I'm sitting on a Borders bookstore and am thinking meeting at McDonalds is looking better and better!

I drink medicinal herbal teas a lot. Borders and other bookstores don't carry them.

I drink more than one cup of iced tea in an hour's time.

Now I do understand the owners want us to make a purchase while we use their cafe tables, BUT I don't drink coffee and don't want to pay for water or the other overpriced bottled drinks. I spent the price of a medium cup of tea with a shot of flavor. Good enough?

The manager of the coffee section just informed me nicely that customers aren't supposed to bring in their own beverages or food. Hmmm. I have three books on my table and was considering purchasing at least one.

Yes, there is a sign about bringing drinks or beverages into the store. I wonder if the Health Code Police are likely to check and send me out or take away the store's license to serve food?

Heck, sometimes my drink container contains Coke. Horrors, I should be shot at dawn, but I can't buy Coke or any other Cola product in this store. Sometimes I just need the bite and caffeine of a Coke Zero, or a Diet Pepsi, or maybe a Pepsi One. Get my drift?

I meet to tutor here at the bookstore once a week or more. I also meet a student at McDonalds around the corner. At McDonalds I can get an iced tea (or a Cola drink) for one dollar, especially during the summer. Their police never question whether I get Sweet Tea with that special. Heck, I can even mix flavors there and get free refills.

Hmm, tutoring at McDonalds is looking good for now. I'll still get ONE book today. I have a good coupon and could use the book.

What think you? Good rule or bad rule? Should customers be permitted to bring in their own beverages or food? Food for thought!


  1. Donnell // July 7, 2010 at 3:18 PM  

    Wow, Mary, you raise an excellent point. Why don't you raise that issue with the manager. A drink or buying books. I imagine that your student might buy a few books while he's there too. I'm annoyed right along with you, GF.

  2. Autumn Jordon // July 7, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

    I understand where you're coming from--really I do. I don't do cafes because I'm not into the all the speciality drinks and, like you, I don't want to pay umpteen dollars for bottled water.

    I'm sure there are some health regulations or company policies this poor man who does need his job has to enforce them.

    Brush off. Make a suggestion. He might have the power to change a policy or order something to your liking.

  3. Beth Trissel // July 7, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

    Very snooty of Borders. I say meet at the Golden Arches. Do you want fries with that?

  4. Mona Risk // July 7, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

    I used to go a lot to the Starbucks of Barnes&Noble and drink my favorite moccha. I stopped going when I dieted and cut on mocha and I stopped buying books from them. But I think that it wouldn't be fair to go a restaurant and bring your food or drink. It's THEIR living and they count on it to pay their employees.

  5. Mary Ricksen // July 7, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

    I am in a crit group that meets generally once a week.
    We've met in B&N, no one bothered me when I brought a drink with me.
    But it could get noisy. So we tried the upstairs at a Publix Organic Market in the same plaza. You could get food and drink, no one cared if you brought anything in.
    But so far, the best place, has been at one of our members local churches. They have a big events room and smaller rooms on the side if it gets noisy. But we usually meet on Wednesday, it's very quiet and they sell a bit of food and drink, (tea, sodas, juice). It seems to be the best place so far!
    I am not a coffee drinker so woe is me at starbucks!

  6. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

    Thanks for the support, Donnell. I was suggesting books for the student. Now I won't. Now, if I spilled my drink on the books, well.

  7. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

    Hey, Autumn it's a Border's policy, but the servers at other Borders don't say anything. My critique partners ask for a cup of water sometimes and our servers are very nice about it.

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 7, 2010 at 11:14 PM  

    MM, I feel your pain. You should have explained to the dear man that the water bottle is medicinal, without it you could have gone into a fit of coughing. I say hurray for Micky D's.

  9. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2010 at 11:14 PM  

    Well, I do get a burger when I leave.

  10. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2010 at 11:16 PM  

    Mona, you make a good point. They don't serve the medicinal teas I take with me, but I usually get a cup of their tea, too.

  11. Mary Marvella // July 7, 2010 at 11:18 PM  

    I'm with you about coffee, Mary R.

    Without my drink I'm likely to become the entertainment with my coughing. I have one in all eating places because servers don't notice when my glass is empty and I can't eat without fluids.

  12. Joanne // July 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM  

    Hi Mary,
    Good point. I didn't realize that Borders "policed" their stores. Interesting.

  13. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

    They have signs at the door. That guy yesterday was the only person to comment. I often get an iced tea and then ask for ice refills for my own drink. No one has said they couldn't or didn't want to.

  14. Mary Marvella // July 8, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

    Scarlet and Pam know how I am about my drinks! I told him it was medicinal and he looked like he didn't buy my story.