Monday, December 31, 2012

Baristas of the World Unite

            Until quite recently, I’ve been barista-ing around, putting off attempting to pursue an actual career, because let’s face it—there aren’t any. Capitalism has run its course—created jobs and opportunity and competition… particularly competition. But employment has become a thing of the past, the competition simply too much. No one told us we’d be up against computers and machines.
              And Asians.
            College is no longer worth it. The more extensive schooling you seek, the further behind you’ll find yourself in the rat race. A good amount of my coworkers have been college graduates – Bachelor’s in marketing and business, nothing to show for it except a sizable student debt. Once upon a time, I used to envision my future selfa diligent, sophisticated, college-going girl. I imagined moseying along a marble hallway of some Hogwarts-esque school, swaddled smartly in a scarf to keep away the bitter cold, along with any possibility of succumbing to the dregs of society—the unemployed and insane; escaped schizophrenics and sex offenders. As a kid I used to fancy myself some sort of savage, who could survive in the wild with relative easefeasting on forest berries, adopting myself into an obliging pack of wolves. But homelessness isn’t the blissful fairytale I once took it to be, and I now realize I wouldn’t last a second on the streets. So what’s a girl supposed to do? Obviously get a job in the food service industry, America’s favorite fallback.
            I was a bakery clerkthe most efficient one ever, I might add. I’d open coffee mostly, and by the end I was so good I could manage in a single trip to the back, ice bucket propped up between my hip and forearm, one water pitcher precariously in either hand, a handful of spoons clanking away in my back pocket. I’d fill up the hoppers, pull some shots to test the grind, and get myself good and over-caffeinated.
            Completing these tiny tasks was satisfying at first, but became increasingly tedious as the weeks went on, until two years later there I was, still making coffee, filling ice buckets and water pitchers, my hopes and dreams fading into empty silhouettes in the distance... I figured if I have so much apparent potential I had better put it to use. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Well, I’ve aspired to be many things over the years—supermodel, spy, 1950s flight attendant, astronaut, fashion designer, Russian Olympic gymnast—but the one that stuck and seems most within reach has always been writing.
          So I broke down and did it. Quit my job that is, just before Christmas. I decided to take some time off to pursue my writing, at least for a while, so here I am. Now what to write? Well if Rosie O’Donnell in Harriet the Spy (remember Harriet the Spy?!) has taught me anything at all, it is to write what you know.
          So far I have a blog for everything I don’t know a damn thing about. I wear pyjamas in public on a regular basis, yet I thought it a clever move to begin a fashion blog. For months it consisted of a single post discussing how little I know or care about what you wear.
            But if there’s one thing I know it’s making coffee. Welcome to my barista blog.