Things I’ve learned from working at a coffee shop

Last October when I returned from Europe, I found a job at a local coffee shop. I’ve worked in the service industry on and off throughout my life, but this is the first coffee shop of my employment history. And I have to admit, it’s one of the most laidback jobs I’ve ever had.

I only say “one of the most laidback jobs I’ve ever had” and not “the most laidback job I’ve ever had” because in high school I worked at a hospital gift shop where I would eat candy for free and occasionally ring someone up for a bouquet of flowers.

But even though it’s easygoing, I don’t mean that it’s easy. There’s always a lot to do, and there are so many things I’ve learned.

  • People are really moody when they are anxious for caffeine
    • Myself included.
  • It’s amazing how many customers get the same thing every time they come
    • I mean is that egg patty on gluten free bread actually tasty enough to eat every day?
  • Blue tape is a vital staple in day to day life
Blue Tape

Or maybe this is just a Crossroads thing?

 

  • People don’t really like making decisions. We have an entire questionnaire for a single sandwich, and by the end, people are exhausted.
    • Do you want your tuna on white, wheat, rye, or ciabatta? Do you want lettuce and tomatoes and onions on it? Do you want mayonnaise? Mustard? Do you want to add cheese? Do you want chips, fruit, cous cous, or coleslaw on the side? Do you want it for here or to go? Are you paying in cash or credit? Who are you voting for in the next election? Where are you going to retire? Do you think there’s an afterlife?
  • New cutting knives are so important that each shift is held accountable for their whereabouts

Knives

 

  • If you wear too much of one type of thing, customers will start to point it out
    • IF I WANTED YOUR FASHION ADVICE ON THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF FLANNEL TO WEAR I WOULD HAVE ASKED, THANKS.
  • I really suck at latte art
Dick Latte

YES I KNOW WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE. PORNOGRAPHIC LATTE ART IS THE ONLY KIND OF LATTE ART I’M GOOD AT, SO IF YOU EVER DRINK ANYTHING I MAKE, JUST KNOW WHAT YOU’RE IN FOR.

 

  • Having your baby hand me the credit card isn’t nearly as original as you think it is
    • But as long as you politely laugh at my “Oh it’s her treat tonight, huh?” joke, then I will politely pretend that it’s the first time I’ve seen anyone do that.
  • Turkey sandwiches and cold brew coffee are really nice smelling things.
    • …But not when that smell infiltrates your clothes and hair and skin and pores and blood vessels. I set up a biohazard zone in the corner of my bedroom labeled “used work clothes” that I heavily sanitize before wearing again. Or just burn, if I completely give up.

 

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