I’ve challenged myself to blog something in the one spare hour I have between appointments. So, GO!
I travel around the city of Memphis when I’m working. My office is at my house which is on the outskirts of Memphis. So after visiting a customer site, I sometimes decide to camp out at a coffee shop and work remotely from my already remote office at home. Today, I’ve chosen Starbucks which is not my usual choice. I like SB but it’s too sterile. There are a lot of funky little coffee shops around Memphis with wifi connections so I try to chose one of those. But today, those are all in another direction.
My barista has a soft voice and I am almost deaf. So from the start, my experience was a little bumpy.
“I’ll take a grande latte.”
“blah blah blah blah your name?” The music and the chat level is already too high for me to hear well.
“Billy”, I said, leaning forward so she’ll know she’s gonna have to speak up.
“blah blah blah blah?”
“IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN GET FOR YOU?”, she continued to smile even though her voice was frowning.
“Nah. Sorry. I can’t hear very well.”
“Oh, sorry. Blah blah blah”.
I nodded my head and smiled, “Have a great day!”
I would have grabbed a cushioned chair but two ladies monopolized the sets by sitting across from each other leaving an empty chair next to each of them. I could have plopped down next to one of them but decided they needed their privacy. Besides, if I did sit next to one of them that’s when my pastor or one of my wife’s best friends would walk in. I sat in a hard chair at a large table being shared by two dudes. It kind of feels like the convict table. Most everyone has someone they are with and talking to except the people sitting at the convict tables. We’re the outcasts of the conversational society. But we appear to be productive to make up for it; we have tasks to work on. As soon as I sat down a guy came in and sat down next to one of the ladies and they auto-corrected their seating arrangement.
Interesting enough, the two ladies are the ONLY ones that aren’t looking at an electronic devices while they are talking. Everyone else has smart phones and laptops, and some both. I’m part of the latter group. I’m disappointed that I didn’t sit next to them to hear what they’re talking about. They are leaning into each other, talking and listening, totally committed to understanding whatever it is they’re talking about. Interesting.
The dude that sat down in one of the other chairs was eventually in the middle of a young couple who are trying to sell their car. He had his laptop out and was looking up the value of their car, discussing plans to visit a new car dealership down the road. It sounds like the old guy is going to broker a deal for them. He said, “ya’ll ready?” and they got up and walked out. Another guy quickly moves from a convict table to the cushioned chair. He answers his phone so technically he’s part of the conversational society now.
A table with three Jewish guys are also deep into a conversation but it can’t be too serious since they stare at their iPhones while they talk. So here’s the most interesting part of my visit. One of the dudes at that table is facing me and sitting between me and the window. I am unable to give this project my undivided attention so occasionally I look out the window. Every time I look up, dude looks at me as if he suspects that I’m I’m honing in on their conversation. I’m not looking at them, or paying attention to them but his paranoia has raised my interest. When my head raises up and turns to the window, his head turns to see why my head turned toward him. They’re too far away to evesdrop so I can only act like I might be.
While I typed that last paragraph the two talking-ladies left. I found out because one of them walked past the window. As I refocused on my laptop, the guy and his phone left, and shortly after the three Jewish guys left. I’ve finished my latte. I’ll take that as a sign that I’m finished. Everyone else in here is a little boring.