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Why I'm Glad I Work.....#3

This is #3 in a series of posts sharing the "good" in my work days...

things which seem to have little to do with my actual job.

It began when my children were toddlers and I was so physically exhausted in my days that an artificial pick-me-up was needed. It began just as a special Friday thing.

On Friday afternoons, I’d bring my feminine blue, white and green Dansk mug (that Oprah told me I should use if indeed it gave me pleasure) out back to Arabica Coffee and ask for a skinny cappuccino. I thought by bringing my own cup, I was saving our planet, one day at a time in the cardboard cups I wasn’t throwing away needlessly.

The “short” cappuccinos became “talls,” by my own suggestion, when the baristas had trouble filling my personal cup with exactly the right amount of espresso and frothed, steamed milk so that what I paid for it was fair. Over time, the Friday’s turned into daily, even when my children were grown and I was no longer exhausted.

Arabica is the loveliest of coffee shops…or maybe it just feels that way to me because I’m a regular. I haven’t told Doug, Sally or Deana or now Jessie or Andy what I want for years; they know I’m a “tall skinny cappuccino in Kim’s cup.” I feel like Norm from Cheers when I come in. They say “HI, Kim!”

They ask where my "buddy" (colleague Jill) is if ever I come in of an afternoon solo. We’re the work buddies, the tag team, always coming in as a pair for a 10-minute break and get away from the office. We’re chatting and laughing so much, it’s fortunate the baristas know what we want!

Arabica is on the corner of Free Street in downtown Portland. The floors are wood (muddied in winter); the seats are filled with folks typing on computers, chatting over coffees and teas, nibbling Sally’s cookies and pastries with children. It’s cozy and warm and friendly.

Arabica is a respite in my working day and I go each afternoon now as much for the company and the experience as for the coffee. I guess that’s what coffee houses of our generation are all about – the vibe, the ambience – that would bring us in daily to pay $4.25 for a feminine blue, white and green Dansk mug filled with cinnamon-sprinkled goodness over a leaf pattern my friends, the baristas, have created in the foam.

Funny how one’s reasons for enjoying going to work may have absolutely nothing to do with the job.

Photo of cappuccinos: from Pinterest

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