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Hasta la Barista, Baby

Luke Holm earned bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy from NIU. He is a middle school teacher and a creative writer.


First Day as a Coffee Barista

Ten thousand tea kettles spew steam simultaneously. Each one screaming to be taken off the burner and I, with only two hands to do so, fumble to meet their demands. In the noisy background, angry customers are furious for foaming cups of morning brew. My coworkers are nowhere in sight and all I can remember is that the customer is always right.


Memorizing Orders

I am trembling with anxiety. As I try to recite the avalanche of orders that continue to pile up, I back into a tray of dishes and send them crashing to floor. They shatter in slow motion. For a moment, everything is silent and all eyes are upon me; each patron doubting my ability to satiate the situation. Before I can respond, they lapse back into a frenzied commotion and continue barking orders at me in intolerable intonations of language that I can’t seem to understand.


Frozen Coffee Server

I see them move toward me like a stampeding menagerie, but I am frozen and have no idea how to counter their attack. Dumbly, I open the cash register and start to distribute inaccurate amounts of change to any hand that reaches for it. My boss storms out from the back office and shouts that I am stealing from the store. He immediately calls the police.


Stealing from the Register

Within seconds, SWAT arrives and they are forming a barricade around the café. The Sergeant grunts rough orders into the microphone, demanding that I come out with my hands up. Otherwise, they’ll open fire.


Getting Fired

In short, exhausted sentences, I try to explain that this is my first day on the job. A barrage of popping ammunition cuts my confession short and I fall to the ground with my hands clutching my gut. Crimson stains spread across my fresh, new apron. I think I’ve been fired.


© 2017 JourneyHolm

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