His light tap on my shoulder shocked me to my core. I jumped in my seat and looked around wildly. After not working for over two weeks I had finally managed to knuckle down and concentrate. I was lost in the blog post I was writing for Silicon Valley Moms Blog, focusing on getting the words and feelings just right.
I looked at the man, smiling slightly, standing way too close to me, holding out two Ricola cough drops. It took me a moment to understand what he was implying. I hadn’t even noticed that I was coughing. For a crazy second I thought “Whoah, stranger danger. Why is this strange man offering me candy?” Then I remembered that as a grown-up that’s not usually a concern, and that my coughing was probably driving him up the wall.
I took a Ricola and thanked him. And then I tried to get back to work, only now I was acutely aware of the tickle in my throat and the insane urge to cough that I kept having to suppress. I sucked slowly on my cough drop and wrote a few more sentences.
A few more sentences later and I had forgotten my irritable neighbor and I let out a small cough. “Would you like another?” He instantly asked. I mumbled a curt no thank you and kept working, grumbling a bit in my head. When he moaned after I cleared my throat I started to get annoyed. Seriously, winter time in a coffee shop, people are going to be sick, it’s a fact of life. Deal with it, dude.
I’m too nice. I didn’t play the loud coughing passive aggressive card, instead I kept suppressing my cough and attempting to focus on my work. The tickle didn’t go away and my production went way down, but by God that man wasn’t disturbed. That said, I can’t make any promises about tomorrow. If he’s around I’m not suppressing anything.