It’s a known fact that the average cup of coffee or tea can take 3-4 teaspoons of sugar before it becomes saturated (i.e. until it can become no more sweet, until no more sugar will dissolve in the liquid). So, I find myself in a coffee shop that wasn’t Starbucks today, and once again standing behind someone who has already added about 5 teaspoons of sugar, stirred it incessantly for what feels like a minute, and who then sips, tastes, thinks, sips again, tastes, thinks and… puts some more sugar in, before repeating the cycle over and again.

And again.

It’s not getting any sweeter!

All I want is a little milk for my coffee, please step to the side by about 1 foot and I can get some without breaking your incessant cycle.

It’s all any of these people lined up behind you want.

But no.






I just want some milk.

I’m like a semi-Oliver Twist: Please… can I have some milk.

Being British and generally polite, I wait – and mentally make a note of whether they acknowledge that they’ve slowed down mine and all these other people’s days. Not guilt, particularly, just whether they notice. Why? Well, when I’m being held up, unnecessarily resorting to observation stops me growing angry – the observation is good for me. It slows me down and lets me gain at least some value from the experience. I observe and assess this person – their motives, experience, values – they’ll be in a book some day.

Sweetening – Stirring – Sipping.

But enough for now… Please excuse me – I need to go and get another coffee…