A call for Cafe Mactiquette

By Andy Wu and Aubyn Eli

There are several reasons why dining at Cafe Mac is an experience more to be endured than savored. Trayless Tuesdays, for instance; or the lack of bananas in the name of reducing our collective carbon footprint. However, there are some less obvious things that irk our sensibilities and generally piss us off. Instead of complaining about things that are unlikely to change (like, unfortunately, Trayless Tuesdays), here are some things you can do immediately to ameliorate our collective dining experience.Item 1. Chairs

It’s not that hard. If you need an additional chair, all you have to do is to ask. I don’t get that much of a kick out of denying you the chair that no one is using. However, please use some common sense. If there is a tray in front of a vacant chair, we think the odds are pretty good that someone is actually using that chair, just not at that particular moment. Ask before taking a chair and make eye contact. Also, do not take the chair, sit down, and then ask if it’s alright. Woe be upon the unfortunate individual who takes my chair when I’m up getting a refill. Know that when it happens, I would like nothing more than to empty the glass over your inconsiderate head.

Item 2. Pepper and Salt

True story: I was having dinner with a friend not too long ago. In the middle of our conversation, a big, hairy arm shoots into my field of vision without any warning and grabs the pepper shaker. Not only that, the transgressor began to add pepper to his plate without saying anything, while standing behind me the entire time. When he was done, he abruptly slammed the pepper shaker on the table and left with nary a word. Errrr … what the heck? Yes, we know that Café Mac has a dire shortage of salt and pepper shakers, and that there is not always one available when you happen to want one. But see above – all you need to do is to ask. No duh, right?

Item 3. Talking too loudly

The sad fact is, nobody cares. We think what people need to realize is that they are in a public place, which is also not a locker room, not a bar, and not the Kirk courtyard on a Friday night. Oh, wait. Screaming and laughing maniacally at the top of your lungs in the Kirk courtyard on a Friday night isn’t cool either, especially at 2:00 in the morning. (We’ll save that rant for another time.) But yeah, let’s just say we don’t really want to know about your intimate relationship(s) or what you yelled at the last baseball game.

Item 4. Clean up after yourself

Seriously. You’re in college. Odds are you’ve been in the food service industry at some point in your life and may be again. Remember that pit of hell? Don’t make it any harder for the people who work in Café Mac. Also, think a little about the people who will be using the table after you leave. There are few things that are more unappetizing than a table with bits of food, used napkins, and random splotches of your beverage.

And finally, what is this absurd and thoroughly-inconsiderate practice of clapping when someone accidentally breaks something?

In conclusion, the next time you commit any one of these infractions, remember that someone near you probably hates you. And chances are good that s/he is holding a knife.

Andy Wu’09 and Aubyn Eli ’09 can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.