Being a barista is a heavy burden sometimes: the early morning hours, the cranky customers, and the precision with which you need to make the customers’ drinks makes a difficult job even more difficult. Occasionally, I would get an afternoon shift and would get much easier customers. However, I wanted to quit when I got morning shifts two weeks in a row and then, on my day off- I was sitting at home one morning sipping my coffee when my phone rings. I had to come into work because 2 people called in sick. Noooo.

I come into work and there is already a line out the door when I arrive. I get behind the counter and start taking drink orders. I finish two orders out of a probable 12-15 orders and my milk frother starts smoking. So I had to do an emergency shut-off of the milk frother. About ten minutes later, my manager and I realized that our dark roast of the day did not taste right. We were wondering what happened and then saw a bag by the dark roast. We read the label “Ethiopian Light Roast” and looked inside. Sure enough, we had a light roast in our dark roast tin, but also mixed with another bag of coffee. Then, a customer screamed, “HURRY UP! We don’t have all day!” At that point, I was ready to lose it. All I wanted was a nice weekend morning with my fiancé while I enjoy a break from Master’s classes and an off day from the coffee shop. But no, I had to come in, get screamed at by customers, and deal with the previous day’s silly mistakes. I finished this customer’s order and it took an hour or so but we got through the rush.

Two other people came in who were going to be working the afternoon so I went to my manager’s office before leaving to express my frustrations. I had had it up to here. I was about to say I quit when my manager said, “Wait two days and take a deep breath. I will be hiring more people tomorrow and this will not happen again.” I left with his words in mind and decided that I would not quit at that point. Because, yes- my manager did hire two more people and things smoothed out a bit after that.

Those rush hour days though? They made it very tempting to quit, but I am glad I kept the job to finish paying for graduate school out of pocket.

Written by Emily

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