About a 3 weeks ago, I started my first training day at Starbucks.
Now, I’m not a big coffee person at all. Every once in a while, I would order a frappucino ’cause it was the only order I really knew of. I was scared to experiment with anything else because let’s face it, a small cup of something is at least $5. And I would be that person who would order small, medium and large, instead of using the proper Starbucks lingo. I didn’t want to order a drink, not like it, and then have wasted so much money (I know you feel me).
Until I went for a career fair at a Starbucks location, where the barista offered to make a drink free of charge. I handed her a bottled frappucino bottle, and she shook her head, smiling, and said they would make ANYTHING for me. I asked her what was similar, where the coffee wasn’t as bitter, (because hello, amateur here, I can’t handle so much caffeine). She offered a Iced Caramel Macchiato.
When I tried it, it was heaven in a plastic mermaid queen cup (is there a controversy over that? what is that majestic creature?). And thus, blossomed, the only drink I ever order since.
My interview was very pleasant, but because of technical difficulties (…of course), I was hired about 1.5-2 months later.
I had been looking for a job for 6 months, and finally, miraculously landed it this summer.
I had never even worked part-time before, nonetheless full time. I didn’t know what to expect.
Me, the completely clueless walking fish in the middle of a desolate desert.
First couple days of training were the hardest. My brain was zooming through all the new things being processed, like a hurricane storming through the chaos.
I think they expected me to catch on a little quicker, and even though I would consider myself a quick learner, it was TOO MUCH ALL AT ONCE.
It was really disorganized, sometimes I would be scheduled on a time without my trainer. So it felt like I was a silly kid put into a law court and asked to defend the client.
It was like I was being shoved off a cliff and told with a smile ‘try not to die’.
(But really, I’m not.)
Of course I knew this job would be challenging. I like taking on new things, new challenges to expand myself and gain experiences in different aspects of life (having a bit of money doesn’t hurt either….). But nothing prepared me for all that pressure, stress, and frustration (I still feel like buying hundreds of plates and just throwing them against the wall to relieve my built-up anger and disappointment in myself…anyone down?).
The other baristas and supervisors were and are the kindest people. They help me around, no matter how busy they are while doing their own dozen complicated drinks. I would keep nudging them asking how to do this, if this drink has this amount of syrup or shots, the proportions etc, as to be expected from a person who has no freaking idea what they are doing. They must all hate me by now, but it’s the only real way I can learn.
Because really, it’s more like a self-teaching thing. You have to work your way down the cliff. Find a rope, hang tight to the edge, land on your feet.
I feel like it’s getting a little better the more I practise the repetitions of the drinks, machines, sandwiches, pastries.
But I can still admit that I’m lost. When a customer orders a pastry or sandwich, I go to look on the shelf, and it’s like a black hole. There are a million different things, and I don’t even know what they are called or how they look like, it’s frustrating as hell.
And don’t get me started on the cashier machine to take orders. It’s like a screen where you’ve fallen into a rabbit hole and arrived as Alice in Wonderland, you don’t have the smallest inclination of what sorcery is going on around you.
It’s a whole new world (and yes, that was the song my coworkers and I were cleaning and mopping to for closing…it’s a fun crew).
But when you want to help out the best way you can, and everyone is flying and zooming past you, and you’re helpless, it’s the ugliest feeling. Unnecessary. Unproductive. The odd one out.
Even today while cashing people out on drive-thru, I gave a guy the wrong order by accident. Yes after working for almost a month, that happened. And then he drove past and I handed the next car their order, and they zoomed past, of which I realized that that was the wrong order as well.
Yes, I gave 2 wrong orders, twice in a row (gold star?)
I’ve made so many more mistakes than that, I can’t even recall half of them.
I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, and I think it’s hard for me to accept that I’m still learning because I want to know everything right away. I want everything to be done in the best quality and ability, and it pains me that I can’t do that.
It pains me that i’m inadequate.
Yet, hours latter (see what I did there? latte anyone?), the guy came back saying his order was wrong (yes the guy I handed the wrong order to), and I made him the right one. And it was a skinny non-fat vanilla syrup latte too, so simple but a little complicated for a beginner. I handled it though, and that cheered me up, to know I was at least doing something right.
I’m still drowning underneath clumps of hard thick ice, but I’m making my way, breaking out, reaching out for the light amidst the cold darkness.
The first time I made a latte was about a week ago, and even my trainer said my first one was perfect ❤ If you’ve got it, flaunt it right?
I guess it’s a worthwhile journey because once you figure something out, you feel like a queen. Bow down to me peasants…oh and here’s your order, have a nice day!
Because where’s it at? It’s all about the lattes, darling!