When Community Coffee Turns Corporate

Written by REVSCRJ

Everybody has some superpower.

I don't mean 'heat-vision' or 'inhuman strength', but the quirky link to synchronicity that one holds for one's entire life because it is a reflection of who you really are in regard to the universe on some incredibly deep level. For some folks they are blessed with the ability to find the only parking spot within 12 blocks, for others all they have to do is look at the ground and there will be some spare change while others yet, for some reason, never have lost a game of rock-paper-scissors.

Now, most people don't think that they have one and the reason for this is that their power either is so obscure that they don't ever notice it -- like every time they kick a rock it bounces an even number of times -- or it doesn't come into play, except in very particular instances...

My power is of the latter.

I used to be known as "The Angel of Death for coffee shops" because every one I had worked at by this point had closed up on me within a maximum of a year from my arrival. One can imagine that, before I realized the 'cosmic' nature of my power, I was pretty disturbed and pissy about my bad 'luck'. I felt victimized by circumstance, like invisible pullers-of-strings were laughing at me -- I mean as soon as I'd start to stabilize BOOM I'd be unemployed again. Real funny.

Funnier though, I must say, when I began to understand -- it was like I was touched by God. One of the better examples of this was when I worked at a place called PG Roasting Company, a cafe` in Pacific Grove.

I knew how to do this job before I stepped through the door so training time was so negligible as to be non-existent. Normally, one is gradually introduced to co-workers during the training process with this odd aura of inferiority -- asking prices, where things are stored etc., -- so the actual establishment of one's self with them takes awhile. This didn't happen here. I was done with training within an hour of my first shift, so during lulls in business the conversations I had with my co-workers were fairly deep. You know, "who are you, what do you believe" kinds of talks.

This one girl, Kieva, asked me -- off the cuff, no introductory statement --"Sean, how many women have you slept with?"

I looked over at her and said, "Four".

She responds with, "Wow, that was fast. You keep pretty close track, huh? Think about it a lot?"

"Damnit Kieva! It?s only four!?

Ended up living with her years later in San Francisco while I was a video editor (q.v.). Odd how the world loops circumstances that way. There are so many patterns in existence, it?s unerringly beautiful.

So, the "Angel of Death" thing. One time I mention it to this girl, Hai, and she responds:

"Ahem. I don?t think that we would be voted Best Coffee Shop in the Monterey Area three years in a row, just to have you come in and close us down because of some 'mystical ability' you believe you have!"

I just nodded and smiled in the most placating manner that I could.

About four months later a corporation buys out the business, which was an odd experience, but I'll get to that. I bring up to Hai that, technically speaking, PG Ro.Co. had closed while I worked there. She scoffed:

"I don't think that this counts Sean, I mean we didn't close down, all of us still work here... it's just the ownership that changed hands."

I nodded and smiled again.

A woman who went by the inhumanly foreboding, vaguely nauseating job title of "Corporate Observer" came to our store. I have met two "Corporate Observers" in my life and both of them were sheer unmitigated evil. Frankly, I don?t think they are even human.

These two women had totally different behavioral approaches and yet they shared a certain gleam of insectoid emotionlessness in their eyes. It made these women truly abominations (they were both women, by coincidence, but I have seen similar traits in the eyes of male sales reps and the criminally insane). It was as if their eyes were merely camera lenses... some abhorrent subspecies...

Anyway, this Corporate Observer came to "just check out the new team members [big smile], see how the business is run and tell the big guys back at corporate" -- god how I hate the use of that word to denote a location -- "what's up with the new store in PG!"

She was all smiles and offers of possible benefits and paid time off -- the basic corporate carrot, you know -- while assuring everyone that we all were safe in our jobs and wouldn't be replaced. Lies, of course. I had a hard time looking her in the face, what with those glassy dead things staring back at me.

A month and a half later, we were all fired.

The day that they informed the staff that there "were going to be a number of personnel changes" was my day off, but I am a caffeine junkie and will REALLY take advantage of the employee-drinks-for-free rule. The meeting was almost over as I walked in. I set my stuff down and tried to be as uninvolved with them as I could while getting my drink when Hai walks up to me. Her face is deadpan and grim. She says:

"YOU did this. We are all fired. YOU did this!"

I nodded and smiled.