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When I was fourteen, I applied to my dream job at a cute coffee shop I frequented.  I baby-sat for the owners, so I knew them personally, but I knew that didn’t mean they would automatically give a job in their food establishment to a freshman in high school. I stretched my experience and my references on my application as thin as they could go, using people I had babysat for years ago who’s numbers I couldn’t even find if I tried. I brought my application in and waited for weeks with very little hope to get a reply.

To my surprise, about a month and a half later, I received an email announcing they had accepted my application! I was elated. The idea of working as a barista was a fantasy I had held since I was younger. Something was so glamorous about the smell of coffee, of the freshly baked goods and the customers willing to pay five dollars for their large caramel latte. I was scheduled to start that Saturday.

Being two years ago, I don’t remember my first day well enough to describe it down to the last detail. I do remember constantly asking, “What would you like me to do now?” to the woman training me. I didn’t waste a second standing around because I wanted to show that they made the right decision in hiring someone so young. There was no way I was slacking at my very first job.

Honestly, it took me a while to get used to working. I felt as though my training period was way too short and they dropped me off to work alone before I was ready. This meant learning how to do a lot of things on my own. Fast forward to today, though, and I have never felt more confident in my job. I can handle the 10 a.m. rush that happens every Saturday, which means a steady four person line until noon. I’ve built relationships with my customers and their are many whom I can start making their drink before the words “small latte with skim” can come out of their mouths. Working since I was a freshman has created a lifestyle of easy communication, problem solving skills, and a good work ethic; plus I get to make money doing something I love. I couldn’t be happier with my work!

-Chase

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