Of course, it was the sweet, earthy smell of mountain roasted espresso beans that I noticed first. Second, was the off-white floor that sparkled unusually in the afternoon sunlight. And third, was the familiarity of being behind the counter, apron around my waist, fingertips buzzing at the register. Yes, coffeehouse season is upon us once again.
But we do not officially re-open until this Saturday, when I will assist the new manager Jill in her first time with opening shift. Then the new assistant manager Tom will join us for the overlap of lunch rush, and by 2 p.m. Jill and I will be on our way, leaving Tom to close shop by suppertime.
Today�s meeting for training and scheduling is bittersweet, however. In the four months I worked at the coffeehouse before winter closing, Kim, Mia and I established our selves comfortably as the kickass female trio of the Craft School Coffeehouse. Of course, Noelle and Dan (from Shady�s Caf�) were in on it every once in a while, but the three of us ruled caffeine hill with pride and style.
From the get-go we all agreed that being a barista is an art form and yes, our machine does have a name: Flo(w) (having journey all the way from Italy, special air delivery, signed, sealed, and delivered for no less than $3,000 and proud of it).
So it came as quite a shock today as we �played coffeehouse,� � each sauntering up to the counter in some exaggerated fashion, placing orders from hell just to test out each other�s register capabilities � when I ordered a double-soy-mocha-on-tender-please and Tom looked at me and said, �Now, what�s a mocha?�
I smiled and laughed a little to myself and assumed he was kidding. In response he peered at me softly, brown-freckled face gazing innocently out from underneath his mop of curiously black hair. I blushed � was he actually serious?
Yes, he was serious.
I explained the beverage to him, elaborating in an extraneous footnote about the dilemma of foam on top of a mocha and how to decipher, based on one�s personality and/or the time of day and/or an a customer�s frugalness just how much foam they really want when they say �mocha.�
R.I.P. kickass coffeehouse divas. No doubt, this new crew will have its pluses, but it looks like there might be a bit of an adjustment period.
Good news everybody!
I got accepted into Vermont College�s MFA in Creative Writing program!
More published works at:
Western North Carolina Woman, click on the following titles: �Dipatches from the Not-So-Common Cold� and �Peace Narrative� (a reflection on pro-gay rights marches in Oregon as compared to homophobia in a local public school here in the rural Bible belt of the south)
�The In-Between Time� (a reflection on nature walks, scroll past the book reviews).