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November 23, 2007

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PRESTA

There was a location that had a man working there who had to be in his late 50's / early 60's. He was a recent employee, and constantly had to ask the younger workers for help on how to make drinks! You could definitely see the frustration and borderline resentment on the faces of some baristas. If one is too old and simply can't do the job, then you should spare your co-workers and customers the grief and not work there.

jabanga

hey, i just read this this am because it is a local story to me. who really knows?

Presta, wow a new hire asks for help and you equate it with age. What a moron or is it just age phobic that you are?. How about this, the guy is old enough to ask for help so the product is correct rather than just making it up because "he knows better".

kitty

I work in a store with a great mix of ages...and I love working with the older people 40-50's range because they see things differently and give me a new point of view.

I know some managers are young and don't like hiring older people because they're afraid they won't be respected. (this was brough up in a class I was in) That's crazy talk. We should all be respecting one another, isn't that what Starbucks is all about.

I have a feeling that this woman is simply a loon.

Pat Nerr

"If one is too old and simply can't do the job, then you should spare your co-workers and customers the grief and not work there."

I think you were onto something with the "can't do the job" part... not sure that age has anything to do with that though... Gotta hire the best candidate. She's looking for work, didn't get the job... Starbucks has deep pockets... you can see the motivation...

just sayin'

OFF TOPIC.
Does anyone know when we get our 40% discount for the Christmas season?
When does it start?

ristretto caramel macchiato

My manager told me that it started today.

seventysix [76]

I hate to say it, but I'm guessing that she probably had limited availability and was rude at her followup.

Age shouldn't be a factor, along with race, gender, and sexual orientation. I have a partner with whom I work and she is in her fifties. She's one of the best ones we have there! I love her. :)

Hope everyone's Black Friday wasn't too intense!

Greetings,
seventysix [76]

estos

So honestly... I haven't met anyone over 50 who can do the job of a barista and not buckle under the pressure. I've worked with the company for almost 3 years and find that "older" barista's only last about two months before quitting and while on that two months they are constantly stressed out which messes up their drink success and how they deal with customers. I'm not saying someone over 50 can't do the job but with my experience I'd rather hire someone in their 20's than about to reach their senior discount.

Zipy

I dont think age has anything to do with it. This is starbucks, we don't go after college grads for barista jobs. Some people just aren't right for the job. Age aside. It's just if you can handle retail or not.

if i am not hiring at a certain time i will file the application. if later weeks, i decide to hire, i look at the most recent aps first, because more than likely the older aps have found other jobs already. i rarely would go back 5 months to pull an application to call on.

Age/birthdate isn't even on the application.

"Age/birthdate isn't even on the application."

If you can't estimate a person's age within 10 years based on the information on a job application, you aren't smart enough to hire anybody.

Dangerous Dan

There are more qualifications for this job than just being able to make coffee. You are in a customer service role and also must be able to work as a team and get along with co-workers.

If indeed the store's assertion that she was belligerent about following up on her application was true, they have a valid reason for denying her employment.

To me, part of the Starbucks experience is a fresh smiling face to greet you. Do you want to see a 50 year old waitress at Hooters? Conversely, do you want your physician to be 25 years old?

Umm... I think the customer service one expects at Hooters is a bit different than Starbucks. If said 50 year old was pleasant, cheerful, and eager to be helpful, how does that not fit our job description?

Now it does sound this in not the personality type of the woman in question, but if it was there would be no logic in denying her employment based on age. Does "embrace diversity" ring any bells?

sbuxnewbie

I've been a partner now for about a year and a half. I'm 50 years old.

I've never been late for a shift, have nearly open availability (I have also gone back to school, so the one or two nights a week I have class are my only non-available times.),I'm a shift & a learning coach.

Our district is small and fairly new, and only has 2 ASMs, but I've been told I'm being considered for an ASM spot when we start adding them.

No one has EVER questioned my age, or ability, and most partners are surprised to find out how much older I am than they are.

So, is this a company-wide problem, as alleged by the plaintiff? I rather doubt it. Is it a case of personality clash? Yeah, probably.

Stacy

I've been a partner for 3 years. During this time, I've worked with six "older" adults. Out of those, 3 of the six couldn't cut it (2 being in their early 40s). One lady is her mid-50s was a shift. The other lady in her mid-50s is has been my ASM for almost a year and just became an SM.

In my experience, the way my managers check apps is to look at whether or not the app is under 18 (we have a district rule of not hiring under). If the app is 18+, they skip to availability. If the availability is next to nothing, it tends to get automatically filed. At my store, and I'm sure many others, availability is the most important part. If this lady had crappy availability, I can pretty much guarantee that is the reason she was not hired.

Does anybody know how I can order a cup labeller for my store? Is there a SKU and is it pretty easy to hook up the tills to it? Thanks in advance.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Its a biological fact that as people get older, they get slower. The aging process is a very cruel thing. And to be around partners who can move and think alot faster can be very frustrating. People should accept their limitations. A store is only as strong as its weakest partner. At Starbucks, the barista job requires a quick ability at retrieving and accessing memories on how to properly prepare a drink. If a person is not skilled at that then, service with speed suffers. Also, the physical abilities of working bar at a peak time can be very difficult. For example, from an earlier thread is what about those partners who cannot lift a coffee urn? Should they be allowed to stay on board or will another partner have to take the weight? Its very difficult for many people to accept they are getting old. Youth is wasted on the young.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL
PRIMUS INTER PARES
STARBUCKS REBEL ALLIANCE
AIM SN: BOSTONSTARREBEL

In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.

STARBUCKS GEISHA BOI

"Pray, do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more or less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind." King Lear

Great, if the lines and service at Starbucks wasn't slow enough already, we'll have people who can't remember anything about what they did. I'll have a dementia latte with extra Alzheimer's drizzle!

SM

Hey Stacy:
Your district's rule on not hiring people under 18 is just as illegal as not hiring somone over 50. Starbucks will hire people that are 16 and 17 and if you are skipping over them because of their age, that's discrimination.

As for the person requesting cup labelers, if you are a DT, then you can work with your RDO to get them installed. I would suspect however, that if you don't have them now, you're not going to get them. The labelers cost several hundred dollars each plus you have to hire someone to install the cabling to each cup labeler location.

What a bunch of ageists twits.

Tony

From most of the comments on here I am starting to wonder if this woman doesn't have a point. I am 48 and I have worked for SBUX for three years.
I am as fast and capable as any of the younger partners I work with. I was an ASM and now a SM, I work 40+ hours a week. (most of that on the floor, since I have very little non-coverage to use.) I can remember customer's names and drinks as well or better than any of you. I can float, work the bar, work the register as fast, or faster than any of you. Age has not slowed me down. I have hired a partner in her early seventies. She's not the best at Bar, but she is the most legendary partner at register. She helped my store achieve the highest Snapshot scores in my District for FY 07. I wouldn't trade her for three "faster" twenty somethings with the kind of attitudes I see relfected here.

jabanga

sm-

wrong. not hiring "minors' is a common and legal practice.

Equal Among Equals

"Your district's rule on not hiring people under 18 is just as illegal as not hiring somone over 50. Starbucks will hire people that are 16 and 17 and if you are skipping over them because of their age, that's discrimination."

This is not entirely true, depending on where the district is located. There are some states where law stipulates under 18 cannot work in any type of food service because of the "danger" and also other areas where the combined limitations of the fact that a person under 18 is in school and local laws (under 18 cannot work after 7pm or before 7 AM) means that the person couldn't ever fit in even a 4 hour shift. Usually open policies such as this are based on law, not a district preference. This is why we can specifically ask on the application if the person is "less than 18 years of age" but cannot ask "how old" the person is.

But if the policy is per the districts preference rather than any local law, then I agree that it could be illegal.

SeattleInvestor

So what is wrong with this woman that no one else wants to hire her as well? So she drops an application at one place and waits by the phone for five months for a phone call, and when it does not come she sues? Give me a break.

Sure she is not some welfare queen who is required to drop off applications to continue receiving benefits?

As far as older people, slower, etc, it could also be that when young you would try and do anything, feeling your a blank slate. Once older and set in ways, you may not have the "hustle" to admit you are starting from scratch on being a Barista (I used to be a vice president!). I believe its 90% attitude related, and 10% age, and people with the right attitude can overcome the 10% age issue.

Stacy

SM--

As others have stated, it is not illegal to "not hire" minors. It all depends on child labor laws, the hours of your store, and the hours that the person spends in school. We have hired minors previously and we do consider hiring them if they are close to finishing school or about to turn 18. But otherwise, it's too difficult to make a schedule for someone who can barely work-- hence why the majority of poor availability apps end up in the file drawer, regardless of age.

There are thousands of businesses who do not hire under 18 due to this reason or due to insurance purposes. When dealing with minors, there are loads of laws and policies to deal with which is why the vast majority of retail apps ask about being 18 or older.

burnt bean

tony: you rock. i'd rather my sm would hire a few more older folks than the fresh out of high schoolers he seems to pick. each of the "oldies" we have trained are definately the most legendary. the young ones may be faster (especially at first), but they seem to get to point where they act busy, but are clearly not doing anything productive, and nothing really above and beyond.

Tony

Thank you Burnt Bean for the comment. I try to hire a variety of ages. I found when I hired too many High School/College age partners that I couldn't always depend on them to show up for their shifts on time and to follow dress-code. (Two important things to me.) With partners over thirty I find most of them are on time, (if not early) they are dressed to work, and they have a positive attitude about their job.

erstwhile

While I will admit that the majority of partners in our store range from 18-25 in age, my store manager is in his mid-40's and my monday through friday (busiest days of the week) opener is at least over 50 (though I've never asked her age because she's a lady).

It really boils down to individual ability. If this woman truly believes that the only reason she wasn't hired is because of her age, then she's delusional. I don't know about country-wide, but it seems like there are Starbucks needing help everywhere, and wouldn't turn away a potential hire who is otherwise capable and a good fit for the store, solely on the basis of her age.

doesn't "followed up on her application" mean that starbucks at least considered her application?

HAS BEAN

damn..she spent five months tracking the hiring pattern of all the portland area stores and taking notes as to the new hires age...try applying other places..or private investigating..

Imperabo

I'm amazed Starbucks has as many older folks as they do. I used to own a coffee house, and I'd say the application distribution was something like this.

Age %Applicants
<19 50%
19-25 45%
26-40 5%
40+ 0%

I had well over 100 applicants and never had one over 40. I would love to have been able to hire older people to balance things out, but they just aren't looking for a job as a barista. Starbucks offers more career potential so that explains why they get some, but they can't be turning many away. This lawsuit is bs.

A little bird

Well, at my store there was one person 50+ and a couple of us 35-45 folks. My manager really didn't like us as opposed to the college kids because we didn't take **, our availability was set in stone, and the one really older guy (white hair, no idea how old really) was a real jerk but she was afraid to fire him.

So, when a really WONDERFUL customer who happened to be about 55 applied for a job, the manager said, "We're not hiring" and a week later hired a couple of college students who'd applied at the same time.

Hmmm.

It'd make me wonder, except I'm not stupid.

Twisty

I managed a store many years back...My best two employees were in their fifties. One rocked the bar. The other was great at everything else and only competent at the bar. The difference was in the kind of experience they had in the rest of their working lives. One worked in IT. The other was a stay-at-home grandma. Wanna guess which one was the bar hog? Right...the one who embraced technology as a part of his daily life. Age is a number. Experience, attitude and AVAILABILITY
are more important. The woman who wasn't hired? Sour grapes!

flaubert

In my experience, older employees have high retention and are highly reliable!!!

There are many, however, who I have interviewed but not hired because they didn't seem like they would have a good cultural fit. While many of theme had already completed successful careers, its not clear that they had the humility to take and enact corrective feedback.

On the other hand, I have had some who had high paying careers who wanted to just work a few hours a week and were eager to enter at the bottom again. They were immediate hires and worked out well.

Renaissance_Girl

I agree with Twisty... sound slike sour grapes to me. Especially if she was coming into the store asking about her interview over and over rather then waiting for the manager to get back to her. And if she is rude to partners when she comes in would that not suggest she would be rude to customers? And also make for difficult work relations. Totally sour grapes!

I have worked with people ages 16 to 54 in Starbucks. You definately get far fewer applicants over 35. The majority (not all but the majority)of people in their 40's or 50's have been in a career for some time, where as people in their 20's are still trying to figure out what to do with their lives and see Starbucks as something where they have a flexible schedule should they want to go to school, work a second job or what have you.

I wonder if this woman applied anywhere else? I am sure if she had a bad/annoying attitude Tim Hortons, Dunkin Donuts etc would also have turned her down. Do you really think she would still be sueing if she had been turned away by some singluar privately owned coffee shop?

just me

'scuse me, but i am 53 and ROCK as a lead and barista, if i do say so myself.... every age group brings something different to the job; us 'old folks' bring a great work ethic and a pro-active mindset (perhaps it also helps being a mom?).. .the younger set bring a fresh perspecitve and tons of energy to the workplace. it's all about screening your applicants carefully... our weakest link is a 22 year old (total lack of urgency there; i'm suspecting it was just how she was raised), our youngest partner (17) is outstanding on the bar.
attitude, a sense of responsibility and basic avaliabliity are key, the rest can be taught.

Sabra

Dear Estos, i am 50 and have been with the company 5 years. I love my job and fit in with the 18- to 25 yr olds in the store.We have a great time together while providing excellent customer service. Yes at first it took me a while to catch on, especially since at that time we used the La Marzocco machines.I think that it really depends on the person, but you should'nt count somebody out just because they are older. I am so thankfull for my fellow partner/friends. I don't even like to think of my life without them and i'm pretty sure they feel the same way.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

I agree with the right personality, you can adapt to work at Starbucks at any age. I remember one of my shifts was 65 and he did a wonderful job and we all looked up to him.

McLurkypants

Re: not hiring under age 18 as illegal age discrimination -

Yes, it's discrimination.

No, it's not illegal, at least not under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). That law only protects from discrimination against those OVER 40. Your state may have a law that provides broader coverage, but the "protected class" for the federal law is over 40 only.

SBUX-was-cool

Why is it that old store managers always hire old people to work with them? I mean, at any job I've ever had, there was always a young-ish crowd working until a supervisor was brought in that happened to be 50+. From that point onward, it was olds-ville all around. Productivity went down, sales went down, customer complaints went up, etc. Isn't retirement the main concern for older people, anyway? I mean, if you haven't already saved for retirement and need to work until you die, that's not really my fault, and, basically, you shouldn't be screwing me over with your slow self.

Old people are slow, confused and need help. No, I'm NOT going to pick that up for you. No, I'm not going to help you out more than anyone else. If I was your boss, I'd expect you to do the job (labor and all) or get the hell out. Plain and simple.

Now go retire.

Nick

SBUX-WAS-COOL

Wow, and I am always surprised by people who work so hard to be asses....then there is you, it just seems to come so easy.

so does this mean that if i apply for a job and don't get hired i can sue?
awesome

what an idiot

mickey

Really S-W-C?
You're the expert? The authority on what does and doesn't belong behind the line @ SBUX? I'll take the legendary [older] partner who needs help getting the box of Venti Cups down from the top shelf over the unwelcoming, disingenuine, inconsiderate, lazy, beligerent, bigotted, self-important hipocrate you seem to be.

It's about diversity. Think of your 'older' partner as a grande Italian Roast or Sulewesi - the 'younger' parter as the DCCF.

You S-W-C, double blended with extra whip.

Kat S.

"I'll have a dementia latte with extra Alzheimer's drizzle!"

Clearly spoken by someone who has never had to deal with such a problem in their life. You'll find that when you watch relatives suffer in this way that it's not all that amusing. Remember that your time will come, and this may be your lot, as well. I hope you find yourself with more sympathetic people in your life.

Baristard

Mickey-

I thought that your drink comparison was a perfect analogy for the situation! Thank you so much for using your green apron skills and Embracing Diversity.

Now, I am only eighteen and I just became a SS at a store whose age bracket is capped at about thirty-five so I don't have much experience in the matter but age is definitely not factor in the SBUX hiring process, unless of course a person is handicapped in such a way that they are unable to do tasks such as a cafe sweep or pulling a shot of Espresso.

Other than that, if I'm asked to (using someone else's example) pick something off the floor, or grab venti cups from the top shelf, I will gladly do it. It's just respectful. Remember Asking (questions )For Help is a STAR SKILL!

As long as partners are respectful, follow company policy, and give LEGENDARY SERVICE, I couldn't care less about their age.

Next >>>

SBUX-was-cool

What? Because I speak the truth, you consider me an ass? That makes no sense. I want you to work with a bunch of old people who feel ENTITLED to NOT WORK because they are old and/ or incapable of actually lifting more than a couple of pounds or keeping up with the grind.

"I have been on this earth longer than you, so you need to work harder to compensate for my lack of working."

"I can't lift this bag of espresso. My hip just went out."

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up." (Ha!)

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I have no issue with able-bodied older people wanting to work, but I mean, only on a semi-retired basis. Old people should be in Boca, boating, golfing and enjoying life. Retire already! I mean, that's what's expected of you.

What the hell? It doesn't work like that. My previous comment stands.

And, for the record Mickey and Baristard, I'm a short Americano, no room. Thanks, though! <3 <3

SBUX-was-cool

What? Because I speak the truth, you consider me an ass? That makes no sense. I want you to work with a bunch of old people who feel ENTITLED to NOT WORK because they are old and/ or incapable of actually lifting more than a couple of pounds or keeping up with the grind.

"I have been on this earth longer than you, so you need to work harder to compensate for my lack of working."

"I can't lift this bag of espresso. My hip just went out."

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up." (Ha!)

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I have no issue with able-bodied older people wanting to work, but I mean, only on a semi-retired basis. Old people should be in Boca, boating, golfing and enjoying life. Retire already! I mean, that's what's expected of you.

What the hell? It doesn't work like that. My previous comment stands.

And, for the record Mickey and Baristard, I'm a short Americano, no room. Thanks, though! <3 <3

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