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“What can I get for you?” I ask as a group of three young girls in hoodies and big sweatshirts as they come towards the counter. “Yep, sure thing, alright!”
Boop boop boop, now to make a triple maple, a double mocha with almond milk and a single cappuccino with an extra shot. I begin to prepare the espresso grinds when I hear the door open. I finish preparing the grinds and put it in a machine, a quick gesture, and turn back to the counter. A couple and a man in a suit are looking at the menu on the wall behind me and the display case in front of me, respectively.
“Hello! What can I get for you two?” I ask the couple as they continue to eye their choices. “Mhm, of course, absolutely!”
Boop boop boop, two soup-and-sandwich combos, and three lattes; one large with skim milk and two medium vanillas.
“Good thing I warned them that it’d be a minute,” I think to myself. I get the kinds of milk out of the fridge and prepare them for the drinks, then triple check my list of drinks to make, hearing the door open and praying that they want regular coffee or a muffin. “One customer at a time,” I remind myself.
“I’ll be with you in a moment,” I tell the customer as he approaches the counter, to which he tells me to take my time as they’re “in no hurry.”
I finish preparing the triple maple, double mocha with almond milk and single cappuccino with an extra shot and head back to the counter.
“Hey! Sorry for the wait, what can I grab for you today?” I ask him. “Sure!”
Boop boop, one medium dark roast coming up! He tips me and heads out the door again. I prepare the large latte with skim milk and two medium vanilla lattes without interruption, and by the time I’m done, their food is done as well. I run it all to them together, and they thank me. I run back to the mess I created with the three kinds of milk, three kinds of syrups and many shots of espresso, only to be greeted by a middle-aged woman.
“Hey! How are you doing today?” I ask with a smile. “That’s awesome! Ha, that’s funny! The usual?”
Boop boop, I’m a coffee pour away from cleaning my mess and making sure that I’m on track to close on time. But no coffee comes out of the urn. Oh no, “we’ve run out of that blend.” Her eyes float from urn to urn in an attempt to make a choice and I hear the door open. Then I hear the door open again. I look and see five more people arrange themselves into a queue behind the still deciding woman.
“Butter Pecan is good,” I tell her, and she agrees.
Off she goes.
“Hello!” I say cheerfully to the customers, one by one.
Boop boop boop boop, a pile of slips for the kitchen and I’m off to the races again. I measure out the drinks quickly in my head. Two smoothies- no, three smoothies, three caramel lattes and two chai lattes with skim milk.
“Alright, focus and get it done,” I say out loud to myself.
An hour later, I’ve lost count of the amount of espresso I’ve brewed, receipts are all over the floor, counter and cash register and multiple bottles of juice and syrups have gone empty, as well as many of our pastries. The milk for customers to add to their coffee has gone from five cartons to two, multiple coffee urns were thrown aside and the shelf of mugs emptied almost completely because of it. But I look around me and the seats sit happy people, and I feel satisfied with myself.