Zero out of ten for my latte. Ten out of ten for the latte pictured here.

“I kid you not, I got a zero out of ten for my latte,” I said.

“WTF?” asked my friend.

“WTF indeed,” I said.

I fancied myself as a barista after my stint at a coffee shop in Toronto. I let the head barista know that I worked at a North American coffee shop chain, despite this my new manager was appalled with my latte and quickly adjusted my one out of ten latte rating to zero out of ten. I wanted the floor to open and swallow me up.

“I’m great with people!” I said quickly and with a massive smile. And proceeded to work the coffee shop floor, waitressing, serving people, trying my best to be efficient, charming and funny. What on earth was I thinking, putting down “Experienced barista” on my resume. 6 months at a coffee shop 2 years ago in Canada does not qualify me for a barista position in Australia’s cappuccino capital Melbourne.

“Here, use this cloth. My Mum hates it when people use tea towels cos they get really dirty” said the owner’s 10 year old daughter as I wiped down tables with a tea towel. I had 2 choices, feel cranky with the well-meaning girl or thank her. I thanked her! She was a gem and helping me. I must have looked a mess. This was different to managing advertising campaigns!

Despite my poor latte rating, I managed to work my booty off, wiping down tables, negotiating cranky and hungry customers, my impatient new team mates and got the job as a waitress. The food was fabulous and I loved the trays of fresh, ripe avocadoes and mushrooms and the smell of dark, rich lattes, mochas and cappuccinos (which I did not make) and I am grateful to my lovely new boss and her sweetheart of a daughter for my new part-time job!

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