I am, all to often, found in a cafe. I'm an oddly social writer, Gentle
Reader. I enjoy the busy hum, not to mention the drink and food options.
My dear friend Dan
and I are
regularly found sitting opposite each other, nested in a corner,
gossiping about the industry or typing diligently. It helps me to have
another writer around, gives me the competitive edge.Gail:
How many words have you done?Dan:
I have discovered, to my distress that my fellow computer typing cafe
cronies do not always follow the Etiquette of Squatting. I feel they are
giving the rest of us a bad name. So I have decided, in the spirit of
Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, to set forth some tips for proper conduct.1. Do not squat a super busy or small (or both) cafe
tables are scarce, or you know a certain day/time when it's
particularly popular, go during off hours, skip that day, or find a
different cafe2. Purchase rights of presence
One cup of
coffee is OK for an hour, you get another hour with a paid refill,
anything after that and you should buy food or support the cafe in some
substantial way, especially if you are using their power/wifi. Can't
afford this? Go to a library.3. Pitch in
Bus your own
table, bus other tables, contribute to the conversation, tell newcomers
how great the food is, change the toilet paper rolls in the loo, etc...4. Introduce yourself
Determine the owner/manager/leader and be nice, if this is to be your workplace as well as theirs, act like it.5. Help market
an interest in making the business strong, write yelp reviews, like the
Facebook page, talk the place up to others, make it known to your local
friends that they can join you for lunch (thus they bring their money
in too).6. Regulars are part of the future, so be good furniture
to be positive and upbeat, keep your area clean and free of piles of
computer cases and accessories, shower properly, dress appropriately.7. Tolerate intrusions
willing to chat with other regulars (at least for a short space of
time), not only is it polite but you could get characterization for
future books and/or new readers.8. Monitor your conversational sphere
your conversation gets racy, or political, or loud, keep an eye out for
children or others who might be offended and table it for later, pun
intended.9. Establish a regular pattern of attendance
the staff can depend on you and your purchasing power, making you
particularly welcome if you come during slow days and off hours.10. Mute your critters
Laptop speakers in particular, but also other devices (at least pick an unobtrusive ring tone), and take those calls OUTSIDE.11. Think about scent
is a place that serves food, so please do not apply strong cologne or
perfume, and if you must bring your animal with you please sit outside,
you may not smell it, but others do (not to mention allergies).12. Tip generously
This should go without saying.
guess, in general, I'm suggesting you practice empathy with the cafe
staff, owners, and customers around you. If you follow all these tips
diligently and still get the stink eye from staff, respect their
unspoken request and move on. There are cafes out there that cater to
regulars. Look for places boasting free wi-fi and comfy chairs, boards
games, and stocked bookshelves in out-of-the-way locations. They want
your business, give it to them.GAIL'S DAILY DOSEYour Moment of Parasol . . .1888 Graduates, Ladies' AnnexYour Infusion of Cute . . .via Apartment Therapy (I have a thing about vanishing edge pools)Your Tisane of Smart . . .Origami Wine ToteYour Writerly Tinctures . . .How to Write Characters That Don’t Sound Like YouPROJECT ROUND UPWaistcoats & Weaponry
~ The Finishing School Book the Third:
Begin fifth draft tomorrow.Etiquette & Espionage
~ trade paperback available in the US October 13, 2013
.Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second:
Release date Nov. 5, 2013
~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless
) Available serialized through YenPlus
. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.Prudence
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First:
Begin rewrite in 2014.
Book News:Fan art of Formerly MerriwayQuote of the Day:
"There are a few rules which men should commit to memory, in corresponding with busy people.
1. Don't write at all.
2. When you can't help it, be sharp, short, and legible.
3. When you write on your own business, pay for the answer.
4. When you want money, don't begin with piety or flattery. Beg first, be pious afterward.
5. Don't beg of any one with whom you are not personally acquainted. Die, but don't beg.
can add to the above that long letters sent with a MS rather act
against it. And, moreover, don't forget to send a stamp for a reply."
~ Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine September 1872