Twisted Barista’s Guide to Being a Good Barista
(It’s only fair. And I’m aware that I do not/can not do all these things)
- Have superhuman hearing and be able to do two (or more) things at once.
- Leave your ego at the door. Or preferably at home, or on the bus or something.
- Have absolutely no life. Be spontaneous, because your shifts are sorted a week and a half before, and there is no changing, mate.
- Be very willing to ask perfect strangers how their Christmas was, and act generally as if you are acquaintances, even if you have no idea who they are.
- Don’t pick favourites (even though you totally pick favourites) because then that guy who always pisses you off will see that your smile is sincere to the guy in front.
- Don’t ever blame another barista or a piece of machinery. Just apologise profusely until the customer says ‘Jesus, it really wasn’t that big a deal, okay?’
- Have the ability to listen to a customer, type into the till, relay an order to a colleague, wash the milk jugs, turn off the beeping, refill the milk, change the coffee grounds, restock the soya and get that panini before it burns. At the same time. Whilst apologising to the customer for multitasking.
- Make people feel good. And like you’re not prying when you ask them about how they are. Possibly flirt, if you’re good at this. (I can’t even do this when I’m not trying to please people who are paying me…I mean as a barista. I am not a call girl on the side. If you want that blog, please find Belle Du Jour)
- When you massively, massively HATE a customer…they have absolutely no idea.
- Get along with your fellow baristas, because they will make your life easier. You will depend on them to cover for you when you’re ill, help you hide the hangovers, and defend you when a customer decides you’re an arsehole.
And (lucky) 11. Never lose it, never answer back. Just take as much shit as you can bear. Because they may not complain now. But if they send in a complaint, as English people love to do, by letter, or carrier pigeon, then your ass is grass. So keep the anger in, make yourself ill. Or possibly, create a blog and let it out over the interweb to keep sane.