I'm going to spend the next however many minutes complaining about something that doesn't matter.

I need to complain about this. This thing that doesn't matter. It is an incredibly stupid thing to feel anger over. I already know this. I don't need you to tell me that there are actual problems in this world and that the thing that I'm choosing to spend however many minutes complaining about is not even remotely close to being one of those problems.

I know that.

I know that this thing doesn't matter and that it probably says some sad things about me that I'm about to spend however many minutes talking about it.

People who have much more satisfying lives probably never even think about stuff like this. They are probably way too busy living in a state of perpetual productivity to ever even be able to give the energy to something this incredibly dumb.

By the way, you've been warned. You don't get to be mad at me that you spent however many minutes reading this post only to find out that it's actually a post about something that's not even a thing worth complaining about. Because I already told you that this post is a waste of your time. So if you read this, that's on you.

There is a place near my house called Cafe Zupas. Maybe you've heard of it. They sell soups, salads, and sandwiches.

These soups, salads, and sandwiches are fine.

They're not exceptional.

They're not bad.

But they're fine.

I frequent Cafe Zupas because it's near my house and I'm finding more and more lately that I'm a sad and lonely person who doesn't have the time or energy to come home from work and cook for one anymore and at least Cafe Zupas isn't deep-fried fast food so I'm actually being very responsible.

So I go to Cafe Zupas.

I go there, even though they do a thing that is so not a problem that I shouldn't even waste your time complaining about it but I hate this thing.

For those who have never been to Cafe Zupas, they have this sort of assembly line process that probably works at, say, a Mexican place where a line of workers put together your burrito as you walk down the line and explain what you want.

But for probably many reasons, this assembly line process does not work at all at Cafe Zupas.

This is because there are soup, salad, and sandwich options. And you order each of those things at different points in the line. And each of those things can take a very different amount of time to prepare. And so, what ends up happening, is a person will order a sandwich that takes about five minutes to put together. Meanwhile, the next person asks for a soup to go, which literally takes four seconds to ladle into a paper cup. But the sandwich person also wants soup, so he's ordering that to go with his sandwich. And the soup person wants a salad, which he orders to go with the soup. And meanwhile there's a very cranky woman in front of both of them who just remembered that she needs to order five more sandwiches, except she pronounces it "sammiches" so the employees are all screaming instructions at each other because the soups are far down the line from the sandwiches and every time you take a step forward a new employee makes you repeat everything in your order to them so they can scream up and down the line and confirm that others are taking care of each part of that order and then suddenly you're at the dessert part and the employees are trying to con you into buying every single one of the desserts except for the ones on the bottom shelf because "those are for tomorrow" which I have heard them say to people and this makes no sense AND I AM ALREADY FEELING SO ANGRY WRITING THIS OUT AND I HAVEN'T EVEN GOT TO THE THING I WANTED TO COMPLAIN TO YOU ABOUT.

Because the whole process is as I described above, everyone ends up in a big pile of bodies at the end of the line as all of the employees run frantically back and forth to try to piece together the orders. And then they have to call out these orders and all of the customers have to reorganize into a new line so they can pay in order based on whose thing was pieced together first.

And the thing that I'm about to complain about probably wouldn't matter to me at all if I hadn't already gone through all of the confusion described above, but by the time this thing happens, at the end of this whole process, a sneeze could send me over the edge.

Finally, once you get all of your stuff together for the cashier to ring everything up, he or she does this thing that makes me want to write a letter to my senator.

And I know this isn't the cashier's fault. I know that whoever owns and operates Cafe Zupas forces the cashier to do this thing that the cashier probably hates as much as I do.

I'm not directing my anger at that cashier. I hereby direct my formal complaint to whichever person decided that this is a thing that should happen.

The Cashier then takes a large soda cup, places it on the tray or in the to go bag with my food, and casually says, in such a nondescript voice that I almost don't even notice it, "would you like a drink to go with that?"

Did you catch that?

The cashier doesn't ask me if I want a drink and then respond accordingly.

The cashier delivers the thing first, and then asks if I want it.

And I don't know why, but this drives me INSANE.

Maybe it's because I feel like Cafe Zupas is trying to manipulate me into buying something that I almost never want.

Maybe it's because I'm sure that this sometimes works. That there are probably a bunch of people who would have said no but once they see the drink already sitting there they almost subconsciously just accept it and pay for it.

All I know is that this annoys me so much that I absolutely turn this down every single time just out of principle.

And then the cashier has to take the cup back out of the bag and put it back with all of the other cups. And the cashier always seems a little annoyed with this extra step that he or she would not have to do if he or she would have just left the damn thing alone in the first place.

And then I walk out, annoyed over something that doesn't matter, something that I know won't even change my behavior because I always go back.

And that's the thing I wanted to complain about.

Now it's your turn. Please complain about something that doesn't matter. I promise you that it feels great.

~It Just Gets Stranger