drip, drip, drip goes my brain

Be forewarned. I’m incoherent and loopy, babbly and jetlagged — and with no travel to show for it!

Here’s the lowdown:

I arrive at the espresso stand promptly at 6.30 a.m. After a few nights of radical shiftings in sleep, I'm hardly at my best (plus the health's taken a beating) but I am there, willing, able and eager to learn. Chris, the woman training me, is very nice — approachable, calm, mellow, grounded and competent.

There's tons to learn, from opening procedures at 6.30 a.m. to closings at 3 p.m. and everything in between. It's a solo espresso stand so all the more important to be trained well. Mostly I observe, listen, learn and ask questions and get in a little practice making the coffee drinks. Fun!

The crowds come in waves and not too badly, it's Monday, their slow day. Plenty of regulars who stop to buy and chat. Observing the friendly interactions between them and Chris, I think: "Oh yeah, I'll dig this, my kinda gig."

One drawback is that weekly hours total around 27. Not enough to live on. If I'm brought aboard (today's only a trial run), I'll need to combine with a second job and that's no easy task in this fucked-up economy.

I do pick up a handful of procedures in the coffee and till. At 8.45 a.m. a wave hits as workers arrive at their jobs. Glancing at the clock, I turn to Chris and comment, "Feels weird that we've already put in 2-1/2 hours as others are just beginning their day."

By 10.30, the early rise and days of sleep deprivation are catching up with me. I'm feeling spacey, zonked and in that state where you're so overly tired yet buzzy and you can't sleep. My brain's going drip, drip, drip, the speed of information processing is declined and fuzzy. I sure hope no one asks my name 'cause I'll need to check my license.  I've definitely hit a wall and there's still half a day to go. I soldier onward because it's what I do.

Pushing toward noon and a call arrives from the boss at the other location. She wants me to swing in to hear how it's going.

I do, we chat. I say it's going well, that of course there's lots to learn and practice. In other words, a totally normal first day at a job.

I knew she was in a pinch but what I didn't know is that she's needing someone who can run the stand from opening to close beginning Wednesday — as in in two days.
Seems like needing a lot, even from someone with barista experience. Better had gotten someone hired and trained last week but oh well.

She's a nice lady and after listening to my input says she'll talk to Chris, then let me know tonight whether to come in again tomorrow.

I already know the answer's no because no way will I have the skills or preparations to run the stand on my own.

I broach the topic of pay, which we hadn't discussed, and my hunch is confirmed: This was an unpaid trial run. Were I to be brought aboard, then today's 5-1/2 hours would be covered.

I chalk it up as a learning experience. I'm grateful she gave it a shot and for the chance to moisten the fingertips a smidge in the barista business.

So it's back to the job hunt, but not before getting health and balance restored and for a few days, starting as of now, 4.21 p.m., making like this famous fella:

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