Unemployed Man Pretending Strangers At Coffee Shop Are Shy Co-Workers

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CHICAGO — Chip Tastic, an unemployed compliance analyst, is currently operating under the delusion that other coffee shop patrons are co-workers too shy to speak with him, sources said.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” said Tastic, twitching nervously. “That older guy is my boss, that nerdy girl’s probably in accounting, and the short, doughy guy has HR written all over him.”

To explain his so-called co-workers’ silence, Tastic tells himself they’re just an unusually diffident crowd.

“That’s the nature of the tech industry,” explained Tastic. “We don’t talk much at work, but we all have a healthy respect for each other.”

Sources reported that Tastic has never worked in the tech industry.

Tastic has frequented his favorite caffeine purveyor, New Wave Coffee, every day since losing his job nine months ago. He typically spends three to four hours half-heartedly surfing Craigslist for jobs.

“Sometimes I pretend I’m looking for other jobs on company time,” said Tastic, clutching an empty mug. “When other people walk by my laptop, I hide the screen. It feels like a high-wire act.”

For several weeks, Tastic has also pretended to have developed an “office romance” with a “cute brunette” who often sits near him.

“I don’t know her name and we’ve never had a conversation,” said Tastic. “But yesterday, we made eye contact, and I can’t stop brainstorming baby names.”

“Who?” said the brunette, who asked to remain anonymous.

John Clark feels Chip’s pain.

Image by chicagorants.com.