Table for One

The job I have is one I do alone, and it means I usually lunch alone. Through the week, I work an uneven mixture I’d days at hone, and days on the road to places all over the area. I am often available to share a lunch with somebody, but not always in the right place at the right time.

In the past few years, I have become far mire comfortable with eating lunches alone in restaurants, and in fact, can often find joy and pleasure in the experience. My talent for eavesdropping is often a course for education and entertainment.

I love observing the world around me, and taking in the different tidbits of human interactions I see. A single person has a very different lunch experience than a couple, or group.

Some waitstaff understand these differences and others do not. Lunch staff probably see more singles eating than dinner staff do.

First, the single eater does have conversation partners. While this may seem obvious, the effect is, they don’t need as much time to discuss topics prior to ordering, or to decide on menu items interactively. They also notice the delay more. This is equally true after the meal. When I take my last bite, I have little need to linger and discuss life, because I am alone. My bill should arrive quicker.

I don’t blame anyone if they can’t figure this out on their own, and I don’t complain or lecture. I do however, notice when the staff do take notice, and treat me right.

Today, I had a pizza buffet in an empty restaurant. My sole entertainment was the sales team seated beside me. I enjoy other people’s conversations more than ones I participate sometimes, because I listen on multiple levels. I catch the flow of the discussions, and track the path. These particular people were all quite fascinated in traffic, and no matter what ranges the flow of conversation went, it frequently came back to driving directions and traffic. They were obviously from a smaller town. To them, Toronto is a stress of cars.

When they left, I write this, paid and left.

Moder Day Zombies

zombieSometimes life is more fun when you notice it on purpose. It’s always odd how the universe tends to show you what you’re looking for.

Have you ever noticed you see more of your brand of car on the road after you start looking?

When I am alone, outdoors in the sunlight under a blue sky, I like to let my mind wander to new topics, rather than the indoor stresses of my day.  Today, on the elevator ride down to my street level exit, I happened to notice two separate current day zombies.

That became my observational game of the day.

I do not take credit for the term, which I stole without credit from some online blog headline, but will pass on and re-use forever, because it is fitting.

A current day zombie is a person, or group of people wandering without direction or life. People looking down, hands out – smartphoning. Either reading, or texting, or facebooking. Whatever they are doing, they are no longer an active live member of society.

While I do not fear they will be after me for my sweet brains, I do fear they may zombie out in front of my car while I’m driving, or into me in a line.

Today, the elevator ride had two separate zombies. One had a blackberry, the most common choice among BBM brand zombies. He was so dedicated to his testing, he based right into the second zombie as she blindly entered the elevator, one floor below.

She had my phone, an Android Desire, and was reading a Facebook page. The smashed, looked up briefly, mumbled some zombie form if apology and continued. Two floors down, still far from her destination floor, the doors opened, and she aimlessly walked off onto a floor she didn’t mean to be on, like an instinct. No brain required… doors open and exit.

If I had been alone, I would have rushed to push the door close button and laughed an evil magical laugh. We don’t shoot zombies anymore… but we can abandon them on the wrong floor.

I found the whole ride somewhat entertaining, but now the thought was in my head, and so everywhere I walked, I saw Apple Zombies and Blackberry Zombies everywhere. I watched as kind innocents held back their arms to stop careless zombies from walking into traffic. I watched numerous collisions and many more near collisions happening in every direction during lunch hour.

I’d love to know the stats on smart phone zombie related accidents in a city like Toronto.

Oh no. It has infected me. I just realized I’m writing this whole blog on my phone, sitting on a rock outside in the sun. I’m not walking, but I am equally guilty of leaving the world behind as I focus on the megaverse behind my thumb keyboard.

Ahhhhhh… I’m a zombie too.