“I hate this job. The management are demeaning and the customers are ugly”
When I pointed out that in this economic climate, most people would kill for a job like his, he shouted “Fine! Make your own coffee!” and handed me his apron.
Since the opportunity had presented itself, I slipped the apron over my head with pride, ready to serve the general populace with their warm beverages. From now on, I wasn’t merely some pleb from the street trying to steal free coffee and books, I was Joe; renowned barista and frothy drink extraordinaire.
I didn’t actually know anything about coffee or the science of making it, so I found my first few minutes of service rather distressing. Some floppy-haired manchild asked for a Double-Grande Mocha Latte, which I had no idea how to prepare. I attempted to operate a machine which looked like Sputnik mating with a bathtub, and came out with a fresh cup of watery foam, which I handed to him hopefully. He didn’t look particularly pleased, but accepted the drink and walked away.
As I followed the exact procedure for the next three customers, I began to realise that nobody knew anything about coffee. They would step up and confidently order their convoluted concoctions, I’d pour any old foamy mess into their cup, and they’d willingly pay for the privilege. I was getting paid to fuck up all day long. It was a dream job!
|What the hell is this thing?|
As I churned out another liquid abortion for the next customer, the manager appeared from his office and bellowed across the shop floor.
I turned around and raised my hand. The manager looked at me with a scrutinising stare as though he didn’t recognise me, but the name tag was more than enough to convince him of my employment. He handed me a mop and bucket and informed me that someone needed to clean the bathroom. One of our beloved patrons had filled the toilet full of Um Bongo, making the men’s bathroom smell like a mulchy rainforest. I grabbed my cleaning products and prepared to face the unknown.
Cleaning the toilet took a lot of work. The liquid was backed up all around the system, and scooping it out would just take hours. I needed a quick solution to the problem so that I could get back to my rewarding work of filling commuters with steamed froth. I decided that I would pump the whole lot out, saving time and effort.
I fashioned a rudimentary plumbing system out of old styrofoam cups, and hooked it up to one of the steamer machines. When I turned the taps, the system sucked the hideous concoction out of the bowl and into a carefully placed bucket. I stood back and smugly watched my handiwork with glee as the toilet began to unclog itself.
Just then, the suction pipe began to splutter and come to a halt. I checked the length of the styrofoam pipe and couldn’t find a break or anywhere that the pressure might be released. Someone on the shop floor must have turned the steamer off. I ran out of the bathroom to find another employee who’d just started his shift, using the steamer to prepare coffee. A whole shop floor of customers was sipping toilet water, and yet, no one was complaining. They all seemed rather unfazed by the grim liquid swirling around their cups, as though they hadn’t noticed anything different.
Needless to say, I figured it was time to leave the coffee-making industry before anyone found out. While I do regret the hundreds of people who ingested toilet water that day, being a Barista was one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had, and I hope to achieve those dizzy heights again in the future.