Trained barista needed

Trained Barista Needed. This sign, which I saw outside three Leeds coffee shops, will signify for some the plight of the worker in modern Britain.

These people will argue that it is a sad state of affairs to see the mantra ‘you need experience to get a job, and a job to get experience’ reach even the lowest echelons of the job market. They will point out that whilst the work ethic of employees is constantly scrutinized, employers can get away with having so little that they won’t even invest in one week of training in order to teach someone to make coffee.

But not me. I know the truth of the matter. For how could a coffee shop possibly survive without every staff member operating with the wisdom gleaned from years of experience in the noble art of frothing? To employ just one new individual would be chaos.

It would start with little mistakes. ‘Would you like a cake of slice with that, madam?’ Innocent enough. But before long barista’s would be serving coffee in their own cupped hands. Next, members of the public would be lost for days in a fog of cappuccino foam produced by an over-zealous new starter.

Spillages would block all exits because the newest team member doesn’t know where the mop is. Staff and customers alike will be trapped inside for months. As those months become years, they would begin trading beans as currency. Entire generations will grow old and die within those four, beige walls.

One day, years from now, the Panini machine will explode because someone new didn’t turn it off. The blast will create an escape. But they will not run for freedom. Instead, chairs will be broken down and fashioned into planks by the inmates, as they peer out, terrified, into a world they no longer recognise.

The hole will be boarded up, and soon they will starve because the new girl didn’t restock the fridge. Once their bodies have decomposed and all the machines have rusted, a man will happen upon this building. What a great spot to serve future coffee, he will think, before questioning why he called it future coffee when he himself is from the future.

Breaking down the boards, he will see the bones and beans scattered across the floor. And he will know. He will know what had happened, and he will devise a means to make sure it never happens again. A sign perhaps – a sign that reads: Trained Barista Needed.

Bradley Young

Photo credit: Pixabay