hear a voice on the other side of the phone and we simply tell them what we want. We don’t see each other anymore.

Oh, you’re having a shit day? Oh well, I’m thirsty.

Even worse is when we come across someone who takes the thirty seconds it requires to ask “how are you?”, we are automatically amazed at their good manners and simultaneously think they are one of the kindest human beings we have ever encountered. It’s important to acknowledge the good in others, but it shouldn’t be so uncommon that it drops our jaws in euphoric disbelief.

While I am guilty of burying my face in my cellphone during several hours of the day, I put it on silent when I step into the nail salon, or a coffee shop. Once in a while a customer will ask me for another drink. When I ask, “what were you drinking?” they’ll furrow their brow and tell me “again”, never realizing I wasn’t even their bartender. That girl with hair down to her elbows (mine is a pixie) was. I want to breathe in the world around me. I want to look someone in the eyes when they’re speaking, and I want to recognize their smile the next time I step into that bar, or coffee shop, or nail salon.

We have to slow down. Before we can expect something of others we must first expect a few things of ourselves: kind heartedness, recognition, appreciation.


Nicole Marie


Filed under Job, Uncategorized

27 responses to “I’m Not Polite Until I Get My Coffee.

  1. Bravo. Totally agree. Before I became the high-powered top executive I am today, I spent a lot of time delivering, serving, stripping* and bartending. And because of that, someone would have to be a real asshole for me to even consider stiffing them or being rude. Consequently, people are pretty cool to me.

    *To answer your question, no, not really.

    • Baaahahaha. My eyes flickered down to the bottom immediately after seeing the asterisk. Then I went back to reading. Thank you, Edward. And I agree with YOU – that bartender could be the one being the asshole, too. This is what sometimes leave me wondering if it’s me, not them, simply because I’ve been burned one too many times by a real asshole. I try to be careful about that.

      • I’ll tell you right now, it’s not you. It’s part expense account mentality, part escaping consequences mentality. What do they care if they are assholes when they’ll never see you again? Like that.

        Next time some guy screams “Coffee!” just look at him and scream “Money!” And then stab him with an olive sword right in the eyeball.

      • HAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA Edward, I love you. I really might do this. I will report my findings after.

      • *smiles* awwww, that’s sweet. I can’t wait to find out what happens. I have certainly screwed with a lot of customers in my day, up to and including this month where every shift I randomly chose a table and gave them the crappiest service just so I could give the other tables good service. Somehow it worked. Probably because I didn’t care if it did.

        Another thing you could do is throw a full cup to him and say ‘catch’. But that’s only when you won’t get caught.

  2. Absolutely, 100% correct. I am so glad Idobt work in retail any more, especially during this time of year.

  3. anitadesignstudio

    I worked in Retail for a few years as a Customer Service person. I hated it. I’m not a natural ‘people person’ and attempting to pander to ‘the customer’, when ‘the customer’ was generally a dismissive, ignorant goat was challenging to say the least! Also, a little pet-hate of mine: people walking down the street, head down and texting. Why?? WHY??!! And breathe.

    • I like to see how long it takes before they crash into me!

      I’m not naturally much of a people person either…making it more of a challenge to bite one’s tongue!!! Thanks for reading! 🙂

      • anitadesignstudio

        Ha! I specifically remember a dude crashing into me because I specifically saw him flippin texting and unbeknown to him, he was walking right into the lion’s den!! I didn’t side step (evil, I know). When he bumped into me, he looked up with this startled look on his face (although, I wasn’t wearing make-up that day…) and I said ‘See? See what happens??’ He looked at me like I had a plate of crazy that morning and continued on his merry way. Buffoon. But seriously, I’m a really nice person 🙂

      • HAHA! I believe you are! I am too, I swear! Lol! It startles me how unaware these morons are when THEY are the ones at fault, though. I just want to take them by the shoulders and give ’em a good shake!!!!!

  4. Nicole
    Here, here! I’m old school and all my four teenagers have lovely manners…but they’re on their own…some of their mates never return haa! Love yer work, keep the good stuff coming.

  5. I’ve stood behind the bar, and sat in front of it…and I am endlessly amazed at the common DIS-courtesy displayed from both sides. I have had servers ignore me, or bring the wrong drink, because they were too involved with their phone call, or favorite “regular”, or fight with a co-worker; I have had customers scream at me because I refused to “attend to them” until they made eye contact with me…because I wasn’t sure who they were actually talking to. I make a point to be polite to anyone behind a counter, because I have been there, and it is NOT the easiest way to earn a dollar (that is a financial statement, BTW, far too often!)
    Nice job on sharing some perspective, Nicole…that’s one reason I nominated you for a Sunshine Award. Go check it out on my blog, if you haven’t seen it yet – you deserve it!

  6. It seems to me like the man sort of made up for being rude when saying ‘thank you so much’ and explaining he needs his coffee? I mean, it was rude, but he seemed to change again at least.
    But yeah, people. Sometimes that prayer cartoon really, really fits.

    • Yes, he did, and you’re right. I still think he’s a jackass, but maybe there’s some good that came of it all, lol! And yes, doesn’t it?! I love ecards. There’s one for every occasion!

  7. You’re better than me kiddo. Tappers, snappers, wavers and shouters are thirsty bastards until they get their sass in check. You should’ve given him some midol for his paining girl parts.

  8. Some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them. Manners are easy, hurt no-one and grease the wheels of the world. Why wouldn’t you be nice. The response is always good – if surprised at times.


  9. Sigh. Some people can be jerks. Airports and travel really bring out the best in some of us.

    I’m glad you “held your groundz” with Mr. Coffee (hee hee) and at least he acknowledged he was being an idiot. If we’re all rude to each other, manners become a revolutionary act. That’s pretty f’ng sad.

    Good manners will always be in style, kindness will always get you further than meanness, good acts always come back to you … keep being nice.

  10. So so true. I think it’s weird that we are so capable of disconnecting from people just because they’re strangers and are in a position of “service” because they’re on the clock when we meet them. We don’t see them as someone’s Mom or Sister or Daughter or someone who might have just gotten really bad news or be struggling with a shit day. I always try to gently remind my friends of this when they get annoyed by someone at a drive thru or something– and by gently I mean “Maybe she just found out she’s pregnant, but her boyfriend is cheating on her and she doesn’t have health insurance and has 20k in credit card debt. Maybe that’s why she forgot your straw.”

So...what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s