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My first working experience in a café here

by melmonica on June 29th, 2014

Warning: This post is wordy. Blogging from WordPress app. But if you managed to read it through then you get to pick a topic of my next post!

So I just went for a trial for a job at a café. The experience was… let’s just say overwhelming.

My trial started at 10.30am and Analyss (duno how to spell her name), the supervisor brought me to the coffee machine and said, “OK show me what you got.”

And I’m like, “Wait a minute. This coffee machine is totally different from the one I’m used to so can you show me how to use it?”

She did some demonstration. Extremely fast. I tried to catch as much as I can. The way she steamed the milk is totally different than how we did it in Starbucks MY. Then she started telling me red cups are for flat white and cappuccino, white cups are for latte and mocha. Then she started on the recipe.

At that time, I felt like wow I’ve been pampered in Starbucks MY. On my 1st 2 days at work I just need to wash the cups and bus the tables. 3rd day they’ll sit you down with a book and teach you the Frappuccino recipe. Once you get a hang of that then they’ll teach you the hot drinks session. And lastly the till and food section. All these training took approximately 3 weeks. And you have the privilege of someone explaining it to you in detail and answer whatever shit questions (usually shit questions are from me lah haha)

But here they expect you to jump in and perform. Which to be honest, is a little difficult for me considering Starbucks has such a good training system. Everything was organized and systematic. The café here is a bit more lenient measurement wise but that may cause inconsistency in the drinks, no?

In Starbucks the recipe was detailed down to how many pumps and spoons used for every size of a cup. Just now when I saw the barista pour syrup without any measurement I was alarmed! Like hah so cincai 1 ah?

After feeling a little more confident, I jumped in and started helping out. When I did my first drink, she served it to the customer. I was a little uneasy coz back then a trainee does not send her cofffee out on her first try. In Starbucks it’s all about quality consistency. But after that she didn’t let me send out any more so phew.

The steps.


So first off I had to grind the coffee beans. Then I had to compact the coffee into that holder thing.


Next fix the holder (the most fucking difficult thing to do) and wait for the timer. Perfect shot here is 28-33 sec as opposed to Starbucks which is 18-23 sec.

Then comes the steaming milk. Here, they manually stop it when the temperature hits 70°c where as in Sbux it auto stops. And we never leave our espresso shot unattended (max 10 sec) but here you can leave for max 10 mins *cringed* So so different lor the system. It will definitely take me some time to reset and get used to the new system but Starbucks system is all about efficiency and cost saving.

By the end of my trial I knew I wouldn’t get the job. I told the lao ban nian about all these differences and she said that she couldn’t give me the job on the spot. If I want, I could come in for a one-week trial (note: unpaid) and then they shall decide on it.

I wanted to die at the moment. I had so much confidence going in this morning. But I was placed in a totally different machine, setting and system so everything is kinda jumbled up.

I told her that I’ll think about it and promise to email her about my decision. Well, I don’t mind trying la since I don’t have other commitment with any job also but at the same time I wana apply for Starbucks here.

I had this plan of giving myself 5 years to be a Starbucks manager then apply for PR. Coz if I work in independent café businesses the highest I can progress is only at supervisor level.

Le sigh. I feel so dejected. Scared actually. Like what if my trial at Starbucks ended up the same. I know it is pointless to worry about uncertainty but this is (another) reality check for me.

All I can hope is that the Starbucks here has a similar system to the one in MY.

As I was walking to the libary, I couldn’t help but wonder why did I choose this path? Why can’t I get an advertising job which I love and good at in MY. An office job is definitely easier than working in F&B right!

Cannot la cannot. Cannot let myself feel down because of one negative experience. Should turn the negativity into positive – see it as a new challenge.

But at this time and age I just wana excel at the things I’m good at already. A bit tired of starting from scratch. Well, I shall allow myself some wallowing today and tomorrow I’ll apply with Sbux.

Please please please wish me luck. I really need to get a job asap or else I can’t save up enough $$ to go back for Bra’s wedding next year T3T

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