Netizen Charina Sixwillfix Jimenez narrated this story that has gone viral on Facebook. Because it's a sensitive issue, we're quoting it as is.
A First in Starbucks Robinsons Malolos"
No, this isn’t one of the mainstream obligatory Starbucks photo. This isn’t even an experience happy to tell. But I’m telling it anyway because this is the first time, ever, that I have encountered such ill-mannered people in Starbucks, or any coffee shop for that matter.
My sister and I went to Starbucks Malolos to meet with a high school friend we haven’t seen for long, and hopefully, to de-stress from such a stressful semester. It was convenient because it was the nearest coffee shop from our place.
Being avid patronizers of Starbucks, my sister and I both know how things usually go in SB. This coffee shop is usually used as a study place, a meeting place for professionals, a cozy spot for catch-ups, and so on. Never have we thought of it as fastfood restaurant wherein you are obliged to leave right after you have finished your coffee and consumed your cinnamon bun. No. Coffee shops just do not work that way.
Until today, while we were in the middle of a good conversation with friends we haven’t seen for years, with my frappe almost half consumed and only a fourth of my cinnamon eaten, I noticed a group of old women (maybe in the early 40s) surrounding our group. One of the women even placed her bag on the arm rest of my couch and I let her, thinking maybe, she’s merely waiting in line (because the line in Starbucks Malolos is unimaginably long). But no, they aren’t. They are actually pressuring us to leave and we aren’t even done with our food, and most especially, with our time together. They stayed there and listened to our conversation and when they figured we wouldn’t be leaving any soon, the same woman I was mentioning earlier waved to her friend and said loudly, “Diyan! Diyan kayo maghintay mayayari na yan.” There was another huge group of young college students next to our table who seemed to be catching up, too. And these women circled on this group as well. I felt like the students got pressured in the presence of the old ladies that they were forced to leave."
When they finally got their seats (unfortunately next to us) this woman didn’t get satisfied. She loudly said, which I know is directed to us, “Pag kasi tapos na kumain, alis na.” And my sister, obviously annoyed, answered back.. “Hindi po ito fastfood.”
They were a group of 15 women and the seats still did not suffice. One was even sitting on the arm rest of my friend, which was by the way, a very rude thing to do if you are a stranger. You are invading a personal space and I suppose that is a common knowledge everyone must know. On one of our small tables with my friends’ cups of coffee on, the women even placed their tray of frappes seemingly saying “LEAVE. This is our space now.” They didn’t even establish a division. We were seated side by side with them making us feel unwelcome. (But we didn’t need nor want their welcome anyway)
We pulled our couches away from them and I guess one of the women understood what we were trying to say. She got the tray and placed it back to their table. (Yes. They got space on their table. They did that as an insult but it didn’t work, apparently.)
The same woman I’ve been mentioning didn’t stop there. She’s been babbling, making it to a point that we hear it.
“Tignan mo oh. Yun lang naman binili nila.” (Excuse me miss. You don’t drown yourself with coffee. Starbucks also isn’t new to us that we would get so excited with it and buy everything in their menu. Also, we don’t take obligatory photo of our faces next to a Starbucks frappe to upload in Facebook to show off. Starbucks do not excite us. It can be an everyday thing to us. So don’t brag about the 15 cups of frappe you ordered.)
“Picturan niyo! Picturan niyo!” The same woman got her tablet and took a photo of us. It was late that I realized she did. Had I known it a few seconds earlier, I would have smiled and took a pose. And so I got my sister’s iPad, and took a photo of them too. She said “Ipopost ko ‘to!” with a big smile on her face. I answered back, and said, “Sige lang po meron din po kayo :)” with a huge smile on my face too.
This fight-for-space is getting exciting. I can feel my heartbeat rising, partly because of the espresso, and partly because I never thought I’d get to encounter people like such in Starbucks. I thought everyone recognizes the common courtesy of first-come-first-served. But apparently, I was wrong.
After about an hour, one by one the women started leaving. One even passed by behind us and said “Alis na ko, masyado na kong nagtatagal.” And we’re not naive not to understand that message is for us, too.
The woman finally finished with her food, stood up, and shouted, “WE’RE DONE!!!” And that was damn pathetic. She walked towards us, looking at us from head to toe, what we ordered, with a huge grin on her face,and said “Pag tapos na kumain, alis na.” And as a wrap-up on this fight-for-space, I told her “Dalas-dalasan niyo po sa SB. So you’d know how it is.”
I am posting this as a mere rant. (Or maybe as a response to her threat of posting our photo :)) ) I do not wish to argue with anyone if this post, in any way, seemed to be #burgis or whatsoever. Please, we all have such moments wherein we have to fight even for our simplest and most shallow right. So cut me some slack, at least for tonight.
As a college student often spending almost an entire day in coffee shops to study and cram for a requirement, I know how it is to respect the personal space of a fellow student. Although it is not for the purpose of studying, I believe it is a common courtesy to respect a fellow customer’s space and initiative to go earlier than I did, and when I come in and realize there are no more available seats, I go out and look for another coffee shop.
Unfortunately, we cannot expect everyone to think the same way we do. *sigh*