Can I Help You Guys?

With all the snow we had yesterday, we had a delay today and didn’t have to come into work until later. This knocked me off my eating schedule. I also am not feeling well today and actually cut my workout short. On the way home, I was really hungry and figured I would stop by Panera for something to eat including some soup.


I got into line and saw only one other person in it besides a gentleman standing near the counter that appeared to be waiting on someone.

“Sir, excuse me, are you in line?” I asked the gentleman.

“No, I’m waiting on something I ordered, but thanks,” he replied.

Fair enough.

I waited in line until the cashier greeted me.

“Hi! Can I help you guys?” she gleefully said.

I was confused as she clearly was making eye contact with me but I was alone. To be certain, I looked around to see if perhaps she was speaking to someone else. To my surprise, standing at my right side, right on my hip, was a young woman who couldn’t have been more than 16 years old. She was standing close enough to me that the cashier thought we were together, in some capacity.

I remembered her coming up behind me out of my periphery but perhaps she was actually there before I was, maybe just off to the side. I started to walk towards the cashier and to my surprise, so did the young woman.

My immediate thought was to say something along the lines of “I’m not with her” but I realized that seemed not only rude but insulting. Instead, I tried to be cordial.

“I’m sorry….you can go ahead,” I said to the young woman, trying to be gentlemanly and diffuse what now seemed like an awkward situation.

“No, it is okay, you can go ahead,” she quickly replied.

Maybe this would have been a better way to solve the line issue? I think I might have won. Image courtesy of

Maybe this would have been a better way to solve the line issue? I think I might have won.
Image courtesy of

So, I did. And, surprising to me, she followed me, right by my side up to the counter. I tried to ignore the obvious weirdness. Apparently, even the cashier was confused as well.

“Hi,” I said to the cashier, “I’d like to place an order for here.”

“Hi,” she replied, “would you like to place an order for here?”

“Yes,” I said.

“You already said that, didn’t you?” she quickly added.



16 thoughts on “Can I Help You Guys?

      • I’m going to assume you do the same with the tomato soup.

        There is only one thing I don’t like about that place but it has gotten better. I usually get a sandwich AND the soup. But, whenever I start to order the second, they always ask if I want the pick two. I have to say no, I want the full sandwich and the bowl of soup.

        Then it happens.

        You want two fountain drinks right?

        (Oh, the shaming.)

        No, just one. They are both for me.

        Oh, okay.

        Yes, I can eat a whole sandwich and a bowl of soup from here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I always do the you pick two!! Caesar sandwich & tomato soup with the bread for dunking!! I drink water but I could easily eat everything they have in their pastry section haha


      • I get iced tea. They push the pastry stuff on you pretty hard.

        Are you sure you wouldn’t like a pastry for .99 cents?

        Oh, wow, there was intense shaming that I could eat a whole sandwich and a bowl of soup yet now you offer me a pastry, for only .99 cents?

        I’m not much for sweets. I’ve never gotten anything from there. I don’t order or eat desserts.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahh, I miss Panera so much! Back in New York, I would go to Panera probably once a week. I loved going there to write, but there aren’t any in Australia. I was actually craving it the other day. Panera is like my safe zone! The Mediterranean sandwich and the broccoli and cheddar soup!

    Such a strange situation though. I thought you were going to say that the young woman expected to mooch off of you!


    • Ah, yes the proverbial sugar daddy! Perhaps she was hoping I would buy her a pastry for .99 cents!

      Well don’t worry, Panera will be here when you get back! I’m sure you have likely found far superior restaurants to write at! Those photographs of the local scenery you shared were amazing.


      • Interestingly enough its not really the culture to go somewhere and sit on your computer. Maybe in the heart of Sydney it is, there are more businessmen, but the surrounding smaller cities no one does! But instead of deciding to look strange in coffee shops with my laptop, I choose the parks!


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