Monday, April 12, 2010

Waking Up For Breakfast. Shifts, That is.

When I work breakfast shifts, I know I'm in for a grueling morning. When I work as a barista, I know that even if the restaurant isn't busy, every single costumer we get will order something that I make. Tea, coffee, and the fanciest espresso drinks I can muster. But the hardest part isn't the constant inflow of tickets, the nervous waiters who have to go back and tell there tables that their half-caf cortado isn't ready yet, or the fact that the barista who worked the night before didn't suitably clean the station for me. The hardest part of the job will always be getting there on time.

This morning, as ever on the hunt for quick easy money, I'm working a private breakfast event on the promise of $200. That seems strangely high for bussing tables, restocking fresh coffee, carrying trays of freshly baked pastry, and staying out of customers' way until they need me to pick up their dirty fork. But Monday morning breakfast event, here I come! Only 4 hours of work stand between me and my glorious 2 day end-of-week. No work for me till Thursday at 9 AM.

I need to be cheerful this fine morning, and I'm due in at 7:30 AM. Even this is a half hour later than when I used to come in to do opening morning shifts as a barista. Positively civil. But, as always, the single hardest part is waking up and getting out the door.

Here's how it's done.

Night before: Set alarm. Brush teeth. Double check alarm is set. Lights off. Play some soothing music, maybe a nice audiobook. Lie down. Sit up. Triple check alarm is set. Do your best to fall asleep as soon as possible because...

5:30 AM : BEEP BEEP BEEP. Turn off alarm. Make sure to hit snooze in case you don't really wake up. Let your eyes acknowledge it's still dark out.
5:45 AM : SHIT! Run to the bathroom, wash your face, make yourself look like you slept for days.
(I recommend blush, concealer, mascara and a little highlighter under the brow bone, ladies. No time? Do it on the subway. But get that done and your co-workers will think you're a "morning person.")
5:55 AM : OK. Breathe. There is time to make a turkey sandwich, since you won't be getting any sort of lunch break or meal until shift is over at 4, and turkey sandwiches are easy to stash and munch. Grab yogurt from fridge, which you should force yourself to eat on the subway ride.
6:00 AM: Must. Move. Faster. Get dressed. Look the part.
6:15 AM: You should be on the subway platform by now. Because the trains to get you out of Brooklyn are erratic this early and if you miss the 6:22 you are guaranteed to be late.
7:00 AM: You've clocked in, so make yourself a latte to nurse as you set up your station and get to work.

Wake up accidentally at 7:30? Text the supervisor ASAP. Train delayed? Get off as soon as you are in Manhattan and get in a cab and suck it up. And text the supervisor. Late without a good excuse? Make one up, and then make the supervisor the most delicious fully fatted triple shot mocha he has ever had. And make something nice for Chef too. Just in case.

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