*To clarify, you have crippling social anxiety, not the coffee.
Make sure you arrive with enough time to order your coffee and get to wherever you need to be so you arrive just on time, but not too on time. Say you have to be somewhere at 10am. 10.03am is the perfect time to arrive. Let’s say 10.03am.
So, if the line looks like it’ll take 4 minutes, 50 seconds, plus wait time – maybe another 4 minutes? That means you have to be in line by 9.50.39am. Easy!
9.50.38am: Finish these calculations after you walk past the end of the queue. That’s ok. Now you can pretend you’re only stopping for coffee on a whim. You’re breezy.
9.51am: Enter the queue.
9.51.10am: Gee this line is taking a while. What if you don’t make it on time? What if you get fired? Unfriended? What if there’s nowhere to sit? Never fear. Use this time to get prepared! You don’t want to hold up the queue. What if they judge you?
9.51.20am: Keep cup. Check. Phone. Check. Don’t want to look like a loser with nothing to as you wait in line. Ha. Wallet. Um, damn nope that’s not it. Sling your back pack onto one shoulder, maybe its just --- nope. Ok you’re going to have to take your backpack off - you know you packed it.
9.52.01am: Your backpack has one zipper. Why doesn’t your shoulder bend more? Avoid putting your bag on the ground at all costs. One leg up to balance the bag – phone into your pocket. Yep. keep cup in one hand. Free arm in. rummage around. Four pens? An expired voucher ‘buy two, get 10% off’ voucher? Why would you even keep that? Ok. You’ve reached in up to your shoulder. Woah. Do a little hop. Maybe you didn’t pack it? What if you can’t find your wallet before you reach the end of the queue? You know you bought it. What if they judge you for still rummaging when you go to pay? You’ll have to put you bag on the ground. You can’t reach those pockets. Fu---
9.52.10am: Remember putting your wallet into your pocket earlier to avoid this disaster. Nice. Smart. Everyone is probably staring at you.
9.52.13am: No one is staring at you. Or maybe they all just went back to looking like zombies the moment you looked up. Did your tongue stick out when you were getting your wallet out? It did didn’t it. Can you ever show your face here again?
9.52.30am: Okay there’s still two people ahead of you. Time for a nonchalant look at your phone like you have things you could be doing right now instead of lining up for coffee.
9.52.38am: Hover between apps – no you can’t play candy crush in line. What if someone looks over your shoulder and sees you haven’t moved on since 2012!?
9.52.39am: Decide on twitter. Nice. No embarrassing photos of you that might accidentally pop up. Are there?
9.52.40am: Ok you have to actually look busy. They’re all watching. Maybe type up a tweet.
9.53am: Got it. Something fun, intellectual, but not like you’re trying. Let your 20 followers know what you’re up to! ‘Despite the long wait co –’ “NEXT!” your finger slips. ‘—vfefe’.
9.53.28am: Phone down, the cashier is waving at you. Or is it the person behind you? No. its you! Do an exaggerated double take and mouth ‘me?’ just so they know you know it’s you.
9.53.32am: They smile as you approach. Suddenly you are filled with an inane desire to please this person you’ve never met.
9.53.32am: You remember an article you read that said baristas are just as well-studied in their profession as doctors. Maybe try dropping phrases like ‘temper’ ‘notes of oak and cherry’ into your interaction?
9.53.32am: Wait this person is not even a barista! They’re just working the cash register! They probably don’t even know to temper the beans at 96 degrees! Maybe you’ll offend them!
9.53.32am: Remember another article that said hospitality workers spit in your coffee if you’re rude. Say please! Smile!
9.53.32am: Practice your order. They’ll spit in your coffee if it’s too unreasonable! And you’ll have to repeat yourself! Stick to three adjectives. Is that too long? Remember to smile. Small talk. But not about coffee! They know nothing about coffee!
9.53.33am: Panic. Order a ‘huuuge’ cup of hot chocolate with an extra shot of ‘bean water’ please extra hot please with extra foam please.
9.54.20am: Spend the next 3 minutes anxiously starting every time you think you hear your name called. ‘Mark?’ nope. ‘Mick?’ nope. ‘Matt?’ nope. Ahh now you’re looking panicky. Look natural. Lean on the wall or something. ‘Penelope?’ Cross your arms. No. That looks closed off. You’re breezy. ‘Penelope?’ Grin. No. That’s just creepy.
9.54.48am: ‘Penelope?’ … ‘Penelope?’ That’s you! You were too busy acting natural you missed it! What if they spit in your coffee if you’re too slow?
9.57am: Knock into at least 5 people with your back pack as you sprint-dodge to the counter. What if someone steals your drink!?
9.57.38am: Phew. Mission accomplished!
9.57.40am: Take a sip. Gross.
9.58am: Realise you’re going to be late, but not late enough to seem like you were busy doing fun, breezy activities.
11.05am: Vividly recall that you’re lactose-intolerant.
1.03am: A mocha. You literally could have just said mocha.
3.10am: Mocha. Why didn’t you just say mocha?