I used to work in a small coffee shop owned by a Czech woman named Jana. She was a very friendly, outgoing and..I can't think of a better way to explain it... "free spirit". [She left the Czech Republic in the late 60s to escape the unrest caused by polital upheval. Russian tanks rolled into Prague on August 21st, 1968; this Friday marks the 41st anniversary.]
She moved to the US, got a library card and read books on starting your own business, the history of coffee, recipes, accounting...
Jana had an amazing work ethic. She was very meticulous and thorough and I like to think that now, in my own work, I exhibit some of her ethic... maybe it rubbed off on me so many years ago.
~ Clean as you go so you're not stuck with a mess at the end of the day.
~ Make every drink like its your masterpiece; people depend on you to begin their days.
~ Don't be afraid to get creative.
~ Be careful with people. You don't know what they're going through.
~ Work quickly, but don't rush.
~ Pay attention to details.
I loved working during Christmastime, when its so cold outside a hot coffee or chocolate is perfection. I loved when people asked for gingerbread and peppermint lattes, and i'd top them with whipped cream & nutmeg while Bing Crosby told me about white Christmases in parts of the country other than Texas.
Sometimes I miss the coffee shop, especially the way it smelled. I go in every now and then to buy tea and it still makes me happy.