Place as a Genre

~Grace Hari~

· The amount of chairs and tables in the room is astonishingly lacking. As if I have to arrive there at the perfect time to deserve a chair to sit down and enjoy my coffee.

· The chairs are uncomfortable. They are stiff as a rock as if to tell me that my comfort isn’t necessary while I’m here. To sit in the chair I need to give up my comfort to be able to stay at this location.

· The water is molten hot, making it unable to sip my drink for many minutes. It forces tea drinkers and Americano lovers to wait patiently to be able to enjoy their drink. As if they need to wait longer for their drink after having just waited in a long line already.

· The line is ridiculously long; justifying the fact that everyone needs to get coffee from here. The coffee is worth the wait is what the line makes you believe. To get coffee here I have to schedule time in my day to go get coffee. I have to clear my schedule for 10–20 minutes just to grab a cup of coffee.

· The workers are genuinely nice. Their kind faces draw you in and make the wait bearable.

· The menu has tiny print. I am expected to be able to view it from the very back of the line and have my order ready by the time I get to the register. This genre of a menu expects me to already know the menu and what I want before I can even read it.

· The topping cart is completely disheveled. The cream is completely gone and makes me feel as though I am expected to do something about it. The sugar is scattered across the top of the table and makes me wonder why some people don’t pick up after themselves.

· The room is small and overcrowded. To be in this genre of a room I have to be able to put up with claustrophobia and give up my personal space.

Paul Heilker writes about genres as ways of being and he claims, “that genre gave me, required of me new ways of being in the world”(22). This means that depending on what situation he was in, he would adjust his personality in order to fit in. This applies to Starbucks at the atrium because coffee drinkers, like me, allow themselves to wait in line and take time out of their day just to get coffee. We adjust what we would normally not put up with to something we have to be okay with in order to get what we want (coffee).

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