At this coffee shop, the second week I was in Los Angeles, I walked in and asked if they were hiring. It had been a long day and I was tired and honestly just wanted a coffee. The guy behind the counter called my bluff.
“Yes,” he said, “We are hiring. would you like to interview right now?”
I nodded enthusiastically.
“Can you make a latte?” he said. I had ordered a latte. “Then make me one and then make yourself one”. The line was building up behind me. I went back behind the counter and made two lattes. “Can you work tomorrow?” he said.
I only worked there about a month. I wasn’t great at the coffee part
but much better at talking with the customers. but that little job paid my first months rent, got my foot on the rung of the ladder and let me stay in Los Angeles for as long as I did.
I went back there years later, to clear my mind a little, get some normality, some substance, recover some ground. Lo and behold the same guy was behind the counter. He recognized me and laughed to himself and I heard “How you doing these days?” from the far right corner of the place; the cook asked, this short Nicaraguan woman with a ten gallon smile.
“I'm good,” I replied “Theres lots to think about”. The guy behind the counter gave me my coffee.
“You were a bad employee, your mind was always somewhere else”, he said, “Always looking out the window”.
He rang me up for a dollar for a four dollar coffee.
“Not that that was a bad thing”, he continued “Not a bad thing at all”.