One lazy afternoon I was determined to people watch, so I settled down in a busy coffee shop. I read a book, edited my story, and observed the flux of caffeine addicts.
After I edited a page of my story, a man sat on my left. Later, another man sat on my right. They apprently were co-workers, and were surprised to see each other. They started talking across me—stats, customer relations, graphic design. I was caught in the crossfire as they talked shop. Eventually, one of them realized how sandwiched I was. He stood and walked over to his co-worker to continue the conversation.
The most interesting event of the afternoon, however, occured much earlier.
When I walked in, the barista was talking with a customer—apparently a friend—saying that they needed to hang out soon. The friend agreed, and taking his girlfriend’s hand, picked up his drink and walked out. When I ordered my drink, Mr. Barista was still distracted. He over charged me, but thankfully caught his mistake. Poor Mr. Barista spent a few minutes trying to open the cash register again. He hid flustered nerves under a thin layer of professionalism.
My theory is that Mr. Barista doesn’t see his friend very often, and was surprised to see him with his girlfriend. Since Mr. Barista was dumped a few months ago, he’s naturally a little bit jealous. As all of this churned about in his mind, he messed up my order. He likes his job and takes it seriously, so he didn’t want to flaunt such a mistake in front of his manager. First he tried to fix it by himself, but then he had to ask where to find the key to the cash register. In the end, he recovered and diligently took my order and then went to wash windows.
Sarah the Sleuth strikes again. Of course, the entire backstory is imagined, but it’s entertaining at least.
[Mysterious profile is provided by an obliging friend]