Sunday 29 November 2015

Don't Touch me, I'm a Barista.

One of the many adventures I've embarked upon in the past year I've disappeared from the internet is becoming involved in the minimum wage, retail scene. Lucrative, I know. I assure you everyone I know who's ever abandoned something they love to work minimum wage in ANY job is very happy they did it and have no regrets.

Presently, I work as a Barista in a fairly well known Canadian coffee shop. I won't say the name because I don't know what the repercussions of that could be, but if you're Canadian: it's not Tim Hortons and that's probably all the hint you need.

The job itself is probably on the better end of what it means to be a young person working for hourly compensation. Making coffee, when people know what they want, is fun and I work with mostly great people. Except two. We'll call them Chantal and Shannon. Because, those are their names and don't care enough to give them anonymity. They're probably two of the most hard souled evil people you'll ever meet or have the displeasure of constantly being around but nonetheless, I do it.

I got the job only in an attempt to pay off a trip I'm hoping to go on next summer. I've already done that in the month and a half I've been there, so I can assure you my Barista days are limited.
This job was an important experience to have though, and along with my other jobs that I've decided were worth doing this year and I'll tell you why.

I've always had a hard time coming to terms with University. Depending on how long you've followed this blog, which I started when I began my studies you'll see I've been very up and down about what I'm studying and if I really should be here. However, I am SO eternally grateful I decided to stick it out and these minimum wage jobs have assured me why.

I work with a few older people who weren't given the opportunities I have to be able to go to school and are stuck in this job I'm doing just for some travel money. I can quit whenever I want and I will be okay and they don't have that luxury. They have to be spoken down to by Chantal(s) day in and out.
Outside of the connections University has allowed me to make, my extracurricular involvement, I know my degree is something that will give me leverage to jobs like this and people like Chantal. I know it will put me in a better position to be able to do what I love with likeminded people and find my way in this world.

This isn't a guarantee. Nothing is, but surely I have more of a fighting chance with my degree than without and that excites me.

It really does take doing a bit of what you hate to truly appreciate what you love, and fighting until the ends of the earth for it.


  1. Every job is a learning experience. I think the more you involve yourself in a job or jobs that are not directly related to your dreams, the more you will be motivated to do whatever it takes for you to accomplish what you desire. I had the displeasure of working with a Chantal and all I can say is..."Ugh!, I am so glad that I still had the freedom to pack up and leave."

  2. This post was fantastic. When I graduated from school with a BA in English--a degree some mock or say "must be easy"--I was so completely proud of myself. The only reason why I didn't push forward to a Master's or Doctorate is because I simply don't know what my focus/thesis would be. Maybe if I come up with one, I'll go back. But the point is, That degree gave me so many important skills that I take with me to my job every day. And when I'm not at work, I am writing, always writing. And I've actually really become sure of my tone and style at 25, so I'm happy I went through it. There were certainly days where I wondered if it was worth the stress, but I can say it certainly is.

  3. I always thought being a barista would be awesome because cafes seem like such a lovely, interesting environment, and making coffee seems like a specialty. It is though, which is why I reckon becoming one would require some training? Sounds like the dream part time job, other than Chantal and Shannon!

    The Life of Little Me