Barista Jack C. Smith ’15 is a manager at the Lamont Café. According to Smith, there is no typical day at the Lamont Café.
“We only work in four hour shifts,” he said. Depending on which shift he choses to work, the experience is quite different. One of the busiest times is lunchtime, when they sell “all the sushi and sandwiches.” Maybe students’ love for Lamont sushi and sandwiches is saying something about the quality of food in the dining halls.
The café is especially packed “the night before an Ec 10 problem set is due,” said Smith. If there is one thing Harvard students know how to do right, it’s procrastinating. On nights before pset due dates, “the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift is packed.”
Laristas also get some pretty weird customers. “One of our other managers said one guy pointed at the menu, said ‘double espresso’, and threw his credit card at her,” explained Smith. Looks like someone was having a bad day.
They also have had problems with a person stealing food. The Laristas had to “take a picture of him,” and said “watch out for this guy.” Eventually, they had to kick him out of the café. I guess he must’ve drained his BoardPlus buying $20 brunches for his parents at the dining hall.
Others just ask for “really strange drink combinations.” What can I say, I like my hot chocolate with two and a half pumps of caramel syrup, five and three quarters spritzes of whip cream, and exactly 17 mini marshmallows.
“The best order at Lamont is straight up iced coffee,” said Smith. The general population seems to differ because according to Smith, the most popular order is the Chai Latte. The hardest order to make is the Frappuccino. So next time you hit up Lamont to spend your BoardPlus, have mercy on the laristas’ souls and don’t order Frappuccinos.
The Laristas also have some pretty intense barista problems. “We run out of stuff,” or “have too much stuff,” said Smith. This all makes it “difficult to organize” the storage in back. It sounds like a typical college dorm room. You either have four empty walls with a single desk or you have a two-foot layer of rotting food and clothing on the so-called floor.
Despite the hardships, Jack says “It’s an awesome job,” and that there is a “great community.” Laristas have it pretty good. And besides, they have Larista parties.