Friday Reflection: Life at a Coffee Shop

Working at Starbucks has brought back a lot of high school memories for me.  I worked three jobs in high school, often at the same time, and my favorite was the coffee shop, Cafe on the Common,  a close second was being the range-aide for the NH-DMV motorcycle training course (aka cone girl).  😉   If you are wondering how I got a job setting up cones for the course, it was because my step-father was one of the instructors.  Finally, I worked on the events staff at the Governor’s Inn catering mostly weddings.

Me making a sandwich at Cafe on the Common

Cafe on the Common was amazing, it was only open for a couple of summers, but non the less a very fond memory for me.  I worked with my friends and served a lot of friends too.  It became my group of friends hang-out spot.  It was much larger than your average Starbucks, it had served ice cream and sandwiches too, but it was a lot slower than the store I’m in now.  I can remember having time to do a bit of homework or getting in some study time while on the clock, no way could you do that at the store I am in now.  There was a “sober” biker gang that would come hang out on our decks every night and boy did they come in useful.

The Gangs all here!

I remember one night a drunk guy came in and was hitting on me while I made his sandwich, (I mean come on don’t I look hot making that sandwich up above!), well he decided he didn’t like this counter between us and actually tried to come behind the bar!  Man, those bikers were in the shop showing him the door faster than I could even register what was going on.  Not only did they give us a bit of security, and a lot of humor on our shifts; they were by far our best customers.  Funny thing was the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street hated them, but we welcomed them with open arms.

The owners had a son in college, so him and a couple of his friend were usually the shift manager.  I remember how cool we all felt hanging out with the college kids. LOL!  I even managed to bring the owners son as my date to the high school prom, but that’s another story all to itself.  These guys started a poetry night and when they went back to school I took it over.  I had the best time creating the fliers to put up at school, and I even got a good turn out each week.  For my opening night I got my parents to sneak in behind the crowd to play hand drums while I read my angsty teenage poem, emphasizing words like HATE and FEAR, now that made an awesome opener!

The college guys, my prom date was the one with the green hair. 😉

It was a sad day when the cafe closed.  It is now a doctor’s office, named Clinic on the Common, if you can believe that.  I had to go to the doctor there once and it felt so wrong to be there.  All of my memories inside of that place were defiled in some ways.  You just can’t go back sometimes.

I loved those green pants!

However, because I have such great memories of working at that coffee shop, it lead me to work now at Starbucks.  My memories haven’t steered me wrong.  I really enjoy working as a barista again.  It’s not my forever job, but it is an enjoyable one.  The people you work with and even the customers you serve make work fun and light.  I appreciate the job even more now that I am older too.  I love that I can leave whatever stress there may be at work.  It does NOT follow me home! I also really enjoy getting out and interacting with people all day.  I don’t even mind the opening shift at 6am.  So if your high schooler or college kid is looking for a fun/ cool job, I would highly recommend a cafe job.  Likewise, even if you are older Starbucks can be a wonderful place to work and grow.



3 thoughts on “Friday Reflection: Life at a Coffee Shop

  1. My first real job was at this store called Restoration Hardware when I was 17 and I loved it too. I always liked working retail (I’m a glutton for punishment) but my job in food service was by far the best working experience I ever had, so I totally get why working at a coffee shop would be fun. I’m actually a little jealous of you working at Starbucks 😉 That’s the kind of place where I’d love to work one or two shifts a week for the discount alone!

  2. I love drooling over everything in Restoration Hardware!

    The discounts and benefits at SB are amazing! I could see myself keeping it as a part time job for those reasons even after I find an office job again. I work with a couple of women who have been with SB 8+ years, THAT alone says a lot about how good it is to work there.

    • What memories we all had at THE Cafe on the Corner! And those awful green pants! LOLWC. That was a fun place to go day or night. I so forgot about you working three jobs during high school! My first “real job” was at Dunkin’ Donuts” It was a 24 hr coffee shop then, pink waitress uniforms (hemmed to just below our butts, haha, dear me!) panty hose, and a little pink half hat that stood up in front! LOL!!!!! Coffee was 10 cents a cup and free refills Donuts were a nickel, and specialty doughnuts were 15 cents. What a long way from today!I too worked the early shift, 6am to 2 pm. It was lots of fun, I went to work with my sister.
      I also remember your wish list for working included: working or owning a coffee shop and/or deli, working as an Architect, and making and selling art work. Well, my dear you have achieved that dream as far as I can see! Dreams do come true!
      Can hardly wait to see you tomorrow!

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