In the event that I get bogged down in technicalities, days like today are instructive. You learn, time and time again, that the job is not truly measured in tamping pressure or extraction rate. And while the quality of the product should never be far from the focus, it's not the most vital thing.
That distinction goes to the people on the other side of the counter. They are, as we're often reminded, the reason baristas exist. Without customers, there are no orders, no money, and thus no job. For those who do enjoy the job, that's plenty reason enough.
And yet it's not wholly explanatory, or even largely. For while I enjoy the job, my interactions with customers have little to do with ensuring their repeat business. Frankly, it's about the furthest thing from my mind. What I am concerned with, rather, is their happiness.
This is the part where you roll your eyes, shake your head, or otherwise express that your bullshit detector is sounding. That's ok. I don't expect to convince anyone of my benevolence. That's because, for the most part, this isn't benevolence. Neither is this a parasitic relationship, but a symbiotic one. I'm happy that they're happy, to put it simply.
Am I that needy? Maybe. Am I that chatty? Certainly. The why isn't known to me, nor is it terribly important. Things can get endlessly complicated if you let them, and I certainly can do that. But this is simple, really. We are social creatures, wired to take pleasure from familiar company, and stimulating exchange of ideas.
That caffeine happens to be around to provide additional stimulation is only of added benefit.