I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Afternoon at Panera Bread

Two young women in cafe
Yesterday afternoon, I went to Panera Bread to work on an editing project. I'm always fascinated by what is going on around me while I'm there. Customers either don't realize how much their voices carry or they don't care.

The first group of people who sat down not far from me consisted of two females and one male. One of the women said to the man, "I thought you said you don't do karaoke." Then she sang YMCA. Eventually the man stood up and did a variation of what looked to be a cross between The Robot and break dancing.

Minutes after they left, two women sat down at the same table. They were quiet talkers. I heard the words "summer," "pacific," "days," "trees" and it made me think they were talking about an upcoming vacation. With all the snow we still have on the ground, it's certainly understandable why they might be dreaming about getting away.

The place was completely quite for a while, except for the chatter of employees.

Finally, a man and woman sat down at the same table the other two groups sat previously. The woman began to talk about sick days. Shortly into their conversation, the man's cell phone rang, quite loudly, and oddly he spoke much louder into the phone than he did when speaking to the woman seated across from him. From the sound of his conversation, his car was in the shop and he was talking to somebody about it. The call got dropped somehow and a couple of minutes later, his phone began ringing again. It took him several rings to pick it up. He finished his conversation and hung up.

"Hot Chai" shouted one of the workers.

Unbelievably, a couple of minutes later, the man's phone began to ring again -- maybe five times before he finally picked it up. I'm guessing he doesn't know he can set his phone to vibrate. I wish he did. They finished their meal and left.

The sounds of soft jazz playing over the PA system replaced the loud ringing telephone.

"Hey Mike, how are ya?" said a worker to a customer.

Then silence.

Ahhh. Silence.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Either bread or coffee or something must have been ready because the beeping wouldn't stop.

Two hours into my attempt to get more work done by escaping my office, I packed up and headed back for the office. As much as I love people watching (I really do) and the ambiance of Panera Bread, I'm thinking I need to start frequenting a library if I really want to get some work done.


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