I've come to Panera Bread to work. As I sit here drinking my tea and eating my cranberry walnut bagel, I am looking at the people around me. One woman sits with her phone in hand as she eats her spaghetti with vegetables and I think, “That must be a new dish here. I don't remember seeing noodles and vegetables on the menu.”

Another woman eats a salad while she reads a book. The cover reads Percy Jackson; I'll have to look that up later. In the far back corner, two women are having lunch together; one has brought in a medium-size clear plastic tote that is half full with papers, along with a tote bag that appears to be heavy with books. Both of the women have a note pad in front of them that they ignore as they eat. In this part of the restaurant, there are only women. But wait — now there is an elderly couple coming into the area. The woman is dressed in all black, including her purse, and carries a blue cane. The man leaves to get beverages and napkins. When he comes back, he spills a little bit of milky coffee. Two bagels are brought to them. They must be on an afternoon date.

A third woman comes in walking quickly and joins the two women with notebooks in the corner. Their body language indicates that they have met before but not developed a friendship. Oh, there it goes: the woman with the tote is giving a presentation to the two other women. The elderly couple eats in silence. At the counter, a mother orders her food while her young daughter, who looks to be about 2 ½ years old, lies on the floor with a kid-protected electronic tablet. The little girl doesn’t want to get up. The mother picks her up.

This has become a great people watching day. They all have stories, and today they all became part of mine.

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone is watching me?