A few weeks ago I was standing in line at a local coffee shop. The kid working behind the register was a flustered looking nineteen-year-old. An air of exasperation marred his otherwise good looks. One glance told me he was the type of guy in high school who insisted on doing all of the work on a group project, and then complained that everyone else was slacking. He seemed entirely too stressed out for a young guy working in a coffee shop.
As I was about to order, he picked up one of those ticket pads that waiters use. He glanced down at it, and then rolled his eyes and slammed it back down on the counter. He grabbed a different pad, flipped through it, and tossed it aside. After he checked a third pad, I couldn't resist,
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Someone wrote my phone number on every single ticket in this shop." He slid the pad across the counter and I flipped through it, smiling. Sure enough, carefully hand written across the top of every ticket, were the words "Call Me" and a phone number. This must have taken hours. I looked over at the other pads on the counter top.
"Every pad?" I asked
"Every pad." He snarled
I started giggling with the guy standing behind me in line.
"It's not funny", the kid growled.
Glancing over at his stony faced coworkers he practically screeched, "Who's doing this?! Stop writing my phone number on the tickets."
"Come on", I said "It's a joke. It's funny. They're just teasing you."
The kid glared at me and the other guy waiting to order.
"I hate this place." He seemed so distressed. He can't see the humor in the practical joke, which is exactly why he was such an appealing target. Poor guy.
I shared a glance with the other customer and sighed, "Yeah, life's a bitch kiddo."