What It's Like To Be A Barista in NYC
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What It's Like To Be A Barista in NYC


What It's Like To Be A Barista in NYC
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My best friend once told me ‘to be a barista in New York City, you have to have experience, it’s wild there” and I remember thinking ’yeah I guess that makes sense’.
Fast forward to 2 or so years later, I’m moving to NYC and I’m transferring to be a barista there so I still have a job.

Yes, my best friends words rolled through my head, but hear I thought ‘yeah, it might be a LITTLE crazy, but hey I’ve been a barista for three years it can’t be that bad.

My first day in my New York City job, I just watched. My manager told me "just watch how they do it” The second day I was given the job of putting the stickers on the cups. Sounds easy enough, right?

The morning rush was unlike anything I had ever seen.
I was LITERALLY just putting stickers on cups and I was swamped. The stickers printed out on this strip of paper and you would peel them off and put them on the correct cup, lined up for the bar person. The stickers came through FAST. Soon, I had a strip of stickers a few feet long dragging on the floor that I was desperately trying to get on the cups as quick as possible. And if you grabbed the wrong cup? Well woo, enjoy holding EVERYTHING up to tear that sticker off the cup, hopefully not tearing it up and managing to stick it on the new cup.
Keep in mind this was day two and I literally had the easiest job.

What followed was months of literal chaos. I would drag myself up at 6:30am, get there at 7:30am, slurp down an iced coffee and be thrown into the rush for the next two hours.

I did all the positions, and the one I disliked most was ‘warming,' You get hit with an insane amount of food to warm all at the same time, and you have to then try and hand it out., all while yelling back and forth with your co workers “ Do you have a bacon egg sandwich” “ IT’S IN THE OVEN” while another customer impatiently starred you down with a look that said ‘ugh, thanks for making my life SO INCONVENIENT.”
I remember our district manager would visit a lot and watch us in our positions during the rush, and it would c cause everyone to stress. I remember drowning over on warming and the district manager yelling “SOMEONE GET HER OFF OVEN”

In the morning rush, it would last 8-10am, sometimes until 11:00am and we would have 10 people on the floor. Have you ever seen ten people running like chickens with their heads cut off in a coffee shop?

Literally low key, felt like a robot during these rushes. “ROUTINE ROUTINE ROUTINE”, the word that everyone would repeat literally haunted my dreams. Um yeah, I got it. I WORK HERE EVERYDAY THANK YOU.

My store was small and connected to a business building, so all at once people would flood in. And wow, I remember looking out to the lobby and literally just see a sea of people with no space to pass through. Literally no space. People were basically throwing themselves over the counter waiting for their drink, asking where it was, complaining they were ‘late’. I treasured the people that waited politely and were always alert when I called there name that I could make eye contact with them before handing them their drink and hand it off quickly.

The really crazy thing is that I feel like working at a coffee shop in NYC mimics the maniac feeling that is New York City. And it wore me out way more than I expected. Working at this coffee shop was supposedly to be my ‘chill job’ while I looked for my first adult job. When in reality, I literally would work and then just go home and watch tv the rest of the day, too tired to even think about handing resumes out.

So there you have it, believe it or not working at a coffee shop in NYC is frantic AF, and I low key believe it will be harder than my first ‘real’ job. A job where you can sit in a chair and not have cream cheese thrown at you? Wow, what luxury.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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