Ready for a long story?
I am 38 years old right now. Prior to Starbucks I worked as a prison warden in New York City making 60 thousand a year. I had worked really hard, starting as a case manager and eventually making my way to the top. But this came at a price. I was making about 1800 every two weeks and my expenses ran at about 900 a month. So what did I do with the extra money? I partied it away. Alcohol and cocaine. I became such a rotten human being. I would do coke on the job, accept "gifts" from inmates, look the other way,embezzle money, you name it. I knew I was a better person than that. I was so depressed during that time. I couldn't believe what a rotten piece of garbage I had become. Finally, I showed up to work one night drunk off my **** and from what they tell me, I beat up a couple of inmates. I don't remember a thing. Needless to say, I was fired.
I was so ashamed. I had to get work. I remember when I was in college reading somewhere that Starbuck's was a good place to work so I went to an open house. It was the first time I walked into a Starbucks. They hired me as a barista about a week later.
I worked really hard and became a shift three months later.
I hated being there. Maybe I was depressed. Who knows? Here I was,a college graduate with 15 years of management experience having to listen to a 20 year old ASM talk to me about management skills. What was wrong with this picture?
And then it hit me:
THESE JOBS ARE SUPPOSED TO SUCK.
I mean seriously, let's imagine Starbuck's paid baristas 15 dollars an hour, with full benefits, tuition reimbursement,etc. etc. No one would leave the job! Where would the next generation of college students, teenagers, former drug addicts, etc. get their chance to enter the workforce? It dawned on me that this job and other fast food/retail jobs are meant to be treated as a transitional experience. No matter how much you kid yourself, Starbuck's is fast food. Nobody cares about mug awards in the real world. People will laugh at you when you tell them you're a coffee master.
I think the reason alot of Starbuck's employees ( I refuse to use the term "partner" as I think that is BS) come on this site is because like myself, they feel they have been bamboozled. People apply for a job at Starbuck's because they think it's respectful and somewhat of a step up from let's say a Mickey D's and then when they start working on the other side of the counter realize it's just another bullsh%t fast food job. You work hard like a damn dog and take crap from rotten customers and the most you can hope for at the end of the day is one of those stupid green apron cards.
I could go on and on but let me tell you what led me to quit:
I had done what I thought was a good close and the next day when I came in the ASM called me to the back. I was worried because I had no idea if I had done something wrong. So I'm sitting in the back and he tells me,"This morning I walked in with the SM and we were so upset with your closing...." So I ask him," Yo, what happened? A fire, what?" And this imbecile says,get this,"We found a grape under the retail wall." I remember thinking to myself,"I'm a loser. I'm a college grad and I'm getting yelled at over a grape."
That night I went home, fixed up my resume and sent it out. Nine days later I was hired to work as a manager of mental health programs for the state at, get this, 72,000 a year.
The next day, I went to work and as soon as I walked in they started that whole fear thing where I have to punch in immediately because the DM is coming and blah blah blah.I hit the roof. I was going to give them 2 weeks notice but you know what? I quit. Up theirs.
What did I learn?
-Well for one, if you live in America, you don't have to put up with garbage. This ain't Bosnia. It ain't Sudan. It's America. Opportunity. If you hate your job, get something else. Don't believe the hype about the economy and blah, blah, blah. People are always hiring and in a city like New York, your new boss is only a block away. All it takes is to not become comfortable at Starbuck's because next thing you know 3 or 4 years will pass and you'll still be making 20 grand a year. That sucks. Who can live off that? Especially if you're young. There are too many twenty-somethings stressing about bills like they were 40 years old because the job doesn't pay you to survive. That sucks.
-I would never treat fast food employees like garbage but working on the other side of the counter made me realize how nasty people can be. Now every time I go into a Starbuck's I make sure I tip everybody down the line 5 bucks because that 5 dollars will go towards someone's lunch. I know how it is now. Starbuck's employees work mad hard.
-Stay in school. It's never too late. Oh, and stay away from the excessive use of drugs and alcohol because you'll lose a good job like I did and have to work with kids 15 years younger than you that will call you a loser because you're 38 and working at a Starbuck's.
In closing, here are some good things about Starbuck's:
-It's easy to get laid at Starbuck's. The constant turnover made it possible for me to enjoy myself on a regular basis with girls of every age and nationality. Not to mention the easy chicks I used to bag by simply putting an extra pumpkin loaf in their bag. Chicks are such whores for pastries....lol
-It gives former,corrupt, drug-addled, alcoholic wardens an employment opportunity where they can clean up their lives and return to the real workforce stronger than ever.
Thanks everybody. This is something I wanted to write for the last few months. Part of closing the chapter I guess.
Stay In School............Peace