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Stressed at Starbucks

By Jordan Cady
On February 15, 2019

As I sit waiting at Starbucks, in a town I have never been in before. I find myself picking at my fingers. I have a job interview just down the street from here in about thirty minutes for a pretty big company. Needless to say, I’m nervous. My phone keeps buzzing in my pocket profusely, I should really just turn it off. My coffee is hot in my hand almost as hot as my cheeks feel. I need to calm down I tell myself. I look around and try to focus on anything besides the scared voice in my head.

There is a man bouncing his leg as fast as he can while he chews and chews on what’s left of a toothpick. His phone shines right in front of his face as his fingers move over the screen with urgency. Maybe it’s a work email, or a distressed coworker, or maybe its money problems. He takes a deep breath and places his phone screen down on the wooden table. Just like mine is, because I swear if I see one more “You got this!” message, I might keel over.

A woman sits silently sipping her coffee as she scrolls down her laptop. One hand is over her mouth and the other is clenching her coffee. She seems to be comparing a sheet that lays next to her in the booth to whatever is on the screen. She’s shaking her head and then tilts it back till she is staring at the ceiling. Maybe her spreadsheets are off, or maybe it’s instructions on what she needs to do on that laptop, maybe it’s a serious form that needs to be done.  She grabs the paper and stuffs it in her bag, and sips her coffee lightly deep with thought. I look at my laptop packed away in my bag just like hers, I really should do some homework while I wait. How many assignments need to be done by tonight I wonder.

A couple aggressively whispers back and forth to one another across the table in front of me. Their bagels cooling off from the toaster, untouched and almost wasted. As their argument right now seems to be taking priority over their taste buds and hunger pains. The boy throws his hands up and the girl looks down at her feet. They look at each other with so much left to say but they choose not too. A true sign of defeat, maybe its over bills, or maybe its about that other chick who works in his office. They push their bagels away from themselves. I slide my coffee closer and think about my own boyfriend. I hope his day is going well.

I run to my car really quick and grab my phone charger in case my phone dies and return to my seat. It seems the strangers who have somehow become part of my day, have changed their demeanors within the minutes that I left and came back in.

The man’s toothpick is now gone, and his phone rings echoing through the small Starbucks. He answers with happiness in his voice, “hey honey, its good to hear your voice.”

The woman places the bag by her feet as she is approached by a much older woman. They embrace tightly, “Mom, how have you been you look great, I’ve missed you.” the woman says.

The couple is now giggling because the boy squirted cream cheese all over his face on accident. They laugh and hold hands on top of the table. “You’re an idiot, how’d I get so lucky.” The girl says.

My anxiety and worrisome thoughts are not the only ones corrupting the vibe in this Starbucks this morning. Everyone in here has their own problems and stress it seems. But they also seem to have loved ones to get them through.

I pull out my phone and laugh at the corny joke my dad left over voicemail about the tedious interview process. I smirk at my mom’s DO’s and DON’T’s list when meeting a future employer followed by the typical “I am proud of you regardless” conclusion to her email. And finally, I blush at the text message that reads I love you and good luck beautiful! from my boyfriend.

Needless to say, I am no longer nervous anymore.

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