So I started working for Starbucks early this year, and one of my friends worked at this same store before my hiring. We always got along famously, there were no problems between us- the problem, to be frank, is with management. The other problems are with the other employees, the store itself, and god, the customers.
I'll not go on a rant about customers and their cockfoolery- we all know they're 99% idiots with the exceptions of those very few cool regulars you may meet. But in my short time I've heard so many stories about how great the old managers were, so on and so forth, how everyone enjoyed coming to work and even if there was a line out the door, it was okay- it was fun, it wasn't stressful. Sadly, I've begun to realize that those stories were probably right.
Because now, after the 'honeymoon phase' of having a new job around new, outgoing people is over, it hasn't just become work- it's become in the bluntest terms a (not literally) knife fight. And not the awesome 'monkey knife fight on international waters' kind, the 'everyone is out for themselves and will gladly, outrightly, backstab you.'
Granted, and I mean no offense, but it's sort of a given that if you put over a dozen high school to late 20s year old females together that things will get catty. But good gravy, not like this. It's like a warzone. It's cutthroat, kill-or-be-killed madness. Shifts tattling on partners, partners tattling on shifts, shifts tattling on shifts. Managers picking sides not by right-or-wrong but who-licks-my-boots-more. It's pande-f'ng-monium.
When I was working in a shop across the street years ago, I'd come in and though I despised the corporate devilry of Sbux, there wasn't a 7-11, Caribou, or mom-and-pop coffeehaus in any sort of reasonable distance. The mom-and-pop shops if at all. Sbux has, in fact, run them all out of business in this area. I recall these old managers and old employees, how friendly they were and how they got along, how there were actual conversations between them about the products they served. They were always extremely friendly, and very patient whenever I brought in a long list full of the most asinine things from my coworkers. But now it's like, where has that welcome actually gone?
My managers are both extremely immature. It's not about the store to them, it's about the popularity contest and the priveledge- always the awful state of retail or fast food. I can understand that, I've dealt with it before- but when the person who initially vouched for my hiring puts in their two weeks' notice as they've not only found a better job but have become just outright sick of the drama, rampant favortism, and knife-in-the-back politics of the store is forced by the outright -hostile- treatment from other shifts and our two managers to just quit before the two weeks are up? One would think it's gone a step too far.
Gets worse though. I've kept my head down and my mouth shut, made no comment, pretended as if that turn of events has no effect on me out of fear for my job- apparently, though, that hasn't been effective enough. Apparently, due to bloodfeud between my corrupt store manager and this former coworker, somehow by extension I've become the target for vengeance. At first I just thought, 'Well, this is a big mess everyone has to deal with, it's bound to get stressful and frustrating. They've got to find someone to cover all those shifts, and we're already out of hours to hand out to the shifts, not only that but they have to see to training our two new partners (..and still training me, for it has been extremely dismal in that regard (because there's nothing more fun than being planted on register 1 for 7.5 hours out of an 8 hour shift)).'
But when all's said and done and things are sorted out, I've become the target of not just the normal 'oh, that's wrong. here's how you do it right' criticism, but the actual verbal threat of being 'written up' (..what is this, gradeschool?) for small mistakes made. Especially made during peak hours, where we have literally people standing shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip in the cafe angrily waiting for their drinks that aren't magically in their hands upon immediate entry. That somehow, we were able to psychically sense their departure towards our wonderful little coffee house before they even thought to come here sometime last Thursday and have their drink prepared for them at this.. Exact. Precise. Juncture in the timestream of the universe.
..but I digress. The target of these sorts of threats, and just sheer hostility. Not a friendly word spoken to me, sneers and dour looks, disdain with every spoken word. Not only that, but, if you've worked at Starbucks in these recent awful months with Howie as our CEO again, we've got all these nonsensical changes. No more label makers, Pike Place must be brewed every half hour with no exceptions. Once those little egg timers go off, if you don't dump it immediately, ooooh there's going to be hell to pay. Ever be looking someone straight in the eye, call out a drink for them to mark for the barista on bar, and they ..despite the supernatural hearing they've displayed every time you've ever worked with them, wait for you to finish the insipid drink's modifiers and they just look away? Pretending not to have heard what you said, completely ignoring you?
And then chastise you for marking the cup and stepping five feet from the register to plant it on the bar. 'It's a write-up if you don't follow your job duties. You are to stay on register and not move from that spot.'
I can only compare this to that Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law episode, where Ken Sebben is training Doggie Daddy with a door. Every time he tries to walk through the door, Ken slams it on his nose. When Doggie Daddy asks what he's supposed to do, Ken yanks viciously on his choke chain. Because that's how I feel in this situation. Not only that, but then we put everything together here..
Some people may have better experiences. I understand it all depends on the person. But aren't store managers supposed to be much more mature than this? Aren't they supposed to be professional, objective parties with no hand in the drama and politics? In a perfect world, sure. I'm an adult, I understand that's an impossible ideal. ..but to maliciously carry out a vendetta against a former coworker with someone associated with them now only outside the workplace?
That can be the only thing I can think of. I'm not a bad employee, I don't come in late and work as hard as I can, doing the best job that I can. I like to take pride in the work I do, even if I don't like it, I feel the need to do the best job possible. I cut my mandatory ten-minute breaks in half, or a lot of times not even take them at all to make sure my coworkers are able to. I know I go atleast a smidge above the minimum requirements of my job. How is this treatment deserved? Honestly.
I guess I've just been ranting. If you've read all this thus far, I'm surprised your brain didn't melt from the crybaby horseshit I've been spewing. Really in the end it's just another dawning realization that no matter where you are, where you work, and how old you are, you will -NEVER- escape high school. And that this is adult life in the good ole USofA- swallowing indignity after indignity, working yourself into exhaustion day after day not out of desire to better your community or workplace, but fear of losing your income and the repurcussions that follow.