And Coming in Last Place . . .

Who is Courtney you ask? Why, only the third best barista in the whole freaking company!

I placed third in our competition. Of the twelve people who won from the individual stores (some had people tie for first so there were multiples from a couple stores), my manager Annie, a girl from the northside store, and myself all won.
We got these cool, engraved knockboxes (which are useless if we don't want to ruin the plaque inside or if we don't have an espresso machine at home – which I don't), and tampers for the shots (which are useless if we don't have an espresso machine at home), and some gift certificates to a local restaurant that makes some of our pastries.

When they called my name for third, I had a feeling it was going to be me. But I really wasn't sure if I was going to place at all. My espresso shots were way too long the first few times; the water was pouring all over the place – and the cappuccino I had to make needed to be in a ceramic mug. We had six minutes to make three drinks, including one of our own choice judged on creativity, and I just barely made it.

I think that probably worked in my favor, though, because a couple of people didn't pull shots at all for the single shot and all of us made doubles. Apparently we were supposed to only serve one. Ooopsie. Bad information.

The other plus on my side was my “signature” drink. It was totally off-the-cuff; I found a peach smoothie mix in the fridge at the office and threw in some pineapple chunks from the food they provided us while we were there. I blended it with ice and topped it with whipped cream and sliced strawberries (also from our snack spread). So I think I got points for originality because the girl asking me questions wanted to know how I'd come up with it. I said “When I saw it in the refrigerator.” She probably told them that and they were impressed, maybe, that I'd thrown it all together? I dunno.

So our trainer says she wants to get the three of us together to discuss regional competitions. Kinda dorky, but I'd do it. The hard part is getting used to new machines; if I'd been at my store, using the machines I'm used to in the order I like them with the milk in the fridge underneath the way it's all supposed to be I'd have probably come in first or second. But I panicked when I was told to use a ceramic mug and poured my cappuccino into it rather than remaking it. I just didn't have time!

Oh, well. I'm just excited to know I'm third-best in the company. I'll make you a drink sometime.

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