Any job is difficult if you care about its outcome. But not every worker has to hear about it from customers. Baristas are one of the "lucky" ones that do.
As Gowri Chandra has beautifully put it, we Americans worship at the altar of craft coffee, reveling in its complexity and revering its art form. But we've still managed to commodify the very people who make it: the baristas. So if we believe in the artistry of baristas — and it looks like we do — why are we treating them as unskilled, expendable labor?
From everything baristas are posting online about their job, it's clear that we, the clients, are the main cause of their headaches. Of course, they have other problems too, but probably none can screw up their day as we do. Continue scrolling to learn what trials and tribulations await baristas every single day, and who knows, maybe if their confessions get plenty of attention, people will be kinder to them? Let's hope so.
A Really Good Mask Sign
All of these experiences might seem scary and really demanding when you're just starting out. "Many service industry roles aren't full-time, which often means you're ineligible for most employer-sponsored benefits," former Starbucks barista Mekita Rivas explained. "Calling out sick can have negative consequences in the workplace, especially one where you can't just 'work from home.'"
However, the job can also prepare you for the future. Now, Rivas is balancing a full-time day job, a growing freelance business, relationships with loved ones, as well as her other needs and goals. That sounds like a lot, but she said it's within her energy levels. "Although working my way through school was challenging, my hustle is what got me my degree," she said.
That job has helped her understand that 'work-life balance' means whatever you want it to. "It's whatever makes you feel comfortable and in control. I am still trying to decipher what that looks like for this chapter in my life, but I know I'm on my way to figuring it out."