Coffee and Construction

What’s with people always firing up in-depth conversations with the barista at my favourite coffee joint when I’m behind them in the queue? I seem to observe this even more than usual when I’m in a rush. Find someone else’s ear to chew on, will you? I needed my double espresso five minutes ago!

Take this morning, for example. When I got to the counter, I found a suited-up dude carrying on endlessly about the commercial applications of structural steel. What, for the love of god, has that got to do with purchasing coffee and a Gruyere toastie? Evidently there’s some relationship, because my barista proceeded to chime in with his own thoughts on where to buy steel beams. Melbourne being what it is, I should probably not have been surprised by this – of course the shop has its own custom-designed roasting plant down the road.

Okay, fine. Part of what I love about my barista is that he’ll willingly engage with whatever topic you care to throw at him, no matter how specific. I’ll concede that he’s spent his share of time spit-balling with me about the future of the rag trade. I just wasn’t aware that he’d be as responsive to musings on the construction industry.

Regardless, there’s only so long one can be expected to wait in line hearing recommendations for structural steel fabricators. Melbourne  residents surely have some thoughts around quality steel products. How long is it appropriate to chat with a barista for, especially when there are people queued up behind you waiting for their post-commute caffeine hit? I’m inclined to say 10 seconds, maximum. I don’t care how many metres’ reach that knuckle crane had or what the load-bearing capacity of your new development’s internal columns is.

Yes, alright. I could stand to take this advice myself. I daresay the verbose chap in question would care as much about the comeback of the French seam as I do about the latest developments in building materials.