Posts Tagged ‘starbucks’

For seven years I have been limited to wearing black shoes, black pants, black polo, black sweatshirt, black undershirt, and the list goes on. For seven years Starbucks has been my life, essentially. It’s allowed me to pay my bills, eat, save, and it sustained me and my husband for the almost two years he was out of a job. Starbucks has simultaneously become my constant and the bane of my existence. I couldn’t wait to get out yet I relished in the comfort of the familiar, of something I’m good at (yes it’s possible to be bad at your job at Starbucks). The last eight months however, have brought me to a new place in life. For the last eight months I have been preparing to welcome a “little” into the world, A brand new “little” that we could call our very own. I knew the day would come when I had to decide “would I go back”. For a while I thought I would (I mean, what else am I good at!) and then for a while I thought I wouldn’t (get me out of here now!), and then we started the process of buying a house an hour away. Of course there are Starbucks stores everywhere, but I know I’m done transferring. So there it is, I’m just done. My plan was to wait until sometime late February, that would give me time to unpack everything in the new house “just in time” for baby.

Yesterday turned all my plans around.

I went in for a seemingly regular appointment and I walked out with an order for bed rest. We discovered the baby had already started entering the birth canal, I was having what I thought was Braxton hicks contractions for a few days but it turns out it was the little guy trying to enter the world. So today ended up being my last day at work and I’m officially ordered to rest for (well lets be honest) I have no idea how long.

So here I am trying to figure out what this new life is going to look like. I’m excited and I’m anxious and I’m a little bit disillusioned. Whatever it is that happens and however the timing works out, I’m excited to get rid of all my nasty black  Starbucks clothes and try something else on for a while.

starbucks uniform


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To myself six years ago today,

Right now you are abandoning your t-shirt and jeans and beginning the dress code for black polo, black pants, and a green apron. You are in Tara’s bedroom, nerves racking, and anxious about your first day at Starbucks. You will soon walk in the door of Starbucks to discover your first impressions.

What will you get? The smell of Verona Coffee brewing mixed with the stench of cigars, a lot of future friends and enemies, and stock options. OK, you will get a little more than that.

Your time at Starbucks will be filled with many ups and downs. But do not fret, Starbucks will be your constant. This job will see you through two moves around the country, two years of living on one income, and a countless number of fear-filled changes.

What will you discover? That you are braver than you thought you were, that change is necessary to become who you want to be. I know you are afraid of change. I know you love your comfort zone. You will be the best you can be for four and a half years at River Square. That store will be your own. You will meet people along the way who don’t understand you, who look down on you for being young, who fight their way to the top by pushing you down. Let them. Respond with grace, do not let them get under your skin. You do not yet realize how much healing you need to go through. They will help you on your journey. Eventually you will learn to forgive them too. When your time at River Square is done, do not be afraid to move on. But do not expect it to be easy. You will face challenges at your next store that you never would have expected. Embrace them. Do not be so afraid of getting to know people, everyone you will meet in Ocoee is kind at heart. You might struggle to feel like you belong, but do not worry about that as much. You are there for a short time, do not let it go to waste. You will walk away feeling proud of doing what you never thought you could and you will be equipped to handle what comes your way. Be vulnerable. And stop being so ready to leave Starbucks. You are there for a while so just embrace it. Be happy with where you are wherever you are. You will waste your time fighting it. When the door to your present needs to be shut it will be shut and a new door will open. Just listen to that quiet beating of the heart inside you, it will remind you that you are alive.SO LIVE.

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Today is the last day my sister will be employed with Starbucks. She just celebrated her eight year anniversary yesterday with the company. Many special memories arise within when I think of Katie and Starbucks together. My first job was just two stores down from her store back in 2004. I remember hearing her talk all about the flavors of coffee and how Starbucks supports coffee farmers. She is the one who introduced me to my first Starbucks drink, and it is because of her I am with the company in the first place. Her store manger and district manager were relentless in recruiting me and I never heard the end of it from her either.

Having her right next to me was comforting. I would walk over to her store after closing at my job and watch her close down for the night. After I moved over to Starbucks she was the first person I would go to when I needed something. Everybody I knew also knew that my sister was a manger of Starbucks. When I worked in the same town as she, customers would even call me by her name by mistake. When I had a question about the order, a change in policy, an ethical dilemma, or a problem with a coworker, she would be the first person there to support me and help me through it. She inspired me to be good at what I do. Her zest for doing her best at work carried into the way I lived out my life. After I moved 1200 miles away I still felt close to her because I knew when I would wake up at 4am she would also be awake and we would both be making coffee and serving people. It was comforting to me to know that we were doing the same thing, as if we were gazing into the same stars miles and miles away from each other.

This is a new and thrilling step for her to take. She is transitioning to a life that is a little out of her comfort zone but much closer to following her dreams. And even though she might feel a little overwhelmed right now as she is consumed by thoughts of the friendships, relationships, and environment she has built around her, I know one day she will be able to look back on her time at Starbucks with pride. She will look back at the lives she changed because of her integrity and passion. She will be proud of herself.

Right now she is probably saying her goodbyes to the customers who have known her for the entire eight years she’s been with Starbucks, to her partners who have flourished under her management, and to the store she has managed for so long that she was able to see it while the dust was still blowing and the construction was still underway. She is probably shedding a lot of tears, some out of joy and some out of sorrow. For with change always comes an array of emotions.

I want her to know that my thoughts are with her today, but even more so that I believe in her. I can not wait to hear about her stories from her new job and the new relationships she will be making. I can not wait to see the look in her eyes when she feels like the tough decision she had to make was worth it and when she can see the reward of taking that giant leap of faith.

Katie, you are my hero.

Katie, at her first Starbucks store in 2005.

After I got engaged we drove straight to Katie’s store to show her the ring

Katie in 2008 hosting knitting Mondays at her store.

Aunt Mar visiting Katie at her store, all the way from NY

A good friend of Katie’s from Michigan, visiting her at her store this year

Katie’s pride and joy 🙂

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 This is Katie, my sister. Katie has always lived with conviction, she spends her life helping people who need it and being a voice for those who can’t speak up. Everything she does, even in her day job as a starbucks manager, she does with passion. She inspires those around her. If you want to be inspired by her you can start by checking out her blog disruptive change.

 This is Adrienne my eldest sister. She is one of the wisest people I know. She has a sensitive heart and is always working on herself. She is reflective and helps me to see things from a different perspective.

 This is Rachael, one of my closest friends. Rachael is always there to keep me accountable. She helps me to see truth where I may have missed it. If I need to sort through thoughts and emotions she will give me raw insight, whether it is nice to hear or not, but she does it with grace and love. She is always open to what she can change about herself to make her a better person. She reminds me what it is to be a good friend and a good person.

 These are Micah’s grandparents, who I call my own. Grandmother is so strong, she is almost 90 and she can out-walk me any day. Through everything that Micah and I have gone through they have been there to offer prayer, support, and guidance. Out of anyone we know, Grandmother and Grandfather are the least judgmental to us. They remind us that life is a journey and everyone is on it. No matter what is going on, we can call them up and walk away from the call with hope and determination.

My previous church and my current church inspire me. I would not be where I am today (and I consider it a very good place!) If it were not for these two churches. God always used the orchard’s pastor to speak to us, convict us, and challenge us, and because of that Micah and I were able to grow and mature in our personal relationship, in our relationship with God, and with others. My current church also has a pastor whom I consider very wise, very humble, and very genuine. His messages always get me thinking and always challenge me. Every single person in my church has inspired me in some way or another. I try to understand how it is possible to have such wonderful and genuine people all in one place at one time and I just can not.

 and then there is Kelly. Lately, kelly has been inspiring me every single day. She just shared her  music blog with me and I have not been able to stop listening to her songs. I play her music when I am writing (like right now), and when I am crafting (which is all other times), and when I just simply need a “pick-me-up”. When I hear her words, the strings on the guitar, the keys on her piano, I bubble up inside and burst with creativity. When I talk to her she is encouraging and excited about everything that God is doing in my life.

This post is part 1 of many posts to come. This is a handful of people that inspire me. and to all you out there who do,

I Thank you.

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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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