Peace, Love, and Coffee

A diary of the wonderful and wacky goings on at Coffee to the People, an independent coffeehouse located at 1206 Masonic Avenue in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The lawyer does some REAL work for a change

I'm one of the owners of Coffee to the People, but I don't work there, or I should say, I didn't before today. My sister Megan runs the place day to day. I'm one a' them fancy, high-priced downtown lawyer types... usually. But a sudden disappearance of one of our prized full-time employees left us down a person, so I donned an apron and did my first shift as a barista today.

Nothing gives you an appreciation for the work someone else does like trying it for yourself. For a literary reference, see the part of To Kill a Mockingbird about walking around in someone's shoes.

It was quite a morning. The first thing I thought when I woke up at 4:45 am was "Whose dumb idea was it to open the shop at 6 am in the morning?" But of course it was mine. I got into the shop at 5:15 am and got to work. Giorgio, one of our prized part-time baristas, was there and was very polite and patient, but suffice it to say I could use a little more training. We're a very laid back, hippy kind of place to the customers, but behind the scenes we run a tight ship.

I was in constant motion the entire time until I was relieved shortly after 9 am to make my way downtown to my "other" job. During my shift I spent most of the time working the register, and some of the time making drinks. I've used real equipment to make myself cappuccinos before, but never "professionally." My apologies to anyone who might have felt their soy matcha lattes, half-caf low-fat hazelnut mochas, and other assorted beverages were not up to our usual standards.

But the time flew, and I had a blast. Not that you'll see me behind the counter again anytime soon. I need more practice first. I may never look at my medium one-Splenda cappuccino the same way again.

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