March 23, 2013

Balancing the Bullshit

I guess you could say that I worked today. Probably, you would say that. I carried several boxes, which counts, right? I also did some ordering, and some forgetting to order. I like to keep a nice balance between having enough stock and absolute panic. I find toeing that line to be refreshing, in an anxiety ridden sort of way.

But I did these things, and cleaning stuff too. I emptied drawers and wiped them out, dusted everywhere my arms could reach, swept and mopped our admittedly small floor space.

I did the sort of things that anyone who's ever barista'd knows are essential to the job, and yet not the things people think of. You see the drink making, the attempts at witty banter, and the leaning with practiced ease against the counter. You don't see the accounting, inventory, and cleaning. And yet it's all part of the job, necessary work to allow the actual coffee stuff to happen.

So I did these things today, as I've done many days. I won't tell you that I like them, or write about them here with the same overly romantic zest I devote to coffee making and customer interactions.

But: Today I was told by someone that I had made the best latte she'd ever had. And she's had many. I know, because she's been around the coffee bar/restaurant scene for as long as I've been alive, and been served by basically everyone around these parts. She said it was perfect, and I didn't argue.

These are the things that make the bullshit worth it. When someone respects the time you've put in to what you do, and the quality that comes from that devotion, it's worth it. When you connect with the people you work with, and those that visit you every day, it's worth it.

There are things I genuinely do not like about this job, yes, but I don't mention them too often. There is simply too much beauty to devote too much time to the other side of the scale.

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