Is there a 'solution' to life?


So this is a side-blog so to speak, this week I met a friend in starbucks, and spent an interesting half hour in starbucks alone, and I put some thought in to what kind of person, and what kind of a group goes into a coffee shop of any sort.

I’d thought about listing some classic stereotypes, and then after writing a few, I realized that counts as judgmental, and would also get me in trouble with a fair few people, so I’ve scrapped that idea, and I’m moving onto the psychology of coffee shops.

In my mind, a coffee shop is somewhere you can sit in a vaguely secluded spot alone, or in a group, to converse, read a book, or just enjoy the coffee! So, in terms of planning, I would expect a semi open area, with a few tables in the middle, off shooting that would be a few area you can’t see from the door, maybe with a sofa and lower tables, a more relaxed and private area.

When I was in Dundee last weekend, I noticed that basically ALL off their coffee shops (Starbucks and Costas anyway) are open planned, where you can see the whole shop from the outside. Maybe I’m just a tad weird, but I don’t hugely like that, there should be an area where you can sit out of public view, if only because you know so many people who will come and pester you when you are trying to read your book!
On Monday, when I was chilling out in Starbucks (although I’m more of a Costa person) with my good friend Jamie, we had a fairly length discussion, all sorts of topics came up, the ones that where most memorable/interesting to other people included the art of “cold reading” and how to get picked as a volunteer (including how NOT to get picked)

Cold reading is an interesting aspect of what I refer to as practical psychology, it’s when you look at a person, and take in all the small details about them. It can range from things as obvious as the clothes they are wearing, down to details as minuet as a tan-line where a ring used to be. From the strong stance they are in, or the withdrawn style they sit. Every aspect of every person reveals something about them, and if it tells you nothing, then even that is something.

The other bit about volunteering was also quite interesting, I related the story from a couple of years back, when I broke my elbow at an SU event – showing off. It’s true what they say, you’re more likely to get injured when you’re messing about in a corridor, then you are on any of the activities.

Anyway, I broke my elbow just before the evening meeting, and hadn’t realized it was broken (minor fracture really) and we went on to play “deal or no deal” as a group, following the classic rules. I was well up for it, and so I applied the 3 steps to getting picked;

1) make your self visible, but don’t be extravagant. So raise your hand up tall, but don’t stand up.

2) Make Direct eye contact with the person choosing.

3) angle your whole body towards them.

Now, for the reasons why.

1) It’s important that you are noticed by the person choosing, but if you are leaping about shouting pick me, then they won’t pick you, nobody ever gets picked by doing that.

2) Making eye contact creates a connection between you and the other person, if you keep that eye contact until they break it, then they are likely to pick you, simply because of that spontaneous connection. It also makes you stand out from everybody else who’s got their hand up, but is talking to their friends about how awesome they’re going to do.

3) if your who body is facing them, then it does two things, firstly it’s an indicator of interest, so the person choosing will pick that up subconsciously, or consciously and think you’re a better person to choose.

The reverse is all true if you don’t want to get picked, do the opposite of three steps.

Don’t draw attention to yourself.

So, those where two pretty interesting topics my friend Jamie and I discussed, among other things!

So yeah, thanks for reading this more abstract piece of my blog, no doubt I’ll have other random things to ramble about in the future, no doubt there will be a “bar banter” section as well, or something catchy along those lines!

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Comments on: "coffee shop chronicles!" (1)

  1. Here’s the deal. We have open plan coffee shops in Dundee where one can see the entire shop through the window, because Dundee is full of beautiful people like me. If you were a little more beautiful, you too would appreciate the open layout of coffee shops.

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