Sometimes I feel like my job confuses other people. I always thought being a barista would be simple, but in reality most of the time it’s a job of confusion, chaos and not knowing where I stand with my customers. People confuse my job with others and I have no clue how they get the idea that I am more than a barista.
What I am:
I am your local barista- This means I will make you the drink you desire, smile at you, and wait for a tip that I never get.
I am a Café Lead- This means I help my team do their absolute best, and encourage them to reach sale goals, and support them through whatever problem they have. I also try my damn best to keep the café well and running while my manager is gone.
What I can be:
I CAN be your friend- This does not mean I am friends with ALL my customers, this means the few people I like get to be called friend. Good for those guys, it’s a tough job to be my friend.
What I am NOT-
I am NOT your slave- Yes I make your drinks, but I do not cater to your every command. If you want me to wait on you hand and foot, that won’t happen, I serve hundreds of people a day and I will not be waiting on you.
I am NOT- A cook. If I get that one more time I might lose my shit. I do not make your food, I do not touch your nasty food with my hands. It comes frozen and I stick it in a oven that costs more than my life, for you to eat. I do not “COOK” anything. I am a barista, I like coffee, anything more than a frozen sandwich is too much for me.
I am NOT your therapist- If you ask me whether or not you should dump your boyfriend, I will say yes, you should, and my answer will not be one of a professional because I am not your therapist. I will say the answer that I think may screw up your life, because I find it ridiculous that you need my advice… and it makes me laugh. Drink your coffee and talk about your daddy issues elsewhere. Slurp down that frappe and don’t talk to me about your personal life. I am only paid to look interested.
I am NOT your doctor- “Is a sugar cookie okay to eat if I have diabetes?” UHHHHH probably not, I advise against it… but how the hell should I know? All I know is I have sales goals to hit, so yes, yes it is completely okay for a diabetic to have a sugar cookie with extra sugar and maybe some caramel sauce on top…
I am Not your local Starbucks girl- Yes I serve Starbucks coffee…. but I work at Barnes and Noble café…. can you read the store name you just walked into… oh, no? Well it’s a bookstore you could probably find a book on how to read…. My cups say “Starbucks, Barnes and Noble Café” I have a sign that says “We are not a Starbucks”. Usually when I say this the customer looks at the ceiling for an answer. Yes all my signs will be on the ceiling, please keep looking up there, and maybe go cross eyed while you’re at it.
In all fairness I wrote this on a really bad work day. But sometimes it’s good to vent about these ridiculous things. I also feel a lot better after writing this. I look back through-out my day and laugh, because working with people can be so amusing. I am 100% sure my “therapy” advice has ruined at least three relationships, I can only imagine those conversations. I am also 100% sure people who ask me for health advice have been really disappointed once they’ve gone to a real doctor.
The truth is I love my job, my store is like a giant family, and we all sit in the back room laughing at all the people that walk in. I have never been so at home, or relaxed with a job before. Yes there are extremely stressful parts, but that’s just life. This job continues to teach me more, and more valuable skills every day that I work.