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Some time back I had been chatting on IRC about the possibility of coming back to Champaign-Urbana, and a friend somehow mentioned that he knew a cute bartender in town with a very unique name that rang a bell. I thought a moment, and asked him if the lady in question was the person I thought she might be: a student who had attended the same high-school as my sister and I, my sister’s age. You bet!

So, when I got to town I dropped her a line, and she suggested that I visit her at work, where she would be “all day Saturday” so this afternoon I wandered around downtown Champaign in search of her establishment. I stumbled upon a coffee shop with an art gallery, that had a help-wanted sign for a full-time barista. Worth a shot! I was greeted at the gallery entrance by an eager young lady with an expressive face. I browsed the water colors and we got to chatting some, then I dropped in on the cafe, got a scone and a coffee and an application.

And an interview, that went pretty well. I suppose including my resume helped. The lady, who runs the place with her husband, is intent on getting service-oriented staff, along the idea that excellent service could be one of their market differentiators. Well, that and the art gallery and a periodicals room in the back, I really dug the place. The wage is pretty darn good too, and she explained that since they were from a social work background it was important to them to treat their employees well too. I was told to drop a couple of references and that I’d hear back from them in a couple of days.

Well, that was nice!

On my way out, I chatted some more with the young lady in the art gallery … but she had to go greet some more folks who had come in. I reassured us both that if the job thing works out, I’d surely see her again sometime soon. I wandered out into the sunlight, cruising the streets of Champaign’s tiny downtown business district. Eventually I found the place where my old acquaintance works, but it was closed – an evening sort of place!

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