I am sitting in our local Panera enjoying a nice little supper whilst surfing the Internet on my iPad. I’ve mentioned before that this isn’t one of those nice, cuddly Panera locations with a fireplace and the like. This one is loud, crowded and has the atmosphere of a hospital cafeteria. The space is way too small for the traffic that it tries to accommodate, so they’ve expanded the store a couple of times. I’m sitting in what used to be a bathroom. The self-serve drink station is separated from the lids, napkins and lemons by a hallway. People often spill their drinks in transit.

Because of all the additions to this location, it’s getting more difficult to people watch while enjoying a meal here at this Panera. One of the reasons I mingle in public spaces is because I like to people watch. I don’t necessarily want to interact with people, but I get a kick out of watching people. It’s kind of fun to watch people eat, especially the late teens to mid twenties crowd. They rarely have panache as they like to eat with the mouth full of food. The dot com crowd has no time for table manners.

My bout with the sniffles is coming to a close on schedule. I don’t feel as nearly congested as I did yesterday. That heavy feeling is subsiding. My coughing frequency has been reduced and I’m not feeling as irritable as I did before.

The woman at the cash register, which is dubbed “Tap To Pay”, tried to grab my iPhone out of my hands so she could enter my credit card number by hand instead of letting me do the ApplePay thing. I nearly broke her hand because no one, and I mean no one, touches my iPhone without my permission and I don’t know what she thought she was going to do, because there are no numbers on the screen when it comes to ApplePay. That’s one of the many security features. The slight snag in the payment workflow turned out to be that the cashier hadn’t bothered to press “TOTAL”, which would have told the cash register to start accepting payments. I pointed this out to her and she gave me a blank stare and did some mouth breathing. I refrained from lecturing her on how ApplePay works.

Watching these young ladies talk with their mouths full, whilst they peck at their phones at the same time, makes me wonder if me and my contemporaries were that annoying when we were in high school. Perhaps I’m old and I’m starting to show my age in general old-man-like crankiness.

Eh, I’ve earned this point in my life. I enjoy what I have and what I get to do.