It has been a few days since the WOC in Athens ended and I would like to share my experience.
A few weeks before the Expo, Simona contacted me, saying that they needed a barista who speaks Greek fluently.
I immediately agreed to join their team and work with them at WOC.
However, I did not realize how stressful it might get for me. I started to doubt myself. After all, it's all more natural behind my own counter where I am my own boss and where I know my customers.
Weeks full of stress and questioning my qualities began. Every day I woke up with a feeling of fear that someone would not be happy with me and I wondered what could go wrong.
The days were getting shorter and the doubts were getting bigger. On the day when the work started, I was throwing up just like the days before and I didn't know am I even fluent in any language. For weeks, my partner Alan was just fine, laughing and saying „You have no idea how fine you're gonna be!“ But my brain just couldn't get convinced.
When we arrived at the Oatly stand and were greeted by a great and supportive team of people who made me feel like I wasn't alone. And whatever I need - they are there to get it for me, they said.
I felt like part of the team and at that moment, I stopped being afraid. I stood behind the bar just like in my cafe and did everything naturally. Nothing that I should be afraid of has happened. All that stress was unnecessary, because when you have good people behind you everything will turn out just fine.
That's what's working together is about, that's what fulfills me the most in this job.
During the few days I spent there, I realized how I imagined and foreseed problems that never arised. Fear of the unknown.
It limited me and I think that it also limits many other people from doing great things and having wonderful experiences.
However, I know that this experience wouldn't be so smooth if I didn't have
all the loving and caring people around me who reminded me that to relax and to have fun are important tasks too.
It was a wonderful couple of days where I met new friends and I came back home with a big sense of optimism regarding the coffee community.
I liked the feeling of being in such a safe environment where mutual respect to each other was a norm. It may seem trivial, but trust me - it isn't. I worked around people who cared for each other and in an environment where self-promotion was secondary. And I think that's what makes any relationship healthy.
We also met many coffee friends from every corner of the world and we finally had the opportunity to meet under one roof.
Thank you all very much, because the last set of events that happened back home in our coffee community didn't leave me with much optimism.
One bad bean can spoil the coffee, but it won't spoil the whole harvest, so to speak.
During our stay, I realized one old simple truth. That we ourselves choose whether we want
to be happy or rather worry about things we can't even change or influence in any way.
We truly have the power to choose the better. And when we are tired and start to feel that we don't have the power to choose anything, it's just enough to choose
friends who'll remind you that happiness is our choice and life is fun.
Big thanks to Oatly team