Monday, January 11, 2010

Cafe people: Angry phone lady

One of my regular cafés is a place called "Cosi's".  There are quite a few Cosi's in New York, but they seem to concentrate downtown where you get a lot of students.  I like Cosi's because you can order food and they bring it to your table like you are in a real restaurant.

If you go to a place often enough you begin to recognize certain people.  Some are just faces, while others are a bit more... eccentric.

Whenever I enter this café, I always see the same woman.  A middle-aged, heavy-set, black woman with a permanent scowl.  She stomps in carting a massive suitcase on wheels and maneuvers her way to a booth in the corner.  Once there, she heaves the suitcase onto the seat opposite her and sits down.  She grabs a coffee and then proceeds to mumble angrily into a headset phone.  For the entire day.

And when I say the entire day, I mean the entire day.

Now, there are days when I get to the café at 9am and don't leave until the late afternoon.  There are days when I don't leave until six or seven.  But this woman?  She's still there.  She's still talking into her headset phone, she's still looking angry, and that massive suitcase is still on the seat next to her.  I first thought she was some kind of homeless lady, but her clothes always look clean and she's not dirty or anything.  I've seen enough sleeping weirdos in cafés to tell the difference.

After three years of seeing her in action, I still wonder.  What the heck is she doing?  And why does she need so much stuff to do it with?  I suppose I could just walk up and ask her, but hey.  This is New York. You don't do that kind of thing.  Perhaps one day she'll end up in one of my games.  If so, you heard it here first.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Huh. Somehow I am reminded of Poe's The Man of the Crowd.

    --EDIT: fixed link--

  3. She (or character inspired by her) could be starred in your next game?

  4. See, you have to give the maintenance guy the heavy lead paint so when he re-paints the cafe it interferes with her phone reception, then she gets up and leaves behind her suitcase. You need to use the suitcase later on to get past the sleeping weirdo.

    Don't save if she leaves before the cafe is repainted, you'll never get the suitcase and you'll be stuck. Bad game design, really.

  5. Haha, I love putting the people I meet in real life into games. This'd be a winner for sure!

  6. You have to get chatting to her, Dave. You don't have to just walk up and ask her what the heck she's doing, just say hello, introduce yourself and say you've seen her about. Maybe tell her what it is that you do and hope she responds in kind... then come back and tell us all the juicy gossip!

  7. @Stu

    No way! That lady could use me for a toothpick. :)

  8. Did you ever think about, what she thinks about you? Maybe she's not talking into her headset, just sitting there and talking to herself while she's thinking 'what the hell is this guy doing? He's sitting here from 9am to the evening hours, doing nothing else than observing me and drinking coffee'.

  9. @retroadventuresde

    I'm sure a lot of cafe-goers look at me and wonder "Who the heck is that nerd?" Maybe they've blogged about me the same way I blogged about Angry Phone Lady.