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Coffee Confessions: My Month as a Barista

I have grown up drinking so much coffee to the point where I’m sure it’s half my bloodstream. Not to sound dramatic or anything but I literally need a cup a day or else I can’t function. So when I’m searching for a part-time job, it makes complete sense that I would choose somewhere that would provide me with free coffee. Jokes aside, I have always wanted to work in a coffee shop; in fact, it’s been one of my childhood dreams to own a coffee shop. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work at one of my favorite cafes in my hometown. I would get experience in the barista world, be making some money, and get to learn all about my favorite drink. I suppose, though, that I walked into my new job with rose-colored glasses. I loved the aesthetic of being a small-cafe barista, but no one tells you how draining it can be.

In the beginning, being a barista was amazing. I was so excited to be pulling espresso shots, steaming milk, running the cash register; I mean, even taking out the trash was a new adventure! I loved talking with customers and learning their names and orders. I made acquaintances with the regulars and had fun conversations with them while making their drinks. When business was slow, I helped keep the cafe clean. Honestly, I was so excited to come to work every weekend.

Then, my performance started lacking. I couldn’t keep up with the demands of the high-intensity afternoon shifts, and I couldn’t seem to do anything right. I would make an iced drink but forget to put ice in the cup, or I wouldn’t pull an espresso shot properly. I left work every day fatigued and disappointed with myself. An internship opportunity arose where I was able to leave my barista position, and I took a risk and left my job.

At first, I felt disappointed at myself for leaving my job on a sour note; maybe I should have tried harder and done better. I realize now that I tried my best and even though my best wasn’t satisfactory for everyone, I can keep my head held high knowing that I can use this as a learning opportunity to improve myself in future jobs. 

I still love my old boss, my old coworkers, and the cafe, and I wish everyone there the best of luck. I’m starting a new chapter in my life, but first, let me make a cup of coffee to take with me.

 

A Michigan State University student by day, an 8-hour sleeper by night Aditi would best describe herself as a "rather simple enigma." As she embarks on her college journey, Aditi cherishes the simple things in life: a cup of coffee, some pastel post-it notes, and her ever-growing succulent.
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