training, training, training, eating and sleeping, training

Well, although I was enjoying learning how to roast coffee, or at least figuring out what roasting actually means…I need to step down for a while and train a whole third of the store.
Ritual is the BIGGEST, BUSIEST 3W (yes, i said it, though I am a hater) shop in the land. We have a staff of almost 30 people and I have to train a third of this. insane. needless to say I am really really busy, and still pulling three shifts a week on bar to “keep it real” as my friend Larson would say. It;s good to remain on the bar so I know what needs to be included in the training.
I have never done training before, not officially anyway. It’s a challenge. A real challenge when you have a limited amount of time (we are only closed for 6 hours out of every day) and a super high volume shop with QUALITY as a top priority. Don’t get me wrong, I feel lucky that I am in coffee and I get to talk about coffee all the time, and train people on how to respect not only coffee, but the barista gig, but damn, motivating others is tough!
I am learning a whole lot about myself. Mostly, how neurotic I am when it comes to bar maintenance, and how tough it is to find those few people that you know you can trust on that machine, with that pitcher on that bar any day of the week. Some people get it man, and others just don’t.There is a fluidity and a rhythm with some folks that is totally innate and with others a little TLC and training can get them close enough to be awesome baristas. But the one thing I have learned is that this shit takes TIME. You can teach milk texture, you can teach shot pulling, you can teach flow…but man, all it takes is time and support and someone being patient and BOOM!! 3 months later it all clicks.
My responsibility is a big one, but an exciting one because I think through training, I am learning a lot about myself and about how I REALLY feel about coffee. I know nothing. I really don’t. I am such a fucking NOVICE. Straight up. I just hope I inspire others to take pride in what they do, and to take the coffee seriously even at the cost of their ego or preconceived notions about themselves and the craft.
leave the ego at the door. don’t be afraid to ask questions. don’t be afraid to question yourself. don’t be afraid to be wrong. so long as you keep trying, remembering, trying again and figuring stuff out, you will be fine. The greatest thing I have learned is to not be afraid to ask questions, because eventually you will gather up a hefty list of answers.
Also, if you figure something out, and believe in it totally…stick to it, this is how you get respect and people will flock. Don’t be afraid baristas! roasters! do the right thing for the right reasons!!!

whoa, that took a weird turn at the end there.

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~ by Me on April 9, 2007.

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