(Inspired to blog this out for the benefit of Barista Jamal Sarachen. This one for you, mate!)
Ever since late 2007, I have been using the term "white- collar Barista" a lot. I won't dare to make claims that I am the only Barista or the first Barista to use this tag line because I have seen many others doing similar jobs alike me and a Barista at the same time. Google and Wiki will have to have this descriptor under their search tab though.
I have to admit there was once that I nearly renamed this blog from its current "I am a barista in SG" to "White Collar Barista".
For the sake of Jamal, who asked me a question when I posted my thoughts in the group page of this blog in FB, and when he says he "Wiki" it but could not find an answer! :)
Defining White collar job:
A salaried employee, a professional or an educated worker who performs office, administrative, and sales-coordination tasks. In this instance, relating to my past and current responsibilities where I visited clients, pitch sales to corporate offices, conducted talks, prepared coffee quotations and proposals. I was also clocking your typical 9am-6pm with a 5 days work week. Then again, I was also very much involve with coffee and Barista duties.
A blue-collar worker, whose job requires non-desk obligations, manual labor and at times, away from your typical working hours. Being a Barista can also be define as a blue-collar career as it require a skilled individual to man the Espresso Machine and prepare wholesome coffee beverages. Then of course, we do have also Barista who, being senior in experience and part of the job responsibility to be involve in some administrative work and desk bound.
Of course the colour white and blue in today's context is no longer relevant to the industry where not stereotyping professional office worker to be in white shirt and tie while the skilled individual/manual worker to be in blue jumpers. It is more to describe the work roles, scope and responsibility more than anything else.
In this picture, taken for a corporate branding video for Greenfields Milk, quite sum up my definition of myself as a "White collared Barista". Although putting on the "white" shirt is purely a coincidence, it spells my journey, beginning as an individual who does nothing but makes coffee in the beginning and gaining knowledge along the way and both life as well as work skills which 10-12 years on, making a career out of the passion, brewing lesser coffee but always still a barista at heart although I uses the laptop more than I calibrate the Mazzer. :)