Experts say that in years to come, everyone will have four or five careers … and each one will pay less than the last one.
I recently met a woman who seemed to confirm this prediction. She had been a real estate broker, a PR guru, a chef, a dancer and now she was going to serve subs at Subway or maybe she was commissioned to serve on a sub. I can’t remember which.
I, myself, have gone through six careers: construction worker, factory worker, unemployed worker, teacher, newspaperman and PR grunt. I figure I have one or two left in me.
For my final performance in the workplace, I want to be a barista. For those of you who aren’t hip enough to know what a barista is, it’s someone — usually a human being, although it could be a robot — who makes beverages at joints like Starbucks, where coffee costs as much as a Porterhouse steak at Sparks Steak House, including baked potato and salad.
To tell the truth, I prefer tea to coffee because medical studies suggest green tea is an antioxidant elixir that will keep Baby Boomers hobbling along into their centennial years and further. However, I suspect that research may be fake science promoted by tea manufacturers.
I begin my day by brewing two cups of java for me and my wife, who waits patiently for me to serve her in bed and deliver a canine biscotti for the dog.
In nine months, I went through three different coffee pots until I settled on one that’s a min-replica of what they use in Starbucks. It’s a Ninja coffee maker with all sorts of attachments for lattes and mixed-blended espresso beverages. I hate reading directions so I do a lot of hit-or-miss brewing, and I strive to tailor my drinks to a person’s individual tastes.
My wife likes unsweetened half-and-half, while I prefer an artificially flavored coffee creamer that suspiciously resembles substances manufactured by Dow Chemical. I’m not really sure what it is, although it comes in several enchanting flavors like Italian cream, French vanilla, Mexican pepita and German bratwurst.
The amazing thing is these miracle creamers have expiration dates that last well into the next decade. I don’t know why and I don’t want to know how. I also avoid reading the ingredients, which I can’t pronounce, and that’s never a good thing.
No other food substance or mystery product, imported from another country or planet, has such a long shelf life except for Pepto-Bismol. It’s truly a miracle of modern food manufacturing. Plus, it tastes better than Pepto-Bismol. Fake cream, you see, is as satisfying as fake news and fake science.
At one point, Sandy got annoyed because I was experimenting with my brewing techniques, and she demanded that I make her instant coffee instead. This request was the ultimate insult for a man of my talents. What will the Starbucks Human Resources director say when she reviews my employment application and discovers my last job title was Chief Brewer of Folgers Crystals? That would be a career ender even before my career began.
I perform many tasks as barista-in-training, and I pride myself on my multitasking skills, which will be a valuable asset at Starbucks and could earn me Employee of the Month. For example, while I’m brewing coffee, I’m also emptying the dehumidifier, paying bills and giving the dog fresh water. I’m not allowed to serve her tap water because it contains too many impurities, not to mention fluoride. I also brush and floss her teeth after she eats her biscotti, which is a service I will gladly perform for you if Starbucks hires me. You can never have enough dental hygiene and you want to avoid coffee breath.
In keeping with the house rules, I give the dog slightly chilled Brita filtered water or non-carbonated Poland Spring water because I don’t want to promote canine flatulence. This won’t be one of my job responsibilities at Starbucks because I’ll be cleaning the johns.
I’m pretty excited about my next career. Just call me Morning Joe or Barista Joe — at your service. Macchiatos for men and macchiatas for women. Would you like a dog biscotti?
Joe Pisani can be reached at [email protected]