Coffee is fun! Coffee is up! Coffee people are fun happening people that are full of life!
Yeah, that’s all true. And on the other hand ….
It’s a joy to be a barista and get to know people. Some relationships are light and playful and some are deeper and more mutually influential. In the five years that I have run a coffeehouse, I’ve seen births and graduations and weddings and promotions, etc. People trust us enough to include us in the joys that make up their life. I watch kids grow up in front of me – awkward junior high girls who are now going off to college – pregnant women who are now sending their kids off to school – tough new jobs that turn into leadership positions -I have been to several weddings.
I get some of this everyday. What a cool job.
But I also live in the real world. I could stay superficial and light and give off the vibe that I just don’t want to hear about that “other” stuff in my happy little coffeehouse. But I go for the real. The authentic. Any well-rounded person has a variety of ups and downs, and I do my best to accept that.
If I’m just a barista, then I shouldn’t care about the tough side of your life. But for many many people, the relationship is far beyond that of simply providing drinks. We know each other, we like one another, we support the community we belong to. So we deal with divorces, cancer, miscarriages, addictions, and deaths.
Some days I may need your help … your understanding. I don’t take it well when someone I like dies. The news is sometimes well known in advance, and other times it is totally abrupt. So if I’m a bit quiet or teary-eyed, well, you understand.