Thursday, May 31, 2012

Special barista friend?



Now, I've got to ask:  is there a more awkward relationship than the one between you and your barista?

I mean, it's not like your hairdresser or dentist.  It's someone you see on a regular basis - once, twice a week, maybe more.  You know some personal information, but not enough to call them a friend, or even an acquaintance.  Wait - what do you call them?

My regular barista-guy used to work with my sister-in-law, so I've seen him a handful of times outside the coffeeshop.  When I worked as a sever, he came to my restaurant once and we hung out after my shift; he drove me home because I rode my bike and it was raining.  What do you call your relationship with someone like that?  A friend of a friend, but less of an friend and more of an acquaintance?

Part of my awkwardness around this subject is my lack of interest in small talk.  I'm not good at it, and I don't really care to be.  But it's required in situations like this, so I'm left just feeling silly.

Am I over-thinking this, or do you think it's all kind of weird too?

6 comments:

  1. Having been a barista for 5 years, I would say it is more than possible to be a friend with your barista. I had customers give me gifts when I went on maternity leave...even customers I didn't think I was very close with. That being said, the "relationship" is what you want it to be. We had daily customers that wanted to talk about no more than the weather and their drink. We had other customers who would stand at the end of the bar and tell us their life story. Its totally and completely up to you and what you want it to be. Just play on your phone or don't stand at the end of the bar if you don't want to engage in small talk...cause if you were standing there, more than likely the barista will want to talk.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All those relationships are awkward to me... The hairdresser has your appearance for the next couple months in her hands so you gotta not distract him/her or pick bad topics. The last person that cut my hair stopped cutting every time she talked and I was in a rush so I just stopped talking to her which was super weird.
    I also feel a very strong loyalty to my favorite hairdresser which makes me feel like I just started an open relationship when I go somewhere else (cuz she's so far away).
    I used to be a barista and I ended up staying in touch with a lot of people when I left. The worst is when you have a regular barista who doesn't like you. Definitely the worst.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a barista too, and I totally agree with Jessica. Some customers are completely open about their business, and it's funny to know as many details as we do. And some, we hardly know their names though they stop in every day.
    All of those small-talk relationships tend to be awkward if you let them.....I don't think I answered your question, but that's how a barista feels about it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for all the baristas who replied. I'm sure it is more awkward for me than it is for them. I remember being a server, or working in customer service in general, and getting all different kinds of people. It didn't phase me whether they talked or not, so I don't know why I get so hung up on it.

      Delete
  4. I'm with you- I really never know what to say, so I just stand there like a fool unless they talk to me first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

      Delete