Friday, May 14, 2010

Cafés and Employment

I am sitting in a coffee shop with a dark, burly Americano between me and my keyboard. This simple ritual is fast becoming a favourite. I’m staying open-minded about the elements of the ritual, though. It doesn’t have to be a strict equation of me + coffee + coffee house. I’ve explored me + two pints + Neapolitan pizza, and that was just fabulous.

As I was saying, I am sitting in a coffee shop. It’s one of many in this little neighbourhood that is so well-known for its lattes, tea shops and hippies. But today, Vendome wins out thanks to @ugonnaeatthat’s latest blog post.

I made my way over here, following a path behind the C-Train tracks, and past a small flock of ravenous pigeons. The café is furnished with dark wood tables and chairs, and a panoramic photo of historic Calgary. This is the second time I’ve visited now. Last time I had a mocha, and to be quite honest it was no better than a mocha from Second Cup. But this time, I indulged in a $6.95 croissant sandwich with spinach, mushrooms, emmenthal and gruyere to go with my Americano. Now, I’m stuck in this delightfully drawn-out eating affair where I feel like I could eat the crisp and soft and buttery slab of glee in the time it takes to shotgun a can of Lucky Lager. But I've managed to control that side of myself and the one that's won out is the side that wants to cut the sandwich into dainty pieces — with this ineffectual butter knife —and savour every bite.

Okay, poetry over. I finished eating my sandwich.

Today, a Friday, marks the last day of official unemployment for me, at least for a few weeks. And friends, there is so much good about this job (she says, before working a single hour). It’s journalism-related, I got it thanks to a recommendation from one of my profs and it requires my brain. While typing up a job-hunt spreadsheet earlier this week, I started to consider serving and bartending positions, because I did spend nearly three years cultivating those skills before being booted out of the bar. But I am very thankful that this new job is based on a rather different skill set that has cost me thousands of dollars to develop over the past four years.

I like to call it a “real-person” job, at least to whatever extent you can call journalism a “real” job. Maybe “real” is the wrong adjective, because of course it’s literally real. Any fellow journalists will know what I mean. In this context, I mean it’s a job where I go to a place and do a thing — or things — for a bunch of consecutive hours. Often while sitting in a chair. That makes it sound boring, but I am really excited.

You may soon be treated to posts about what I pack in my lunch box. How cute will that be?


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your ode to the sandwich and oh do I miss my rituals of coffee shop + coffee + writing in Austin, Tx (it's just not a "thing" in England). Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment - so great to meet a fellow foodie/writer. I'll be back to visit yours - especially for the lunch box. I LOVE bentos!

  2. Thanks so much for lovely words, Monica. I was inspired to bake muffins today and then was running late, but otherwise would have finally taken a snap of lunch. (I appreciate the reminder!)