A New Employee Handbook

Congratulations on being hired at your local coffee shop!

This handy list of tips and tricks will unequivocally prepare you for the trials and tribulations of a part-time barista. 

  1. You have the uniform choice of a bulky apron or a too-big tee shirt, both of which will make you look extremely overweight and unattractive. 
  2. Don’t bother introducing yourself to the other employees. They don’t know your name, and they don’t care to remember it. 
  3. It’s pretty darn close to impossible to carry five cups at once without spilling them. Better off not trying it. 
  4. When you do try it anyway, make sure not to scream when you spill boiling liquid all over your forearms. 
  5. If you need to cry, do it in the back room, but be quiet about it. 
  6. Be nice to the customers, even when they’re not nice to you. 
  7. Be nice to the lady who throws coins at you across the counter in lieu of a tip. 
  8. Be nice to the man who calls you an idiot when you slice his pastry “the wrong way”. 
  9. Be nice to the men who seem just a little too interested in where you go to high school and what street you live on.
  10. Be especially nice to the people that ignore the presence of the toilet and empty their bowels all over the bathroom tile. 
  11. Clean up the poop that’s smeared all over the bathroom tile.
  12. Don’t write in “crazy bitch” on the order ticket, even if the customer really is one. 
  13.  If the managers tell you to throw away the unsold food at the end of the day, pack it up and bring it home to your family. 
  14. If a homeless man stops you while you’re walking home with your loot and tells you he’s hungry, give him the whole bag. 
  15. When you apply to college next year, make sure you put this job on your resume. Tell the interviewer all about the leadership experience you gained, and what an incredible opportunity it was to work here. 
  16. Get a new job immediately and don’t look back.



Julia Beecher is a college student from Cambridge, Massachusetts realizing her kindergarten dream of becoming a writer. Her work has been featured or is upcoming in Misery Tourism, The Daily Drunk, Serotonin, Entropy Magazine, and others. Send her fan mail (or hate mail) on Twitter: @JuliaBeecher.

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