I stopped to pick up a salad yesterday.

It was one of those places where you’re shuffled through like 4th graders in a school cafeteria, except I was choosing sunflower seeds and edamame instead of chocolate pudding and tater tots. A place where you feel all kinds of pressure to figure out what you want in a microsecond as to not hold up the people behind you. No chance of being able to ask for a brief moment to scan the choices offered, or you risk being the cause of inevitable eye-rolling or exhales of annoyance.

So, I blurted out my choices and noticed I was STILL the cause of an abrupt line stoppage. I wasn’t particulary choosy and couldn’t figure out the problemo…until the guy behind the counter announced, ‘Sorry for the delay…it’s my first day on the job.

Poor guy.

He was stressed and worried and in a nutshell, freaking out. He could see the line getting longer and was trying to follow a salad guide and searching for edamame while wondering what the heck edamame looks like in the first place and questioning if the salad comes with two scoops of chicken or one, and who orders asian soy dressing?

I felt for him because we’ve all had first day jitters.

I called myself Deborah ‘Honeynut’ during my first on-air break 17 years ago, and hoped no one would A) Notice B) Mention it or C) Notice, and all in that order. Yet, we get through the moments of panic and find ways to laugh at ourselves. Not sure salad-guy was laughing yesterday, as he frantically worked among buckets of croutons and candied pecans with secret hopes that his boss would run out of lettuce.

The guy eventually figured it out, (with no help from Pedro, his co-worker), and apologized for my nearly 10-minute wait. The entire scenario was so pitiful that I told him I didn’t mind, and a half-hearted smile appeared on his face.

Here’s wishing salad-guy well.