Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

...and you shall know me by the scent of coffee.

I've been reminiscing about my old job lately. The coffee shop biz isn't as romantic as it seems. There are some shitty things about it, such as spilling searing hot espresso all over yourself. Under no circumstances can you wear sandals or shorts because that will be the day a 200 degree caffinated substance will scald you.

Old ladies will come in and bitch about the music. If I'm working alone, I will play what I want and if that happens to be the Pixies or White Stripes that day, tough. Come in on a day that I'm playing Billie Holiday, then. The place where I worked at catered to middle-aged rich Chicagoan women, so we had antiques galore and lace curtains and shit. The layout of the place was horrible, because if you wanted to have live music, some rooms couldn't hear and some couldn't see. The way I see it, the type of music that is being played reflects what kind of person came in that day. If we had easy listening in rotation that day, chances are most of our customers are stingy old women. For classic rock we had more of a middle aged demographic. When my music was played, we had a college age crowd mostly who would sit for hours listening to the music chugging the brown ambrosia.

I think there should be more late night coffee shops around. With Lake Geneva, there is no place for kids 17-20 to go at night, so a late night coffee place would be perfect. It worked great for Taste of Europe and Cafe Aeon.

Another thing that sucks about working in a coffee place is that after a shift, strangers come up to you and SMELL YOU. They get into your face and just start sniffing. Old people, coffee fanatics and kids especially. This is a little known peril of being a Barista. When you hear some one say "Where is that smell coming from? It smells sooo good," it's time to run.

And now I'm going to have to work with this old bitch named Astrid. She fancies herself an artist and brought in her paintings to GJ. They were all the same: scenes of Provence or Zoo animals. She also knit tiny scarfs that she marketed at $30 apiece. No one liked dealing with her, and no one thought her art was any good. And now she's a waitress. oh, irony. It amazes me how many bitches are waitresses. My old boss at Lake Aire was hated by employees and customers alike. She had a, well, a sort of tusk that jutted out of her mouth and reeked of booze. She made every waitress go home crying at least once. There was such a big turn over rate at that place, it wasn't even funny. At least ten quit after two weeks.

There was this waitress that my mom used to work with, Geri. Everyone hated to work with her, because she would be drunk most the time. She liked to mix red wine and pepsi together so no one would think she was drinking. She always HAD to be right. She would give customers free food, and then when those customers came back and couldn't get their free food they would throw a fit and storm out of the restaurant. Her nephew now owns the place. When it changed hands she made a list of everyone she didn't like and gave it to him.

I don't want to waitress for the rest of my life like my mom. But, I do not care about getting a job so I may end up doing that. So many people have asked me what I plan to do with a degree in English Literature and don't seem to understand that I'm doing this to be happy, not so I can get some stupid job. Why is having a career so important to people? I don't get it. I'd rather be happy with my books.


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