I remember walking into Saxbys Rittenhouse Square in August of 2015 looking for a job. I was 15 years old at the time. I walked in and said “Hey I see you have a job opening are you hiring can I get an application?”
I was nervous as hell. The guy look at me with a huge smile and told me
“Really man apply online, they are really looking for people.”
He showed me the website and told me good luck. I asked for his name he said “Quran”. I didn’t fill out the application at that moment but decided to hit up every store on South 20th street till South and once I got to South I hit up every store on South till Front street. After getting to front and South I made my way back to the Rittenhouse Square area and sat in the park. There I filled out my application for Saxbys. I got a call back from aurelina a few days later and did a phone interview. It was the only place that called me back out of the dozens of businesses I had been to. I than was asked to come into Headquarter for a face to face interview.
Getting Ready. My first job interview. I wake up a nervous anxious wreck. My interview wasn’t until the afternoon at 1pm. The whole day I’m pacing back and forth in my room wondering what are they going to ask. What if I get the job and hate it? What If I don’t get the job? What if they look at me like I’m a joke? I’m just 15 years old. I don’t really need a job I want a job. All of these things made me even more anxious. It was getting closer to game time so I took a nice warm shower. I decided to wear my royal blue dress pants. Hey that reminds me I need to look for them. I also wore my sky blue buttoned up shirt with a royal blue tie. I was looking what my grandmother would say “casket sharp”. I began making my way to Saxbys Headquarters.
Upon arrival I was greeted by the security guard who cracked some awful jokes. I made my way to the elevators then up I went to suite 310. I walked out of the elevator and was greeted again but this time by the most beautiful glass wall with a really nice medallion. After admiring the glass wall I walked through a glass door and past a few offices with glass walls and doors. I was finally in the main space which was so bright and had huge ceiling and huge windows. Holy Shit this place is beautiful. I stood for few seconds a little confused at what to do until some guy came up to me and asked “Hey how can I help you?” “Umm Umm I’m here for an interview”. Shoot I just said umm twice I’m ruining my chances. “Okay great you can sit right over here can I get you drink?” I decided on a water to calm myself down a little. Me wanting to leave an impression I came about 15 minutes early. Within those 15 minutes I was able to really observe the space and and the people. One person stood out to me in particular. It was this really tall guy who was really put together. I knew I saw him before but didn’t know where I knew him from. After about five minutes of thinking It clicked I saw him at my school. It was finally interview time. The interview started off great. We got to the part where they asked
“So what do you like to do outside of school” I responded
“I like photography and hanging out with friends.”
All I could think was wow that's the most ridiculous answer. To vague. To basic but it’s very true. Also the fact that I was 15 gave me less points and then that answer would leave me looking like any other person who applied for this job. Other than that one incident in my head, the interview went great. The nerve wracking part was finally over
“Thank you so much for coming Kaamil we’ll contact you if we offer you a position”
“Okay thank you for your time”
I felt with all my heart I didn’t get the job. I left wondering “How do I tell people I didn’t get the job.”
It's September 4th around 4:30pm and I just satisfied my stomach with a greasy slice of Fairmount Pizza. The only thing on my mind is I didn’t get the job. As I walked out of the shop my phone began ringing.
“Hi this is Aurelina from Saxbys Coffee, I’m calling to offer you a position with Saxbys”
“Yes of course”
“Okay, can you come in to fill out paperwork tomorrow”
Training and Shadow Shifts
I began training a few days after filling out paperwork. I trained with Lauren. A really nice tall women who made training super fun! I trained with a group of adults who I thought I wouldn’t fit in at all. I don’t remember much of my training other than that I was really quiet because I was the youngest and it was really cool to learn something new. What I do remember is my shadow shift. My shadow shifts were really fun but super nerve wracking. It’s going to be my first time in a real cafe with real humans paying real money for a really good drink. What if I mess up. Turns out the shadow shift wasn’t bad at all. I shadowed this really really tall guy at Rittenhouse cafe. At first I was really intimidated but he made the shift super fun and easy. But now it’s time to go to the real cafe and work for real. My gaming practice is over.
I began working at the Upenn cafe in November of 2015.. I sat at this long table with all of my co-workers for a team meeting and a chance to meet everyone. Even though we were all new I still felt odd. I was still the youngest. But at the end of the table was the really tall guy from my shadow shift Reed. He was my manager. From the November till June Reed was my manager he currently works at HQ. Reed encouraged me to always do my best and has made me much more of a professional and so has Heather a former co worker who works at HQ now. After months of being just a barista I was promoted to be a team lead. As in someone who manages a shift and make sure the cafe stays active and can remain active when I leave. So at the young age of 16 I’m basically in charge of running a cafe for a couple of hours which doesn’t seem that hard but is really stressful. For example If something at the cafe happens like a crazy person comes in and threatens to kill someone I have to deal with the issue. If we run out of something I have to deal with the issue. If someone doesn’t show up I have to pull more weight or ask someone to come in. This all when I’m still the youngest person working in the cafe. I still have to get people to warm up to me and to respect me as a team lead even though I’m super young it just takes time.
When I worked under Reed we would take long walks after work and talk about our future. When I told him I needed to do an internship he encouraged me to do an internship at our headquarters. I didn't think it was possible due to no other high schoolers ever interning there. I emailed Nick Bayer the CEO of Saxbys about an internship and he hooked me up with Allie. Allie has been my go to person for everything interesting and has created a really cool job where I get to have a peek into everyone's job. From Marketing and Social Media to HR. I’ve been able to create skills and gain knowledge from adults who work. Being able to use my own skills and applying them to my internship has been the most difficult. I never know if my skills are good enough. I’‘m only in high school these people are legit adults I’m working with. Every single event and job that I’ve done I’ve been the youngest. From parties like the Inc.5000 party where adults get super dressed up and have a great night to our Holiday christmas party I’m still this young little guy that’s surrounded by adults and has really only worked with adults.
There's a huge change from coming to school and going to work. On one end I have people arguing over crap and on the other end I have people talking about rent. I sometimes feel like an adult trapped in the life a teenager. I don’t have much in common with teenagers other than the fact that I go to school and live with my parents. I always think about all the things I’ve been able to do and the trust Saxbys has given me to not only be a team lead but to intern at HQ and give me responsibilities the normal teenager doesn’t have. When I come to school I think of how much my life is going to change. I see my future in all of my coworkers. I think of all the things they have taught me and all the things I am gonna have to do and I thank them for giving me the biggest head start. As I continue to grow and the world continues to change through my eyes I think of everyone who has given me a professional balance and the best head start in life. Thank you so much and let’s continue to make life better.