A Barista’s Guide To Traumatizing Small Children (Without Really Trying)

As most of you know, a few weeks ago, we left Vancouver to visit my hometown of Smithers, in the wake of our miscarriage.

As most of you may also know, after that vacation, I left a cryptic post here.

Or maybe you’re one of those lucky people who have had quite the vacation-full, Internet-less summer. Are there people out there still fine with that? Saints preserve us.

So I’m here to finally decode the crypt.

I moved. Back home, to Smithers, approximately 5 days ago. Without my husband. *le sob*

Let me back up.

Obviously, our summer was crappy. But Smithers has ALWAYS been our eventual destination, for having kids and maybe money and a house. (Vancouver, you do us no favours.) It was just a matter of when.

So when we visited Smithers and heard about the current economic boom it’s experiencing, as well as witnessed many “Help Wanted” signs posted in windows (bless the quaint-ness!), we decided to toss our fishing rod out there in the form of a resume and see what took a bite.

Long story short, I am a barista again! In a Safeway! In the only Starbucks present in a town of 5,000+ people!

2014-08-28 16.23.39

* has no idea how to make your Pumpkin Spice Latte*

Gosh, I feel so corporate. I’m part of a union now. I have other foreign words like benefits and direct deposit and Training Against the Success of Shoplifters.

Soooo….you’re saying I CANNOT take this action?

You know what I do not have? A nose ring. Again.

Four years ago, I briefly dated someone who was, shall we say, an uber conservative Baptist boy who was training up to go be a missionary in Africa – complete with a backpack full of pressed cotton shirts, pants, pamphlets and Bibles. People asked me more than once: “Is he Mormon or JW?”

He was not amused by the nose ring. So, like the lovesick fool I was, I took it out.

The day after we broke up, I found the hole and re-pierced it with much blood, sweat and tears. It had been healing for 5 months.

Ever since then, I’ve had one butt-ugly little stud permanently attached to my shnoz. I had always kinda figured that my skin had started to seal around the stud inside AND out, but I didn’t realize how much until yesterday.

I already knew that Safeway’s conservative dress code was gonna mess with my jam – no piercings, no visible tattoos, no funky hair colours. (Oh, but that cashier in aisle 3 can have a hair-hive higher than Marge Simpson’s! That doesn’t make people stare at ALL.)

But I forgot about my nose-ring until yesterday afternoon, just before my orientation was due to start. I had double-checked everything: black pants, black shoes, SIN card, void check. I was good.

Nope nope nope. Not good.

I had just sat down in the cafe area, enjoying my Blackberry Mojito Iced Tea in my brand-new mug from Steven,

2014-08-26 13.07.32-2

Isn’t it purty and culturally appropriate?

when I realized that I was about to get called in at any minute, and there was still a highly offensive piece of jewelry defacing my…face.

So, as discreetly as I could, I started twisting and pulling at the tiny metal bit.

It did not go well.





It is stuck. I give up.

Half way through, like Pooh Bear after eating too much honey.

It could neither come out, nor go back in. I gave myself a break, because I was starting to sweat. I needed a sip of tea.

I looked up, and saw a family of 4 small children staring at me intently, eyes wide.

Was she picking her nose? Why is she crying?

I took a sip of the tea and promptly swallowed it too fast, causing me to start choking and coughing like a sailor on his first day at sea.

“Are you okay?” said the mother of the 4 traumatized ones.

“I’m *cough choke* fine! Just *choke* went down *cough* the wrong *gag* tube!”

She couldn’t help asking, it was programmed in her now, she said.

A couple moments later, a very brisk (but ultimately nice) Customer Service Manager came to pick me up for orientation, along with one other young man who was training for Night Crew. She gave me until the next time I arrived for work to bring the nose ring to full completion away from my face.

We spent the next 4 hours together in a backroom with paperwork and educational videos, as well as a tour around the store for things I’ll never need.

She left us alone at a computer with no speakers for the video part of the training. I now know why.

1. ) You can barely hear anything. Because no speakers.

2.) They are gen-yoo-wine made-in-the-80s godawful. If you’ve ever gotten your Food Safe Training and seen those videos, these are pretty much the same, but with worse actors and less vomit.

There were 3 modules for Shoplifting and 12 modules for Hazardous Chemicals used in the work place. There were quizzes for each module, to make sure you’d been paying attention to the videos you couldn’t hear. And every time there was printed information instead of a video, Night Crew Boy next to me mouthed every. single. word. on the screen along with the woman’s robot voice. Maybe his superpower is memorization through his tongue? That would be cool. No, weird. Cool. Weird. Wool.

I was so bored by the 9th module that I started pulling on my stubborn stud once again. After a few minutes, it came out. I (and small children everywhere) rejoiced.

And that’s basically all I’ve done with my new life so far, besides search high and low for rentals that are still available for us Buttons to live in once Steve gets here. My actual training for actual Starbucks begins tomorrow at 9:30am. I already have high hopes that I’m going to have no clue what the f*ck is going on.

So I’m just gonna sit here in my cupcake onesie until then.


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