Writing 101: Death to Adverbs

Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.

I went to to Panera this morning to meet a friend. When I entered, the cafe had a few customers, but other than a table with six business customers, the rest were alone. The tables were scattered in two areas, one by the front window and the other behind a structural pillar about fifteen feet from the door. There were also booths, some larger for up to four people and others designed for two people. The service area was to the right of a partition, separating the cash registers from the dining area. The display held a large number of pastries, some more decadent than others. On the opposite side of the service area was a counter holding coffee urns, sweeteners and containers of creamers. There were also napkins for those who spilled.

The registers were to the left of the displayed pastries. On the wall behind the registers, there were three or four menu signs, covering breakfast and lunch selections and drinks. A single register was open, and the server was otherwise engaged about half of the time. As a result. there was a growing line of customers. Although there were other employees visible, none came forward to help the beleaguered cashier. The cashier however maintained a cheerful demeanor and a pleasant tone. She was helpful and courteous to all.

I met my friend; we had a good talk with coffee to keep us awake, and we left in good order to return another day.


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