This is a mug that I earned almost 10 years ago, when I was in high school. It's incredibly difficult to believe that all this happened so long ago, because in a lot of ways I still feel like a teenager trapped in an adult's body with a whole lot of added responsibilities. And yet it has truly been that long since I walked the halls of my school and headed to High Point Coffee afterwards to work at my favorite job ever.
High Point Coffee was a franchise location owned by some of the best people I have ever met. This was not my first high school job but it was by far my favorite - and I always swear that if I ever have to hold an hourly job again it will be at a coffee shop. I began working there because my best friend at the time suggested I start, and from there I never looked back.
My favorite part of working there was, of course, the people I got to see each day. We had regular customers that visited every weekday, and the weekend crowd that would stay and sip coffee for hours. We had moms groups come in to use our back meeting room space and sweet old retirees who probably came in more for the company than the coffee (although it was pretty amazing as well).
I was addicted to just two things while I worked there - caffeine and practical joked. On the beverage side I began adding triple and quadruple shots to every free drink I had during my shift. I even created a drink affectionately called 'The Maria' - two shots of espresso in an iced tea with a shot of Splenda. It was my solution for drinking tea and balancing the insane amount of caffeine pulsing through my system every day. Staff and customers even began requesting The Maria on a pretty frequent basis, and a star was born.
The other side of working at High Point that I loved was the people I got to work with. Practical jokes became a staple when I worked, and on Saturdays (when I arrived around 5am) my goal was to leave with one thing in place to surprise or scare the next shift when they came in. One time I fit my entire body into the syrups cupboard and waited a considerable time until my replacements ran out of a particular choice then opened the door, only to find a person inside - and the reaction was hilarious. On another occasion my friend and I printed off dozens of different sets of eyes from the internet and placed them strategically around the shop. My boss and coworkers would find these at the most terrifying and random times - on the ceiling directly above the cash register, in one of the back fridges, and other places that were seldom visited.
High Point was the first job I ever held that made me want to come in early and leave late. I would visit on my days off, and my life felt strangely empty (both of caffeine and good people) when I finally left for college. Yet I will never forget the sweet people I got to meet along the way, and the fact that the coffee mug I now own from that store is the last one they ever sold because just a year after I left they unfortunately had to close down for good. To this day I still appreciate a good mug, local coffee shops, and the occasional strategic practical joke.