Never trust a smiling barista.

Before you read this column, please place your tongue firmly in your cheek. It is full of generalisations. You have been warned.

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Do not let this woman make you your coffee.


A couple of times a week, during all my other mundane activities, I visit our local butcher. He is a cheery young chap, employs other cheery chaps and is a butcher of exceptional talent. He knows everybody’s name and greets each customer personally.

And like most butchers, he is a complete flirt. An outrageous flirt. As subtle as a sledgehammer, so to speak.

I watched with interest last week as an elderly lady placed her order. Tim, the Butcher, complimented her on her hair. She blushed, and quickly touched her locks professing that she looked disheveled.


A visit to the butcher around my parts is very good for one’s ego.

It got me thinking about stereotypical personalities that can go hand in hand with particular professions. Take baristas for example.

Typically, in my own experience, baristas are moody bastards. But it is something that I am happy to put up with, as I sincerely believe that the quality of the coffee directly correlates with the grumpiness of the barista. We once got our coffee from a place whose barista was such a prick, that we nicknames him Surly. He would do us a favour by exchanging flat whites for cash, and we would be able to tell how cranky he was when we tasted it. The better it was, the fouler his temper.

If you see a smiling barista, walk on by my friend…

Another profession that seems to have a distinct personality is that of the Fitness Instructor. These folk are nothing more that hard bodied salesmen, selling you the dream by getting about in their tight clothing, drinking drinks mixed up from powder stored in tins and making you feel guilty if you wish to desist with their services.

They are also sneaky flirts.

But there are a few professions that flirting is definitely frowned upon. Have you ever met a flirting undertaker? A flirting gynaecologist? Perhaps a cheeky accountant who is quick with a compliment? No. Of course not. That would be both disturbing, and highly inappropriate. (Although I do love my accountant Anthony except when he questions my expenses)

So let’s turn our minds to other professions.

The car mechanic is an eternal pessimist. This is illustrated when they pop your bonnet, pull out their calculator and solemnly shake their head.

And you never really see a baker these days, as by the time you get in there to buy your neenish tart they are, more often than not, asleep somewhere.

Chocolatiers, particularly French ones, will have no hesitation in regarding you as some type of large dog’s excrement that they have found on the heel of their shoe.

People that work at the local council are a little bit like car mechanics. Their natural instinct is to object to your request, before going out the back and seeing their supervisor, making you wait for a while, before coming back and begrudgingly admitting that your desire is actually possible.

To the fruit and veg man, well you are always going to be his “darling.” A visit to the green grocer will no doubt come with a full weather report, citing what the current temperature is, and the predicted climate of the rest of the week. They are really just meteorologists in disguise.

Another worker that you are likely to encounter is the good folk of the RTA. I try not to visit very often, but when I do, I am always a little depressed when I leave. The workers are lined up like battery hens, peering our from behind the Perspex shell, put there so that irate drivers cannot assault them.

The process is never a quick one, and you will have always forgotten some vital piece of paper, meaning that you leave empty-handed and promptly forget to renew your license and subsequently get booked for driving without a valid one.

Or so I have heard.

Which brings me to police.

You cannot pigeonhole the constabulary. You just do not know what type of cop you are going to encounter. The one who smiles sympathetically and tells you that things should be fine if you take your car straight to the mechanics? (Who will no doubt shake their head sadly at you.)

Or the one that goes back to his squad car, gets his book, takes aim and pegs it at your noggin.

And then there are ladies who write on the Internet who of course, are perfect in every way….

Tell me about your butcher? Or perhaps the person who makes your coffee?