The Java Jive

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Yesterday was National Coffee Day and I was more excited about it than I ever was as a kid at Christmas. Probably because I wasn’t working as a barista (job #51) and taking orders from people that left me shaking my head and simultaneously standing on it.

It’s so hard to maintain your poker face when a customer approaches the counter with a bit of side-eye, gauging whether you’re up to the challenge of their special brew. The order is delivered so slowly and articulated so clearly you wonder if the coffee snob in front of you is a former English teacher or just thinks you’re an idiot.

“I’d like an iced, half caf, grande ristretto two pump hazelnut, soy skinny latte, light ice please. Got that, Dear?” Likewise, the accompanying food order: “Bacon, egg and gouda breakfast sandwich, but no bacon and no egg, toasted lightly, last time it was burnt beyond recognition,” has the ability to leave one practically in shambles.

My short stint as an Assistant Manager/Barista broke my poker face for good. I knew it was time to leave when someone stood in front of me and started with, “I’ll take a 10-pump…” the rest of whatever he said is a blur. I remember only the words that came out of my mouth. “Are you kidding me?” It couldn’t be helped. It was an involuntary response. I gave my notice within hours.

So now I celebrate on National Coffee Day as if it were the biggest deal in the world, because for me it is. I drink coffee until just shy of the shakes and I savor every sip, made to perfection by me. Think I’d trust someone else to make my cup of perfection? Not a chance. By the way, in my world everyday is National Coffee Day. One day is simply not enough. Don’t you think so?

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