I worked my first solo barista shift today.
Cathy looked worried as she put her arm through first one coat sleeve, and then the other: “Are you sure it’s okay that I leave now? I can stay, you know. And don’t forget to check the milks every half hour. When you wash them out you need to WIPE them, Holly. Really wet the rag down, first, or it won’t do any good. The pot coffee should be fine; I refilled them at two, but if someone asks, the Breakfast Blend is the freshest because fifteen minutes ago someone bumped the whole container off the shelf, and you wouldn’t believe…”
I shooed her away, happy to be alone before the majesty that is a softly hissing espresso machine and a rack of chocolate and vanilla mixing syrup. I was sparsely trained, I knew it, but there’s just something about being the ruler of your own domain, the Queen of mango smoothies and cinnamonraisinbagels with cream cheese.
There wasn’t much time to bask in the glow of being onmyown before the three o’clock rush began. After that, I scarcely had time to wipe the puddle of milk leftover from the economics professor’s white chocolate (no whip) mocha before I was whirling back around to scoop out Sour Patch Kids into a paper bag ($3.00 worth please, avoid the yellow ones). Then the phone was ringing, and a man was asking for phone numbers. Small hot chocolate with a shot of caramel. Large apple cider, leave the cinnamon stick; last time my friend swallowed his whole and almost choked to death in the middle of Spanish. Phone ringing again, same man, ohI’msorry I meant to call the number you gave me, not your number. That’s all right sir, it was nice talking to you again. I recommend the lemon poppy seed muffin over the lumpy-looking apple cinnamon bar. You’ll take one apple cinnamon bar? Three fifty. No I’m not offended.
Thank you. Have a nice day. Hi sorry I can’t talk now it’s busy. Nice to see you again! Yes, this is my first day. Salzburg was wonderful! No, no Julie Andrews sightings. Hot water with mint teabag. One scoop dried mango. Twist, reach for towel, mop at whipped cream explosion that frothed some poor soul’s mocha into
with a lid.
Thank you. Have a nice day.