A Dinosaur Selling Lattes

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)I used to joke that my goal in life was to be the world’s oldest living barista. But now? It’s not so much of a joke and it’s not quite so funny, because I might be quickly approaching that status.

My job at a global coffee company is the longest I’ve worked anywhere. I’ve been at my present location for three years. Because I usually work morning shifts I know almost every regular customer by name. I know their usual drink if they have one, including every nuance. Extra hot, light whipped cream, or three pumps of syrup.  I know whether they’ll be buying breakfast. Butter? Cream cheese? Siracha sauce? Sandwich cut in half? Got it. I’m just not sure if me knowing all of these details is a good thing or a bad thing.

I may not remember what I walked into another room for or where I put my glasses, but I know John will get three shots of espresso over ice in a tall cup every single time he comes in. That I can remember.

I know this job was never intended for people my age. Well, then the company shouldn’t have spoiled me. If I didn’t need affordable health insurance, if I thought I could go back to sitting behind a desk from 8-5, if I wasn’t staring Social Security eligibility in the face, maybe I’d look for employment elsewhere. I was actually surprised when I was hired. I thought I was too old.

There was a time when the thought of still being in this job for this long nearly sent me spiraling into a dark depression. If I was still here it meant my writing career must have gone nowhere and I hadn’t achieved bestseller status or anywhere close to it. I have seriously considered quitting the barista gig on more than one occasion. I’ve outlasted nearly every store, district and regional manager I’ve ever had and watched coworkers come and go. I guess there’s a reason I remain and sometimes I’m convinced that reason is God.It is said that God has a plan. And when you don’t get what you want, it’s because God has something better in store for you. But at the time, you just can’t see it. You may, indeed, never see it. Or you may, like me, get a glimpse of it. If I’d quit those few times, how could I set myself up as “Barista by Day/Romance Novelist by Night”? Which, frankly, at the moment, seems to be working for me. I’m just sorry it took me so long to put that spin on what I do and use it as a potential marketing angle. But again, God’s inspiration arrives on God’s schedule not mine.

dinosaur-14543I was just interviewed by the local paper for a Sunday feature article. They sent a photographer to take pictures of me with my books at work. Do you know how long I’ve been trying to get any mention in the local papers in the places I’ve lived? A story on a romance novelist? the editors seemed to say, I don’t think so.

They say you need a marketing platform to sell anything, including romance novels. A twist. Something to snag attention. A dinosaur selling lattes? Hey, it works for me.

#marketing #books #dinosaurs #coffee #tobeapartner