8 things I've learned as a barista


I strive to be unpredictable. And yet I’m a nineteen year old art student working at Starbucks. There goes any chance of unpredictability.

So. Eight things I’ve learned as a barista.

  1. People can be incredibly kind and considerate, and when you offer them a big, fat smile, they may offer one in return.

  2. People can be incredibly cold and inconsiderate, and when you offer them a big, fat smile, they may stare at you like you’ve grown horns or have a piece of kale stuck between your teeth. (I was going to say “spinach” but kale is far more Starbuckian.)
  3. No matter if people are kind or cold or inconsiderate - offer them that big, fat smile.
  4. Chocolate chai lattes are never a good idea.
  5. When people complain that the soy milk is too expensive, or that their cappuccino is not nearly dry enough, and as they complain - you immediately picture the Rwandan children hiking for hours to get their one jug of water - take a looooong deep breath and silently ask Jesus for patience. Then force that big, fat smile and ask Him for a bit more.
  6. As 3 o’clock hits, brace yourself for the onslaught of grade nines who will undoubtedly order all of the “secret recipe” frappuccinos that you have no idea how to make.
  7. When the twelve year old girl waves you over and tells you to “take these dirty dishes away”, try not to physically cringe, and remind yourself that there is nothing pretty about entitlement.
  8. Every person is a living, breathing story. Just like you.