Panera Bread was a busy spot today, filled with hungry patrons standing in a line and deciding what they would eat. A dark-haired baby just learning to walk stood staring up at my face, smiling. It is interesting how the tiniest mite of a child already knows how to look you in the eyes and win your heart. He was adorable. But the line got longer, and there was a long conversation taking place up at the counter and the customers started getting agitated. One hungry man was especially so, sighing and shuffling and making targeted comments he hoped they could hear. I wondered what was going on.
The key issue for me, actually, wasn't being in a hurry so much as being able to try paying for my food with the new Apple Watch! Nervously I checked to be sure the watch was ready to send its signal. To double click on the flat button on the right hand side of the face edge. To be sure the app was all set to go. And then at last, we were at the front of the line.
"Thank you for your patience," said the girl.
"No problem! But will I be able to pay with Apple Watch?" I enquired. The wait would be worth it if I could just use my new toy.
"Oh yes, certainly," she said, so we began to order. Would you like to know what we ordered? (My enquiring sister will want to know). My current favorite happens to be their amazing Steel Cut Oatmeal, which is served with the yummiest crusty brown sugar blended with cinnamon, to absolutely die for. Plus fresh strawberries scattered on top. Plus milk if you wish. The SconeLady's husband requested the cherry danish, and we both asked for coffee. The muffins and bagels and scones and and soufflés at Panera are also superior, but you just can't fit in every item every time.
I stood ready for my payment process to begin, and then double clicked on the flat button on the right hand side of the watch. I watched the watch. She watched her machine, and then - nothing happened! Well, there was a beep, but apparently not a productive one. There is only so much time you can take at the front of a line for fear of agitating more customers, so after two tries I caved and got out the iPhone. Of course, it worked.
Certainly there was something of user error in this failure. Perhaps some crucial step I had overlooked. There are just so many of them in this new-fangled, upgradable tech-driven iWorld. But even without the fancy payment method, I still walked out of Panera Bread completely satisfied. Because there is nothing high-tech or new-fangled about the taste of Oatmeal. It will always be there, fresh, unchanging, delicious.
Because Oatmeal will never need an upgrade.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39160147@N03/14638156181">Panera Bread</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>