Day in the Life: PJ’s


Sanjali De Silva | Senior Staff Photographer

Sophomore Lacy Watson enjoys many benefits of working at PJ’s such as free coffee and meeting new people.

At 5:30 a.m., sophomore Lacy Watson arrives barely-awake to the morning shift for her job at PJ’s Coffee.

After having a few cups of coffee, she is prepared to take on her intensive shift where she prepares drinks, bakes pastries, works as a cashier and cleans the facility. By 9:00 a.m., an influx of sleepy students, each desperately relying on a heavy dose of caffeine to stay awake for their first classes, begins to make its orders. During each shift, Watson must work non-stop to fulfill the needs of the coffee shop and its customers.

One of Watson’s favorite aspects of working at PJ’s Coffee is getting to know the students she serves. Watson initially met several of her closest friends at Tulane through serving them coffee.

“People approach me all the time — on the first week of class especially,” Watson said. “They’ll be like, ‘you served me coffee,’ and then usually we’ll exchange numbers. Then when they’re studying, I’ll hook them up with some great coffee sometimes.”

Another perk Watson enjoys about working at PJ’s Coffee is that she gets free coffee as an employee. This benefit was a major factor in why Watson decided to apply to be a PJ’s worker.

“I budgeted it out, and I spent over $500 on coffee in my first semester,” Watson said. “Now I never pay for coffee, so that’s pretty nice.”

According to Watson, one of the difficulties of working at PJ’s is finding the time to study for classes. While many on-campus jobs have downtime when students can complete work for their classes, PJ’s workers must be on duty for the entirety of their shift.

“I know with other jobs on campus — like working in the rec center or the mail service place — they have time to do their homework,” Watson said. “You don’t have any time to sit down or look at your notes. When you’re here you have to work the whole time.”

Watson began her job at PJ’s with little knowledge of how to prepare the drinks. Initially, she found her barista duties to be overwhelming. With more practice, however, she found the tasks to be easier than they initially seemed.

“There’s not a really heavy training period for when you get hired. They just kind of throw you behind the counter and make you start making the drinks,” Watson said. “At first, it seems really scary, and it’s a lot to take in, but once you get the hang of it, there’s only a few drinks, and everything else is a variation of that.”

Likewise, Watson found the task of baking the pastries to become easier with practice.

“As far as baking, that was really intimidating for me coming because I’ve baked frozen cookies and stuff before, but I’ve never done any of this other stuff, but it was just as easy as it sounds,” Watson said.

Though Watson has found her job as a PJ’s worker to be exhausting at times, she has found the experience to be highly rewarding, and she looks forward to giving more drowsy students their morning dose of caffeine as she continues working at her job.

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