Kathryn's Peace Corps Adventure

The opinions expressed and experiences described in this blog are mine personally. Any musings that you read here are not affiliated or endorsed by Peace Corps or U.S. government. Or Starbucks. And I'm not making any money from any of this, so don't send a lawsuit my way. Got it?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

a day in the life of a frappist*

This is in no way Peace Corps related. I have 8 shifts remaining. Why the countdown? Ever wonder what it's like to work in a cafe? You can read all about my Tuesday.

4:20 a.m.-Alarm goes off. As I am in bed, I think to myself, "WHY do I like to work in the mornings again?"

4:48 a.m.-Leave house. As I drive to work, "Bust a Move" by Young MC is on the radio. I take that 90s flashback as a good sign that my day will go by quickly.

5:40 a.m.-First customer of the day, a teacher going to school. Why do I want to be a teacher again?

6:20 a.m.-Explain for the 10th time that yes, we are out of grande cups, venti ice cups, sleeves, and regular lids. Is it our fault that Jimmy Buffett played at Wrigley Field? Is it our fault that his fanbase likes coffee a lot?

7:15 a.m.-10 minute break. I read my horoscope in the Sun Times to see if I am doomed for the rest of the day.

8:20 a.m.-Grande coffee in a venti cup, double cup with ice and hazelnut. He then begins to yell about the flat lid. We tell him there is nothing we can do until our paper order comes in later. He still leaves upset. And yet he will be here tomorrow around the same time.

8:35 a.m.-A look at the clock. 2 hours and 25 minutes until my shift is over.

8:50 a.m.-"What the world needs now is love sweet love" by Jackie DeShannon plays over the music system. Our paper order comes in and I almost want to marry the delivery guy. We finally have cups and lids like a normal functioning store!

9:02 a.m.-We're out of soy milk. (And the hits just keep coming!)

9:15 a.m.-A group of mothers come in after they have just dropped off their kids at school. They become a bunch of "spring chickens that won't stop clucking", (Homer Simpson) and hold up the line to the registers.

9:17 a.m.-Decaf grande skim latte. Yeah, she's still pretty scary. And on her cell phone the entire time.

9:45 a.m.-One hour and 45 minutes to go. Dang.

10:10 a.m.-Decaf grande roomy americano with a steamed soy topper. I deliver the bad news, "Sorry no soy". He walks right out the door.

10:30 a.m.-Our district manager makes a surprise visit. Great. Is my hair in a ponytail? Is my shirt tucked in? Am I chewing gum on the floor?

10:40 a.m.-I spill coffee all over my hand. Even after a year it still hurts as much as it did the first time.

10:45 a.m.-District manager has not left yet. Will I be able to leave on time?

10:47 a.m.-Iced venti vanilla latte. One of my favorite customers. We talk about how busy the neighborhood was yesterday. He makes me forget for a moment that I should be leaving soon.

10:55 a.m.-Hello? Can I count out my register yet?

11:04 a.m.-Still on the floor. This is crazy. I am ready to go home and pass out.

11:19 a.m.-Back in the car. Finally. Yes, this is why I work in the mornings because it's still morning and it's over.

Please don't think of these as complaints, think of these as musings and hilarous happenings in the daily life of a frappist*. So when you go into your next cafe, please don't take your anger out on the person behind the counter. They are not in charge of what they have and what they don't. I just wanted to share this hilarious day with you and one day, when I am deep in the jungles of Honduras, I can look back and think, "I thought THIS was hard work?"

I know that what lies ahead will be tougher than anything I've ever imagined.

*frappist is another term for barista coined by a friend of mine who said to me ,"Ms. Frappist, can you help me over here?" when I first started at Starbucks.


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  • At 7:24 PM, Blogger Erin said…

    I found your site from the yahoo peace corps group. I'm leaving in January...maybe to Honduras?

    But yeah, I work at a coffee shop too. We are out of stuff a lot. It sucks when people are upset, because as you know, it's not our fault!

    Maybe we can teach people in Latin America a thing or two about our silly little gringo coffee shops. Yeah...maybe not....

    Anyway good luck to you!


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