01 February 2007

Distracted at Panera Bread

A week ago, my roommate and I went to Panera Bread to work on our future business. After ordering a House Latte and settling in with our laptops, we discussed our plans and goals. We decided to work on different segments of our upcoming website and fell into a comfortable, productive silence. Even though others sat chatting at tables around us, we were not bothered. The low, soothing sound was broken by a xylophone.

Yes, a xylophone. In the middle of Panera Bread, a woman sat with two teenagers and a toddler. The little girl happily banged away, creating a tense undercurrent in the coffee shop.

Her mother didn't notice. People paused to stare, but no one said anything to the mother. Not a word. We tried to get back to work, but we finally had it. We left the child still creating cacophony.

Dear Parents,
I don't mind children in public places. In fact, it's great you're exposing them to social situations at a young age; I'm sure they'll grow into wonderful, well-adjusted adult such as yourself. Please, and this is merely a suggestion, entertain them in a way least distracting to others. My suggestion is crayons and paper. Perhaps a favorite doll or toy truck. But please, dearest Parents, do not bring toys that bang, pop, whistle, or generally make noise. I'm glad your child has an interest in music, and indeed, you should encourage him or her. But bringing your child to a public place gives you an opportunity to expose them to something else--respecting others thoughts, ideas, emotions and above all eardrums. This is a valuable lesson. Thank you for your consideration, for all our sakes.

Distracted at Panera Bread

No comments:

Post a Comment