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.
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.
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.