Barista to Beerista

It was a normal morning at the IHB Coffee Stand (please take a moment of silence to remember the beloved stand). I arrived to work at around 5:30 a.m. in the middle of winter after an night’s snow dump.

It was my job to open up the coffee stand and part of that routine was going outside to put the “OPEN” sign up. After placing the sign and attempting to get back inside the stand, my heart dropped. The door and side windows were shut and locked. “Good thing you brought your keys, phone, and winter coat with you, Aimee,” I muttered sarcastically to myself.

Yup… I was stuck outside, hoping that a customer would come so I could borrow their phone yet hoping no one would come so I could save myself the embarrassment. The coffee stand resides outside the IHB production facility so you may be thinking, “Aimee, why didn’t you just go inside and ask for a key.” However, because it was so early, no one was there. So I did the inevitable. I approached a truck driver in the lot next to ours. I explained my shameful situation and I asked to borrow his phone. But there was another problem, I had no one’s number memorized that I needed to contact. Thankfully, the truck driver let me run his phone back to the window and call my manager’s number that was posted inside.

No one answered… Understandable, since it was about 6 a.m., I probably wouldn’t either. So I had to give the man his phone back and stand out in the snow until a light bulb came on. There is a front window on the coffee stand, though it’s slightly high up. Maybe, just maybe, it would be unlocked and I could climb in. If that didn’t work, I was going to break in (sorry Greg, I thought about it). Fortunately, the window was unlocked. Because it is high up, I had to jump up, move everything that was in the window, and no joke, fall backwards into the coffee stand. I wish I had it recorded, it was one of my more graceful moments. To my detriment though, I’m sure some by passers-by on the road thought I was trying to steal a $3 cup of joe. But I got in and counted it as a win.

Aimee—1. Coffee stand—0.

Let me clarify some things. The coffee stand is now in the ownership of Esspressbros. They were informed to keep the front window locked at all times. Extra keys have been made. Employee phone numbers have been taken down from public sight. I no longer can be found as a barista, but a beerista at the pub.

As a beerista, I don’t have to be a morning person. As a beerista, I get to see most of my coffee customers let their wild side out. As a beerista, I get to learn and share with people about the art of craft beer. And as a beerista, I don’t work alone, so if I lock myself out, there will be people present to make fun of my idiocy.

Coffee and beer are my two life coaches… Coffee is the type of coach to give me a pat on the butt saying, “You can do it!” Then beer is over here giving me a pat on the back saying, “You’ll get ‘em tomorrow, kid.” Let’s just say that the night I locked myself outside of the coffee stand, I did have a beer.


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