1. The Chatty Senior
We love our grandparents, because they’re family, but getting locked into conversation with a senior citizen stranger is less than ideal. Bless their hearts — old people are chatty. And while that’s a minor inconvenience on a park bench, it’s an actual tragedy when they’re chatting up the barista about how much coffee used to cost, and why we should blame Obama.
2. The Friendly Regular
When you go to the same coffee place every day, you’ll see the other regulars. It’s kind of like being on Friends, but no one has any quippy one-liners and camera-ready comebacks. The problem with regulars is that they often have little regard for anyone else in the place: they’ll catch the barista up on all the latest gossip while 10 people are still waiting to make their orders.
3. The Stressed Parent
Hey, kids: I know life is tough, but chill out while Mommy or Daddy gets some coffee. Remember that caffeine is the only way they can make it through the day without passing out on their feet. Alas, children don’t really care that it’s nearly impossible to juggle a coffee order with a screaming child, and they will make the entire experience as arduous as possible for all involved.
4. The High-Maintenance Customer
Are you writing this all down? Yes, there are an infinite number of combinations when you order your coffee, and yes, nonfat milk is better for you than whole. But if your coffee order takes longer than five seconds, you’re probably a terrible person. You’re stressing out the barista, and worse, you’re holding up the line. Simplify your life — and simplify your order in the process.
5. The Office Bitch
Sometimes making your new employers happy means getting a whole lot of coffee for the office. You can’t really fault a person for trying, but you can totally grumble when a temp makes a ridiculous order that slows everyone else down. The only real way around this is calling ahead, and that’s still bound to compromise coffee production. How about everyone just gets coffee individually?
6. The Uncertain Cardholder
After the holidays, a bunch of gift card receivers head into their preferred coffee establishment to cash in on their presents. The problem is that they’ve got pockets full of gift cards and no idea how much money is on each. This leads to a lot of, “Can you check the balance on this?” and “What happens if I use these three together?” It’s a total headache that makes you want to only gift cash from now on.
7. The Cautious Dieter
Another post-holiday tradition — trying to lose weight. However admirable, this is usually a headache for everyone else. Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and Dunkin Donuts have been kind (or cruel) enough to include calorie counts on all their products, which just means anyone on a diet is going to spend far too long calculating the damage of their skinny vanilla latte and blueberry muffin. (Hint: skip the muffin.)
8. The Undercaffeinated Addict
Caffeine withdrawal is rough, which is why you should always steer clear of anyone in need of a coffee boost. The problem is, these are the people waiting 20 minutes to make an order. Coffee addicts tend to be grumpy, agitated, and sometimes too groggy to make a simple decision — this, too, slows things down. Warning: the undercaffeinated addict is very often you.