Today, I went to a local cafe and eatery known as Panera Bread. I’m not sure how many of you have those in your area, but basically their menu ranges from baked goods such as cookies and scones, to salads, soups and sandwiches. As their name states, they were initially and are still, to some extent, an establishment focused around their fresh-baked breads. I don’t eat breads, but I certainly love their Hazelnut coffee.
I’d gone there today to soak up some wi-fi and feel socially stimulated while actually sitting alone and being productive with my online applications for higher education and workforce opportunities. Though I do have my own wi-fi at home, there frankly isn’t much space to sit comfortably and I tend to be more distracted, and consequently, less productive. Regardless the reasoning behind it, I find it, at times, to be more comfortable for me to sit in a public establishment, surrounded by other people, with whom I’m not forced to interact; provided it’s not a particularly busy time, thus allowing plenty of space between myself and other parties.
It was a chilly day, so I opted to order a large hot coffee and an Apple. It took several minutes for the a cashier to figure out how to charge me for just an Apple, after she decided to stop giving me a funny look, but finally she comes up with .99 cents, which is typical cost for a single piece of fruit at an eating establishment, here in the North Eastern portion of the United States, so I’ve grown accustom to the inflated price, as it is fulfilling for me to be in possession of a healthy option when I take my seat, so I do not later order something unhealthy. I do not usually eat the fruit at the establishment, as it’s more of a pacifier for me. If I decide to eat out of hunger, or suddenly become jealous of those eating around me, I have an option immediately available at my disposal which is healthy, wholesome and guilt-free. I tend to find, with myself, that waiting in a line for a menu meal leads to poor decisions I would not normally make and subsequently enjoy far less than I initially predict, especially when dining alone. This can often times lead to a more serious consequence, which I shan’t bring up at this time, though probably will do so in a future blog.
What is unusual about Panera, as I learned earlier today, is the fact that to receive aforementioned Apple, I was actually sent to the meal pick-up counter and forced to wait in line for my “order” to be “ready”. When my name was finally called, the lady clearly was judging me for my choice of snack as she gave me both a stupefied look and a disapproving tone as she verbally confirmed, “Just a ….. Apple?” I felt like correcting her grammar and telling her to get that stupid look off of her face and give me my fruit, but I decided maybe I was being too judgemental myself. Maybe being healthy isn’t really a “thing”at Panera, and healthy snacks are not normally served as a stand alone option, and maybe her judgement was less about my choice of snack and more about how infrequently such an option is requested in that particular establishment.
Fine – but in the case where an apple is requested, would it not be more suitable to simply hand it to the customer rather than to bag it? That’s right. She bagged my Apple. Why are we wasting resources on a single piece of fruit? Would I be incapable of carrying my palm sized snack to my seat? If anything, it may have been served with a plate and a knife for my own slicing and dining-in pleasure, if you didn’t feel like simply handing it to me were a viable option. Nope; she bagged my Apple.