Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Epic Bike Trip Around the Maritimes, Step 2:  Quit Your Job!
A Barista Waxes Philosophical 

As a barista, you learn a very little bit about a whole lot of people.

About some people, of course, you learn a little bit more.  Grande-whole-milk-bone-dry-cappuccino (three times a day, save the foam because she's coming back for a top-up) loves to garden and has a big backyard with nesting raccoons, except not this year.  Half-caf-triple-venti-nonfat-extra-hot-one-raw-sugar-no-foam-latte coaches her daughters' rep volleyball team (three grande strawberry smoothies), and venti-awake-tea-one-teabag-with-a-venti-cup-of-ice is an occupational therapist of some sort, is currently working two jobs, and just passed her third degree black belt.

But about other people, you learn a whole lot less.  Doppio-espresso-macchiato, all I know about you is you spend $2.47 a day  on coffee at Starbucks, and you shop at Whole Foods - you were ahead of me in line once, but I didn't say hi.

There are some sad moments: a best friend in the hospital, a newborn in ICU, a mountain-biking nephew pictured on the Jones Rootbeer who committed suicide.  And the people who disappear:  grande-non-fat-latte, I haven't seen you in over three months.  I hope you've just moved on.  Tall-blonde-roast-Viggo-Mortensen-lookalike, did you go back to New Zealand?  Or did you just get tired of waiting in line?

For most of you, of course, I also know your names (I just felt like I shouldn't put them in a blog).  Some of you even know mine.  An acquaintance of mine once complained that after three weeks of frequenting the local coffeeshop, the barista still asked him his name every morning.  "It's Bob," he'd say, just like yesterday, until one day, he got so fed up with it, he said, "It's FerNANDO!"  And then they remembered him.  Sorry, but who the heck do you think you are?  That barista was probably seeing upwards of 75 people an hour (yes, it does take less than a minute to order a coffee, especially if you have your toonie ready and you don't want six cents change) That's a lot of tall coffees and grande-no-room-americanos to memorize!   The very first customer name I learned was tall-half-a-pump-of-mocha-lactose-free-americano-misto's.  I asked her for her name, and she asked me mine.

I have to say, I don't really know what to do with all the pieces of lives I've collected.  Put them in a blog, I suppose.  My last shift if Wednesday, 6am-2pm, if you want to come down for a visit.  And grande-cafe-vanilla-frappuccino-light-with-sometimes-a-ham-breakfast-sandwich, whomever the venti-lactose-free-caramel-macchiato is for, I'm jealous!

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