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Posts Tagged ‘barista’

I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I’ve seen idealize Starbucks. Specifically, idealizing the idea of working for Starbucks. And I’m sure it’s no different than how I idealize working for anthropologie. Because I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be awesome to be surrounded by yummy smells, cool clothes, vintage, and get a discount on the ridiculously expensive stuff in there (i wait patiently every year for christmas to come around so i can add 2 or 3 more things to my collection). But like it or not, I think every job has it’s ups and downs. It’s no different with Starbucks. And although I do not want everyone to think that being a barista is like being in a sweatshop, I tend to only comment on the negative aspects of the job. I think the reason for that is because I’m always hearing such false positivity about it and I feel the need to balance it out a bit. So I guess I can’t go on until I comment on some genuinely positive aspects.

The people. I’ve only ever worked in customer service, the total is creepily climbing to 9 years. I was a little naive in the beginning. It was sweet though. I literally wrote in my journals about how I loved making customers happy even if that meant giving them extra chocolate sauce. Now I cringe when someone asks for extra caramel in their frappuccino. But the customers are what made me happy. Then I started at Starbucks. It didn’t help that I was in Naperville, a town full of the spoiled and demanding. But in every store I’ve worked at I have found that there will be, with no doubt, some amazing people to pass my way. Customers that see me as a human. People that, even after I leave the state, I still talk to. Yes, I have customers from Illinois and from Florida that i write to often (they write back too!). That is seriously one of the best feelings. This doesn’t exclude my co-workers. My closest and best friends come from Starbucks. Even those that I don’t really stay connected with after I leave have a very special place in my heart. I love these people. And I have to admit that the benefits of working at Starbucks are pretty good, If you can get a manager to schedule you 20 hours (I’ve worked for a manager that believed it was your responsibility to find hours in order to stay insured).  And Starbucks is a great place for someone in any walk of life: Student, retiree, single parent, career focused, etc. The company, despite the over exaggerated marketing efforts, does truly believe in quality. I appreciate working for a company that has some kind of integrity.

Here’s what most people don’t know about working at Starbucks and you can take this as negative or positive, whichever you prefer. You have an endless amount of job descriptions. There’s a saying that spreads around partners (employees of Starbucks) and it goes like this: “it’s just coffee”. I think people say it to make themselves feel better about getting yelled at by a raving lunatic, or about an overly demanding task corporate wants us to do. But the truth is, it isn’t just about coffee. It’s about people.  And with people come all sorts of flavors (pun intended). I think I’ve seen it all. I’ve hugged people that have had a bad day, I’ve told people “things will get better”, I’ve called the cops on some crazies. I’ve cleaned up after feces, vomit, urine and even someone who decided they should cut their hair in the bathroom, more times than you can even imagine. I serve people with true addictions, People that probably should be in rehab for their caffeine addiction and I am not kidding. I’ve climbed on top of the counter and behind the bar to install pipes. I’ve seen co-workers being told to mulch the area in front of the store and to power wash the patio. Baristas have literally had to get on their knees with a toothbrush and scrub the grout. I think you get the point because I certainly can go on.
So when I get that question when Someone finds out I work for Starbucks, “how do you like it!!?” because in their head they are thinking how they wish they could quit their 8-5 job in a small cubicle and have so much fun drinking coffee all day, how am I really supposed to respond.

I think my next post might be about people’s reactions when they find out that I work at Starbucks and don’t drink coffee. Because I KNOW garbage men love to deal with garbage all day and post men just love envelopes.

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