Monday, October 01, 2012

barista, cupcakes and suzuki swift

THIS belongs to cheryna! ;-) by cheryna_27

Few years ago...

"Are you sure you want to do this, Sha?" She asked me with a frown.

"Very," I answered with confidence.

She smiled. I used to see that smile given freely to everyone. At that moment, I was sure that it was just for me. Definitely.The documents were held in a sure hand, but the emotions of the person who was holding it was definitely shaky.

"You have a degree. Years of experience..." she flip the papers.

" the food industry. You don't have to send me for typhoid. Here, doctor's letter is stating another year to go," I quickly advised her.

Her grin became wider.

"You have thought of everything, don't you?" she asked incredulously.

"I did, love. I did," I grinned back.

I wished with all my heart that she won't be able to see what was there in my eyes. The tears had just dried. I put on some concealer beneath my eyes. I rarely used make up but that day, it was all that I need. Along with all the luck.

"You were one of our customers. Our favourite!" she exclaimed.
"I came almost everyday," I replied.
"You went for our coffee appreciation and coffee tasting too," she commented.
"You bought our products."
"Of course."
"You knew our people."
"They were good people."
"Were you a satisfied customer?" she smiled meaningfully.
"My attendance was the prove," I provided the same meaningful smile.
"Is there anything that you have not tried yet?" 
"Black Tea."
"We don't have it here," she commented.
"I know."
"Your favourite?"
"Tea, coffee, cream, chocolate or juice?" I smiled while I asked that.

She laughed. The sound was loud, most of the customers were looking with wonder.

"Americano.No sugar added."
"What?!" She exclaimed.

"You heard me. It was a substitute of espresso since espresso was damn small and I wanted to bring my coffee to work," I replied with the right facts. And honesty.

"Green tea latte or the Frappucino. No Tazo. I tried all," I wished that would impress her.
"You don't like whipped cream either," she commented.
"Dislike with understanding that most people like it," I looked into her eyes and smiled.
"Plain. With hazelnut syrup."
"With hazelnut as well."

She looked at me again. This time with a sad smile on her face. The she sighed.

"You As a customer. How would you feel when you have to take orders from them? It's not going to be like before, Sha. You're going to carry a broom and not a laptop. You're going to wear black t-shirt with green apron. No more Sommerset Bay's skirts," she said.

"They knew me and how would they feel about giving orders to a former customer. It might be fun," I answered with sincerity.

" might have to be patient...with us. As colleagues."
"I have been patient as a customer. That was an experience to remember."

Several questions asked. I have been there since the opening day. I was there again, for an interview. That interview made me gulped the espresso shots like Kareena Kapoor gulped a tequila. No hesitation in swallowing the bitterness. I knew that coffee was good that way. I learned from this people about the things which made it good.

That was just the beginning of everything. Two days later, I washed the mugs - regardless the size. I shouted "Hello, welcome to Starbucks!" the moment a customer entered the door. I swept the floor. I learned about coffee like nobody's business and after a week, I made the frappucino.

It was not as difficult as prepping my least favourite which was the whipped cream but it needed hygiene and speed. My body was too tired to handle two jobs at that time, but I did it. I finally made it to the handcrafted hot beverages. I mastered all my favourite drinks and I never falter at the sight of myself in green apron.

One day, one of my students came to Starbucks and asked me, "Cikgu kerja sini?"

I swore that was the day when I saw her braces more than I've ever seen it before. Her mouth was gaping and she did not believe me.

"Cikgu, penatlah macam tu! Cikgu balik sekolah tak tido ke?" she asked.
"Saya kerja."
"Cikgu, boyfriend cikgu tak kisah ke?"
"Nak kisah apa?"
"Nanti tak dating, cikgu! Dua kerja mana ada masa pergi dating!"

"Dia sayang saya. Kalau saya rajin usaha, lagi banyak dia sayang saya," I answered with a sweet smile.

"Cikgu, best tak kerja Starbucks? Saya nak jadi barista jugalah!" asked the other girl.

"Best. Sangat best. Tapi awak nak ke sapu lantai, basuh muntah budak ni semua? Barista bukan setakat buat coffee tau."

"Saya nak jadi barista yang buat coffee saja cikgu!" she protested.

"Mana boleh. Dekat US sana, barista kena cuci tandas juga. Kena kira duit. Kadang-kadang lecur kena oven. Macam saya ni," I showed them the scars.

"Susah kan cikgu...saya ingat jadi barista ni glamour," her eyelashes fanned her cheeks.

"Memang glamour. Tengok apron cikgu. Cantik tak?" I skirted with my apron. They nodded happily while I served my own students, whom I taught Add Math in school, their frappucinos.

Few hours ago...

I went to the bank to pay for my Suzuki Swift. There was this very young girl, in her 20s who smiled at me the moment I closed the door.

"Miss, beli cupcakes," she said.

I smiled. I wanted to tell her that I was not taking sugar (unless I craved for it or desperately needed it). But something stopped me and held my lips to form a sincere smile.

"Sekejap dik, saya kena masuk dalam dulu," I told her.

While I was performing the transactions, I wonder why did I told her to wait. Damn, it was not as if I wanted to eat cupcakes! And my team mates are going to be on leave tomorrow!

Somehow, my legs were walking to a table full of cupcakes. I saw colourful cakes, a pink elmo, purple chocolate chips....pretty.

"Miss, ada macam-macam flavour tapi apa kata ambil yang assorted? Mocha, blueberry, vanila dan pisang," she smiled with hope.

"Berapa dik?"
"RM10 untuk empat cupcakes, Miss."

I took the one with pink and purple decorations. Mestilah kan, they were my favourite colours! Then I gave her a piece of RM50 note.

What I saw after that snapped me: She took her own wallet, took out RM10 and RM5 notes to give me back a forty!

I felt a huge lump in my throat. Damn. Damn. Damn.

"Selalu ada sini dik?" I asked carefully.

"Malam aje, Miss. Tapi setiap hari," she was very patient with me, her stupid customer.


"Siang tak bukak Miss. Saya kerja," she replied. There was honesty.

"Dua kerja satu hari?"

She nodded.

Before I left, she asked me, "Itu kereta Miss?"

I smiled.

"Saya suka kereta tu. Satu hari nanti saya pun nak pakai kereta tu."

Nobody knew how badly I wanted to cry at that moment.
Nobody knew how much I wanted to hug her.
Nobody knew how grateful I was for buying the cupcakes.

I did not expect perfection.
I did not expect delicious cake.
But I prayed that she got what she wanted. Because I got what I wanted from the hardship that I went through.

"Kereta ni biasa je dik. Awak rajin, mesti boleh beli lagi bagus dari Suzuki ni."
"Itu kereta idaman saya, Miss. Mesti Miss kerja besar kan, boleh beli kereta tu?"

Aye, I wanted to tell her that Suzuki Swift was just another car on the road. But I did not want to kill her lovely spirit and determination. When I got into the car, I burst into tears. When I reached home, I snapped the picture of my apron and Michael Gates Gill's book.

That was my journey.

p/s: if you do not want other people to insult you job, don't insult others.


boni kacak said...

dua kerja..bukan semua orang mampu berusaha macam tu... saya rasa sebak pulak...

cikzara said...

kak. really inspires me. uhuk. nak nangis!

Neeza Shahril said...

sometimes bila tengok orang jual2 barang ni, kita bukan lah nak beli sangat pun tapi kesian bila tengok dia pusing sana sini orang semua reject. Just imagine kalau kita yang macam tu...

Effy said...

really.. i will respect this person incl U !

MAY said...

**ni link ke sane..

tgk pada nama RAI tu..die bls pertanyaan yg sy tinggalkan di entry die.hehe=)

fiza said...

Nak nangis juga. Respect dgn orang yang buat 2 kerja dalam sehari.

JaSSNaNi said...

alahai.. so touching... :)

Cho Zila said...

akak memang salute dengan orang yang ada inspirasi untuk berjaya ini..

wantie said...

tak pernah pun buat 2 kerja dalam satu masa. dulu masa single teringin jugak. tapi last, tak jadi.

dari mana dorang dapat tenaga ni ek?

zeqzeq z said...

majlis kenduri,
dalam tapai ada gula
dalam agar agar dah tawar. Hebe
dalam basuh mulut caremer msemestinya tawar

Nurul Akmal said...

Alahai sedih plak...

Dee said...


k dee baca pun sedih..still remember masa k dee keje part time lps sekolah kt kilang experience yg x dpt dibelilah kan..then sambung keje kat Baskin Robbins smpi abis study kat ITM..mmg penat tp best...

Dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kengkawan said...

sama cengeng, i pun nangis juga reading this entry

KorN said...

knapa ke entry panjang sangat.. sorry jujur cakap x sempat korn nak bace sebab dah nak balik dari kerja... huhu

Treatntrick Treat and Trick said...

Hats off for allocating your time to put up this post! I really love the last phrases and totally agree with that...

wahida said...

bukan semua org mampu buat mcm ni...ada trainer saya tu, sampai 3 keje dia pulun...respect habis lah!!

Cik Qemm said...

every each of us have our own storyline.

alhamdulillah, for whatever we are know :)

LauraLeia said...

Oh, that was really touching. T___T
We will never know the hardship people go through until we get to know them a little better.

Rapunzeel Cikilolo said...

you have an inspiring story to tell. sangat memerlukan cerita ini di saat aku rasa aku jatuh. thanks :)

Len Inouie said...

Well, I like the last caption.

"if you do not want other people to insult you job, don't insult others"


I was thinking about finding a second job all this while because I find that I am kinda free during night and I never have the chance to do what I wanted to do.. like working in a cake/coffee house or flower shop. Observe more people and all that.

Now you make me more excited to go about that. haha..