I Went To An Orientation For A Coffee Shop

I’ve always kind of secretly wanted to work at a coffee shop, to learn to make really good coffee.

I currently use a French Press, which was the easiest and closest I could get to that at the same time. I prefer the french press because I like my coffee stronger and more flavorful. Paper filters filter out some of the oils that I’ve grown to like in coffee, and french presses don’t use paper filters. But, from what I can tell about all the different coffee shops around Louisville, there are lots of different ways to prepare coffee. There are also lots of ways to use paper filters to the coffee lover’s advantage. I think I get to learn a lot of those other interesting coffee brewing methods now that I got a job working at a local coffee shop down the street.

The local coffee shop is one of the largest local coffee shops in town.

While I’ve decided not to mention the name of the company in my blog, there’s no way to even really hide which company it is if you’ve ever been to the Louisville, KY area. I’ve looked for a social media policy and can’t seem to find one. So, I don’t think they have problems with bloggers blogging about their days at work. I just know I can’t share the exact brewing methods or share any private business information, because that makes complete and total sense to me. I will say, though, that I was really surprised at how nice and professional everyone at orientation was, including the heads of the company. Everyone at my location seems really nice and chatty, too. No looks like they hate their job, which is super interesting to me.

My shifts so far seem like they’ll be short, which is nice. My boyfriend will hate it because I’m not making a full time wage anymore, but he will just have to deal with that until I get some writer-like or editor-like income things going. That’s the whole point of working at a coffee shop for me: to have time to do what I went to college to do. Find ways to make money with my writing habits.

I’m now the stereotypical writer who works in a coffee shop.

I’m fine with this. Initially, I wanted to push back against this, but I am a writer and I do work at a coffee shop. Of course I’m applying for other full time positions in various educational or administrative settings. I have a college degree. But, if I don’t get one of those right away, this is fine. I don’t think I’m going to hate working at a coffee shop. I have a good feeling about this. I don’t know why, but I do. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ll get to drink a lot of coffee now. Maybe it’s because getting to work is going to be so much easier that it was when I was working at that other place. Or maybe I’m wrong. I can’t wait to find out.

At orientation, we learned about the history of the company.

And it’s super interesting. Of course, I can’t tell you any of it without confessing what the company is. But it’s something like a guy and another guy, and one of them had these ideas, and the other one had ideas too. Then they worked together and now there’s a company and they still serve coffee where they always have, plus in more places. It’s like, hard work really does pay off. I think I just mostly admire the fact that it was the first time I was talked to by company leaders that made me feel like a human being and that I can do a good job. That’s such a rare thing. Not that I typically need told that I’m doing a good job or anything. I just sort of kind of want money. As long as I get that and don’t get in trouble, I assume I’m doing fine. Fine is subjective and there’s always room for improvement, I know.

Over the weekend, I went to a few of the shops.

I’ve been to some of them before, but I’d never been to the location I work at before. I went to that one and introduced myself to everyone that was there, trying to be social. I also watched them use equipment for a few minutes from where I was sitting as best I could. I re-read up on the espresso basics in the pdf’s the company sent me. It doesn’t seem hard, it just seems like there are a lot of steps. Like cooking, I guess. Or baking. Baking a pie isn’t hard, there are just a lot of steps. It’s going to be tricky. But I can deal with tricky, especially now that my coffee budget just got amazing. So much free coffee, discounts on expensive drinks, free bags of coffee to take home and practice my brewing, it’s like I have a rich best friend who just keeps buying me coffee, and that rich best friend keeps giving me money, too.

And that’s how I’m going to treat working at the coffee shop, like a rich best friend who keeps buying me coffee and giving me money.

I’m treating this job this way mostly because I’ve always wanted a rich best friend who buys me things and gives me money. But, I also figure that I do things for my friends at home all the time anyway, like make coffee. And the coffee shop and I will be hanging out like all the time because I’ll be there a lot. I’ll probably even be there on days I’m off work because I’ll want free coffee. So, I have a new best friend and he’s rich and he buys me coffee and gives me money every day.

I really do think this is going to work out, at least for a little bit. As long as I can write and edit the lit mag and go to the occasional literary reading and creative writing event. Can’t stress that enough. I should probably go ahead and request off for Writer’s Block here in Louisville this year. It’s at the end of October.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get my rich best friend to buy me a cup of coffee down the street. It’s my last day off before I have to start actually working at a new job.

Do you have a rich friend who buys you coffee and gives you money all the time? Leave me a comment below and tell me about him. Oh, you know what could also be fun? Let’s compare our rich best friends. Mine is from Louisville, born and raised. He’s a little all over the place.

You can also contact me via my contact page for business inquiries.

My social media:

Twitter: twitter.com/ericshayhoward

Facebook: facebook.com/ericshayhoward

Instagram: Instagram.com/ericshayhoward

to-go cup of coffee from a coffee shop under sunlight

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He's the author of the fiction collection, Crushes, and is a literary editor. He also works at a law firm and is writing his second book. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University.


  1. Eric, Think of all of the great people-watching you can do there too! Keep writing!!

    1. Ah, yes! People watching before and after while drinking my coffee!
      edit: and during, I forgot during. Wow.

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