I’ve called this emergency staff meeting because we’re supposed to open in t-minus 5 minutes but we don’t have anything witty prepared for the sidewalk chalkboard and, full disclosure, I’m beyond nervous right now—I’m spiraling into full-blown panic mode. If we don’t come up with an ingenious sign, no one will ever come in, meaning no one will share post shots of our killer foam art on Instagram or leave a Yelp review about how we make the finest macchiato in the city.

Please don’t try to reassure me with talk of our regulars. They're coming because of our old signs. Right now, we need to attract some fresh blood. I want random people walking by to nudge whomever they’re with in the ribs, point at the sign, share a laugh or a chuckle, and then come in for a cup of coffee.

No matter how mouth-watering, the smell of coffee and fresh baked goods alone aren’t going to get people in the door. We need a show-stopping bon mot on our sidewalk chalkboard to make that happen.

Normally, I hate group brainstorms, but without an attention-grabbing sign, it’s going to be a slow day—and I don’t need to remind you that we all work for our tips. I’m not sure about your living arrangements, but, I can promise you, our wage pre-tips are not going to pay my mortgage.

So, what have you got? It could be anything. I hesitate to use the word desperate but, based on the sweat stains rapidly spreading from my armpits, I’m in the early stages of a panic attack so, yeah, things are dire.

Honestly, team, anything goes here. I’ll even take a coffee pun right now. As a capitalist enterprise, it is our God-given right to persuade people to part with their hard-earned money by any means necessary. In our case, those means are a witty remark on a sandwich board. We can’t rely on the siren song of free samples from some enchanting mermaid to get people into our store. We’ve got to drum up business the old-fashioned way.

Is that– Is someone brewing the kopi luwak? Oh God, my heart can’t take the thought that no one will ever know we serve it because no one will ever step foot in our shop because there’s no chalkboard out front with a whimsical sign to draw them in. I can literally feel my heart skipping every other beat.

At this rate, I’ll probably black out soon, so before I do, I’ve got an idea I want to share. What if we, I don’t know, make a Wi-Fi symbol from the steam coming off a coffee mug?

I know it’s not great. But it's better than nothing. Right?

Did anyone else see that? Did any of you see the couple walk by and look right at the spot where the sign should be, then keep on walking? If you thought my existential dread was bad before, well I’m in full-on despair mode now.

I literally don’t think I’m going to make it through the morning. You’ll have to figure out the sign without me. Text me when you do. I’m going out back for a smoke.