Guess what?

I can make a delicious espresso drink to order! If you give me about five minutes and are willing to taste it in front of me and don’t mind if I take another five minutes to make you another one if it isn’t exactly delicious on the first try.

I work in a bookstore with a cafe. As a manager, I’m responsible for scheduling breaks for all of the associates on the clock, including the cafe workers. For the first few weeks, I was fortunately scheduled to work with bookstore associates who could run the cafe while the cafe associates went on break. This lovely scenario came crashing down around me last week when I was the only person with even the remotest of training in this area available to break out the cafe associate .

And when I say remote, I mean REMOTE. Up to that point, I’d spent half an hour in the cafe making two of the easiest drinks on the menu with another manager. Then all of a sudden last week I’m in the cafe making complicated drinks, the ingredients¬†for which I am not even faintly familiar with, much less know where to find. I believe I held my own – I had customers taste their drink and let me know how it was, and no one asked me to make something else, so I’d consider that a success.

But after that half hour, I was absurdly flushed and jumpy. I thought for sure I was going to screw something up and I felt like I’d rushed around the cafe the whole time accomplishing very little. I looked every bit the Embarrassed Barista that I was.

Since then, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the cafe. I’ve made a little bit of everything, done a little up-selling (of delicious baked goods!), and generally feel less worried that what I’m making is going to disgust my customers. I still tend to exit my time behind the counter a little flushed, but I suppose that will subside as well.

Let’s just hope that I don’t get asked to make a Mint Bliss Frappe (or something to that effect) again. I’m fairly certain the recipe isn’t in the binder behind the counter and I actually had to talk a customer out of it the first night I was in the cafe. That was pretty embarrassing. But he seemed to be pleased with his super-duper easy Hot Apple Cider instead!

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