There I was, 8:45 am. Early, because I've forged a habit of leaving for appointments at least 30 minutes before I need to. LA traffic and inconvenient road work is one hundred percent consistent in it's inconsistency. My whole experience was what some people might call awkward from the moment I walked in. I ordered my drink and let the familiar face of the guy who had suggested I bring in my resume know that I was there for an interview. The register guy comped my coffee even after I insisted I pay, and let me know that the owner would be out in a second to meet with me. At that point I felt great, even while I semi-awkwardly tried (and failed) to find a place to stand in the busy shop where I wasn't in someones way.
A few minutes later, warm coffee in hand, I cozied up against the work-bar near the door. My phone had died on the way so I sat staring out into the overcast morning, considering how to look less like I didn't know what to do with myself. I busied myself with avoiding too much eye contact with the outside patrons, reading and then re reading the menu of the trendy, healthy food-truck parked outside the shop. and sipping on my delicious almond milk cappuccino. Just as I began losing myself in the tally of things I liked about the space and how that knowledge could be helpful for when I eventually open my own coffee shop a guy stepped toward me and declared himself my interviewer.
I would like to preface what follows with this: He was handsome. Like Eric Dane's better looking twin. Just keep that in mind as you read, and with that knowledge lend me a little grace.
You know those dreams where your vision kind of lags and you know what is happening but you can't change it? Where it's not quite enjoyable, but it's also not a nightmare? That's kind of how the situation went from his introduction point forward. I was so very aware of how badly everything that came out of my mouth sounded (even though I am 100% confidant in my barista skills and knowledge). I was also painfully aware of how every response I gave to his questions made me feel like the equivalent of a blindfolded elephant on stilts.
I'm telling you, it was ridiculous the amount of useless crap that came out of my mouth! I mean, I may or may not have insinuated that I was deathly allergic to milk, which I'm not, told him my last relevant job used Trader Joes coffee in the same sentence as, "I'm confidant in my ability to pull a good shot" (to which he responded, "how does that even work?") and after the first two minutes even though I felt like my foot was completely down my throat, I kept talking.
He was kind, I'll give him that. He continued to ask questions to try and navigate my experience. He even complimented my jacket. What a sweetheart. So much of a sweetheart that at the end of our time, after having gotten the, "okay. I will pass on your resume to our lead, and he will be in touch" (*eyeroll, because we both know you are not going to hire me), I turned around and almost walked straight into the glass door.
As I walked away from the shop, very aware of myself and how much I felt like a newborn giraffe trying to find it's legs (but obviously still a very cool baby giraffe, in a well complimented jacket) I couldn't help but burst out in laughter. I had left my house that morning with all the confidence in the world and now walking away I was one hundred percent sure the interview could not have gone any worse...but as I replayed the situation over and over in my head I tried to find the positive notes, the "takeaway", and for me it was this:
Life is too short to take myself so seriously. Yes this coffee shop job was kind of "the dream" for the time being, and yes, it is and was important to me but more important that those things was the realization that spending the rest of the day hung up on my perceived failure was not worth my energy. What does deserve my energy is the appreciation for a free cup of coffee, a learning experience and the reality that I do have the skill and tools to walk in my dreams.
I may have flopped an interview, but I got a good laugh out of it. Today has only just begun and tomorrow too holds the potential for great things! so onward and upward, dreamers. There are great and beautiful things ahead of us!