My Barista Chronicles

I’ve recently read an article about a man who frequently visits a coffee shop and his relationship with the baristas. Being a barista myself, I wanted to counteract his post and tell you all about what it’s like being on the other side of that counter.

The general public can contain some of the most interesting people, working as a barista, tour guide, and a theatre school volunteer, has blessed me with some of the most bizarre encounters.

Observing customers and trying to figure out what’s going in their mind is one of my favourite things to do during dead hours, sometimes I’ll have poetic thoughts like “why the f— did she just come in to order coffee twenty minutes before closing?” and “why in the world would you give me your extra change after I opened the till? I had math last semester, I can’t count your money!” I just have such a way with words, don’t I?

In all seriousness, I do witness some interesting people every now and then. There are a few regular customers that come in almost every night and I’ll have their drink ready before they’ve even reached the counter. One gentlemen seems to recognize me from somewhere…or at least he thinks he does. Everytime I serve him his coffee, he’ll have a new question in mind to try to figure out who the hell I am. So far, I’ve been asked about my ethnicity, place of birth, and what school I attend. I think this man might be working for the FBI. Sometimes, I like to envision what it would be like if I answered his question as suspiciously as possible, “do you live around here?” “depends on who’s asking…”

The best people who come in are those tired twenty year olds who are on their third double espresso shot, trying their best to stay awake to finish some sort of paper. One woman always comes in and asks for tea, she has the most fatigued expression on her face, it seems like it takes every muscle in her body to muster up a smile to respond to my ‘have a good night’. I really want to give all these puffy eyed university students a hug, a pillow, and a 100 on their assignment.

Although it’s not funny at the time and actually quite stressful, I find the families that come in at 8pm with ten kids, hilarious. It’ll be absolutely silent and all of a sudden you’ll hear a distant sneeze followed by an angry “cover your mouth! You’ll get everyone sick!”. These families proceed to make an order long enough to create a third testament and will keep changing their minds because the kids are picky and can’t decide on whether they want a smoothie with or without whipped cream. After the ordeal is done with, it’s rather funny reliving the moment and watching a herd of tired parents and sugar high kids struggling to waddle out of a narrow hallway.

The list can go on and on about the people I witness every shift, every day is a new adventure to be quite honest…

Can anyone relate to my experiences? I’d like to know what your weirdest encounter with a customer has been, leave a comment and let me know 🙂

Song of the day: Little Garçon by Born Ruffians (because it’s been stuck in my head all week)


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