Mom, over the holidays you did that thing again. Aunt Jane asked me what I’ve been up to, and you made an off-handed comment about how I’m still just a barista. Listen, I’m a professional barista and it’s a profession that I’m super proud of. It’s challenging, exciting, weird, and the longer I’m at it, the more I feel like this path is right for me.
Now that most coffee companies offer benefits (mine gives me health and dental for my family, monthly massages and acupuncture, and a week of paid vacation) it feels more and more like a real career.
Here’s six solid reasons why I’m proud to be a barista and ain’t never gonna change.
1. I make more money than most creatives out there.
I don’t want to rub it in, but with my hourly wage and tips, my take-home is totally livable. It kind of sucks that I rely on tips to make that a reality, and it’d be way cooler if I lived in Australia and my hourly wages took care of me. But mom, like, I’m doing a lot better than my best friend with the student loans. Trust.
2. The hours gives me time to go to the gym and run errands during the day.
I can go to museums at 11AM on a Tuesday and cruise the halls alone. I can go to the post office when there’s nary a soul in line. A cinema matinee on a Thursday is incredible. Trader Joe’s on the weekend is for suckers.
3. With my skills I can basically work at any cafe around the world.
Incredible coffee bars aren’t just in like, Portland or Seattle or whatever. TIMES CHANGE MOM. These days my professional coffee skillz could get me work in any number of cultural capitals around the world. London‘s got a lot more than a spot of tea, Melbourne is super trendy and hip, Wellington is like a Portland that Americans haven’t mucked up yet, and now there’s even great coffee in cities like Paris, Istanbul, and Amsterdam. Maybe you’ll wind up with a Finnish son-in-law or meet my new best coffee friends from Poland. That’s just how I roll now.
4. When I clock out, my job brain turns off.
Micromanaging your email task queue and working on a Friday night? Not me, friendo–I clocked out at 2pm and could give zero fucks about anything responsible until tomorrow’s shift starts. Oh, and I’ve got tip cash in my pocket, so I’m going to buy a $20 magazine and go to the bar. The bartender is one of my regulars and she’s pouring extra generous tonight.
5. I get to be social and listen to music.
Apply for a graduate program? Go to law school? You people have carpet on your hearts. My job is wild and free, and I get to listen to incredible new music and meet fascinating new people as part of my daily work. My regulars include acclaimed chefs, notable locals, talented creatives and all manner of delightful weirdos, because I work in a good coffee shop and that’s who hangs out here.
6. I’m not killing myself by sitting all day.
Science says my stand-up lifestyle will keep me going well into my 120s, which is a good thing because my otherwise cool-as cafe doesn’t offer a competitive retirement program. [Yet.] I might need to be spry and sprightly in my old age to keep this lifestyle going. Whatever.
Sorry for the swears mom, but being a barista is fucking cool.
Inspired by Elite Daily.