A coffee shop, fed up with what they’d been seeing, put a brutally honest sign in front of the store. It reflected exactly how they felt about certain people, and they didn’t care who got offended. Only seeing it as a means of getting something off their chest, they didn’t think much of it but soon got more than they ever expected after someone snapped a photo.
Austin Simms of Roanoke, Virginia, wasn’t looking for fame for when he posted a sign that addresses a serious issue in our society and put it outside CUPS Coffee & Tea in Grandin Village. Taking a marker to the dry erase sandwich board sign outside the shop, he simply wrote what he thought was a funny response to a real issue, hoping the humorous slight might make customers think.
Both Simms and the shop got more than he initially bargained for, however. Hours after putting the sign with his message on the sidewalk on a Sunday, it was garnering attention. Within a day, word had traveled around the world, and by Wednesday, it was attracting news crews to the store’s door. So, what could he have written that was so interesting and compelling?
Simms decided to address an everyday annoyance that’s on a rapid rise in our society, saying certain disrespectful people would be charged more while giving those who were raised right a discount. “‘One small coffee’ — $5.00; ‘One small coffee, please’ — $3.00; ‘Hello, I’d like one small coffee, please’ — $1.75,” reads the store’s sign, calling for people to use proper manners.
“I decided because I need to solve all the injustices of the world to start charging more for people who didn’t take the time to say hello and connect and realize we’re all people behind the counter,” Simms said with a smile and a chuckle, according to WDBJ. Of course, he was being humorous as his grin indicates, but as the sayings go, “There is a grain of truth in every joke,” and, “A joke is truth wrapped in a smile.”
Indeed, the sign says the shop will reward those who don’t forget their manners while punishing people who seem to think basic courtesy isn’t important. And, a ton of people loved it, obviously sharing in Simm’s frustrations that such common courtesy has gone to the wayside as we all go about our busy lives. While some might have found the sign, calling out rude customers, offensive, it seems most actually agreed with the message behind it.
Proving many shared in Simm’s desire for manners to return, after someone snapped a picture and posted it on social media, it went straight to the top of the Reddit online message board. Although Simms says that he was just trying to be funny, not famous, that’s exactly what happened. By Monday, only one day after the sign was put out, his sign was making the headlines in England. Days later, multiple news crews and cameramen from various outlets swarmed his store, wanting to broadcast his message and praise him for it.
While this may seem like a silly reaction to a shop suggesting patrons use “hello” and “please,” it shows how lacking such pleasantries must be in our society when this is the response to such a trivial request. Politeness desperately needs to return after it was seemingly lost along with basic face-to-face communication skills and manners. Perhaps an upcharge for those who can’t just be kind and respectful isn’t a bad idea.
With overwhelming entitlement seen among so many, especially today’s youth, and poorly behaved young adults raising their children to be like them, bringing common courtesy back into existence could go a long way. This basic communication skill and simple show of respect has become a lost art, replaced with hateful insults and general mistreatment of strangers. This all leads to much larger issues since words reflect thought and ideas often become actions.