Coffee shop potty break

28 Aug

How do you go pee at a coffee shop when you’re by yourself? 

I work from home often and I love doing it– my laptop, my mug of chai tea, my sweatpants… and my bathroom nearby… heaven.  Today, though, Comcast was having a systems outage in my area and my internet and phone both died unceremonious as I finished a document that needed to be sent out.  Customer service was predicting another 3 hours before the situation would be fixed, so I needed to find another solution.

I laced up my sneakers and headed out the door, noting that my bladder was a bit full.

Dear blog readers, what do you do with your stuff when you are at a coffee shop by yourself and need to use the restroom?  I’ve faced this conundrum before:  I get all set up– laptop plugged in, notebook out, small snack half eaten, and then I have to pee.  I look around, wait– did I see anyone else in here get up to use the bathroom? What did they do with their stuff?  Everyone in here came in with stuff… (well, except that guy in the corner who only walked in with a newspaper to read and hasn’t budged since).  The rest of us serious working people have computers, and other personal effects.  So what do you do? 

Option A:  Leave your stuff and run to the restroom

     Pro: You get to empty your bladder

     Con: You have to rush your time in the restroom because you’re worried someone might steal your stuff (or take a bite of your granola bar, or something equally as unsavory) 


Option B: Ask a kind-looking stranger to watch your stuff while you go to the restroom

     Pro: Again, you get to go handle your business; but this time you feel a bit more at ease, because someone responsible-looking is glancing at your stuff occasionally

    Con: And this has happened to me before– kind-looking stranger has sticky fingers and actually takes something from your computer bag, which you only discover after you’ve gotten home


Option C:  Pack all your stuff up and battle with them in the tiny cubicle, which may or may not have a functional hook on the door for you to hang your stuff

    Pro:  Like I’ve been saying, business gets handled and at least you know no one is going to take your stuff

    Con:  Sadly, this, too has happened to me… you might end up slinging your computer bag across your chest, and hanging your purse on the back of your neck so that you can avoid putting either of them on the sticky-from-God-knows-what floor.  All of this while trying to wrestle down your pants, and hover and aim over the toilet.  

Option D:  Don’t work at coffee shops.  

This has no cons, and the pros are obvious.  This is the option I usually go for.  If you have to do it, like I did today:  Empty your bladder, first, and sip that coffee slowly. 


3 Responses to “Coffee shop potty break”

  1. Yomi Ayedun August 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Option E:
    Ask an employee of the coffee shop to help keep an eye on your stuff or pack up your things and give them to an employee for safekeeping.
    The coffee shop will probably get more customers and have higher customer satisfaction ratings & the customers enjoy their time in the bathroom as well as the coffee shop much better. Nothing beats a good bathroom experience.

    The coffee shop takes on a new liability, sounds worth it to me though.

    Let’s know how option E works on your next visit.

    • laraeguillaume August 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

      Having an employee keep an eye on your stuff might work, but like you said– that’s more liability taken on by the store. But on a more general note, what IS a stranger or employee’s responsibility when they accept to watch your stuff? Do they just yell at someone who comes too close to your stuff? Do you expect them to chase someone down who is making off with your stuff? Where do we draw the line? I’m telling you– to to stay away from coffee shops. PS– your fascination with a “good bathroom experience” is a bit scary! 😛

  2. Anonymous August 29, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Got it!. Coffee shops should invest in medium to high quality over the door coat hangers. 4 – 10 hooks on each hanger should do the trick (even for women who go around with 8 bags at a time). Just have one on the door of each bathroom stall and presto, customer problem solved.This should take care of the problem without creating risks (except for the minor risk of people walking away with the coat hangers of course).

    I on the other hand have a harder decision to make, should I start a business providing these door handles to coffee shops?. Hmmmmm

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