Hybrid Worker: Sports Centre Receptionist/Starbucks Barista


I saw a starbucks built in a sports centre reception today.
I wasn’t sure whether the cafe facility was available when I saw a receptionist sitting on the desk in sportswear so I asked, “Is it all right to order a coffee??” and she said yes!
I got a bit confused but ordered a regular latte. She stood up and started to make my coffee on the coffee machine in sportswear!
The output wasn’t as fluffy as a normal latte but tasted quite good. She is not a “full” barista so maybe it’s Ok.


Great atmosphere, great coffee, great food ≠ Best cafe


I was looking for a good cafe to work in near my house on Google map and found one with lots of good reviews (I saw a review, “They do good coffee!”) so decided to go there.
The name of the cafe is the name of a particular colour but for their privacy, I call it Yellow for now.

So I arrived at the cafe called Yellow. Everything is yellow, from the external appearance, floor, chairs, commercial art on the wall etc. It looked quite different to what I saw in a picture online but decided to stick to it. I ordered a cup of latte, asking to serve in a normal ceramic cup rather than a glass (I hate cafes which do lattes in glass cups).

I sat down, opened my computer and waited for my coffee. There are only two other customers, talking about union and stuff. My latte arrived, looks pretty good, had a sip.

“The worst coffee I have ever had.”

The milk is so pale and the aftertaste too bitter. Uhee!!!
I got quite upset but anyway I got a place to sit down so started to work. “This kind of business is what makes everything go wrong. Profit motivated ********.”

After 30 min, I noticed I was concentrating better than ever. The anger indeed helped me work on a work related project but there was more than that.

1. Customer traffic control
If you have a space and do the best coffee and food, of course it will be filled up with lots of people. But what if you want to make a space where a few people sit in a spacious room and feel relaxed? Serve terrible enough to oust most people and good enough to keep a certain amount of traffic of customers coffee and food. It’s actually quite difficult.

2. Sophistication level adjustment
I was trying not to merge with the commercial profit-motivated environment of the cafe (interior and BGM) so all I could do was to really concentrate on my work. If you are treated too well in a great cool cafe, you feel too comfortable and get sucked into the atmosphere.

The only shame is that the owner of the cafe is NOT doing this purposely.. This world will be a much more interesting place if everyone can consciously do things like customer traffic control and sophistication level adjustment. A really bad good film and a really good bad film.