This is why I love working in cafes: The guy I saw last week who had walked into my favourite cafe and scored an interview is working here now. Today, I asked him, are the caramel cakes any good? He lights up and says, “ooooh they are perfect.” 5 points, for selling. He shouts across to me, “do you want milk in your coffee?”, like he owns the place. 5 points, for confidence. I watch him being trained by the manager, on the job. I watch the manager train, with a patience he must possess, while still manning the counter. No uniforms to distinguish who’s the boss, no formal 2-week preparatory training course. I remember encountering this often at The Plain, watching Vincent train new staff, or at Jewel, senior barista guiding junior barista, and wondered: where else do you see (and get easy access to observe) such level of informal training like you do in cafes? How does the new staff feel, knowing that his performance is not only being watched by his superior but also nosy people like me?