Your life in their hands

Some jobs are more important than others.  In some roles, the occupants are expected to keep up with continual innovation.  They are often presented with new concepts, need to learn new words to describe bleeding-edge ideas and stay abreast of technological developments. If they snooze, they lose.  The consequences are almost unthinkable.

I came face to face with some such professionals this morning.

We place important parts of our lives in their hands on a regular basis.  We rely on their discipline and professionalism to prepare precise combinations of chemical ingredients to meet our exacting requirements.  The result of their work plays a critical role in the day to day well-being of so many people. One mistake can have disastrous consequences, wreaking chaos on our carefully planned lives.

Yes, the role of Barista is a critical one!

Precision is everything!

I have to admit that I’ve struggled to stay up to date with developments on the coffee front.  Before my Heart Attack I used to enjoy a Black Americano, or the occasional Skinny Latte (if I needed some extra sustenance), but that’s as far as my not-so adventurous coffee tastes took me. I’ve subsequently been off the caffeine, and as a result, the attraction of Coffee Shops has diminished considerably.

I do enjoy the taste of coffee, and my penchant for a sprinkling of Brown Sugar makes for a warm, comforting, occasional sweet treat, but the other benefits are a thing of the past. I think my body is still fooled into the idea of receiving a caffeine “hit” when I drink coffee but disappointingly it never arrives. It has become more of a comforting bedtime drink for me now rather than the shot in the arm, pick me up it used to reliably be.  It used to get my day started, and get it back on track when I started to flag. I think coffee may actually have negative implications nowadays, with the net effect of making me more rather than less tired.

Having had an early start this morning (early morning airport check-in), we headed for a coffee to perk us up. Perhaps it was because we were at an airport, but the array of exotic coffee orders from the eclectic clientele seemed even wider than usual. I have to admit, I have no idea what pumpkin has to do with coffee, and I thought I had always been drinking “wet” coffee, I had no idea that I would need specifically request it!  I’m still coming to terms with the various syrups on offer.  It’s amazing what you can get nowadays!

Adventurously, I ordered my new “usual”, a Decaf Americano.

I have to be careful not to stand up too fast!

Shortly afterwards, I had a dizzy spell. This happens to me on a fairly regular basis. It’s one of the side effects of the medication I’m on – low blood pressure reduces the strain on my heart, but also means I need to be careful not to stand up too fast. The dizzy spell I had this morning was the worst one I’ve had for a long while. I was trying to focus on the Departure Board, but just felt myself wobbling.  Hopefully no one was looking or saw me rocking backwards and forwards. Fortunately I managed to stay upright. Falling over would have been embarrassing to say the least!

Having recovered, I started to wonder why I was feeling particularly dizzy today… Was it the early morning? The result of a broken nights sleep? Or perhaps something I’d eaten.

What would the impact of a slug of caffeine be after so long without it? Had the Barista unintentionally spiked my coffee by confusing my order?

Given I recovered fairly quickly, I suspect it was entirely my fault.  The event has, however, made me realise what an important role the various people that work in Restaurants, Cafes, Coffee Shops and Bars have in our lives.  They have my utmost respect… but I will be watching to make sure my Virgin Mary doesn’t become a bit more Bloody than I’m expecting while I’m away!

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