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December 06, 2008

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~D

how about we all email Katie and ask her to ask Howard about all the store feedback on the recent press conference? How about we ask her to ask him to tell us to our faces, at least through a camera, that in good conscious he can put us at the store level through the hell we are about to go through. Blow up her inbox.. lets get it out there.

brewmusic

no one wants to interview the baristas???

beantheredonethat

The problem with Starbucks is Schultz. Until he, and the board, recognize this, Starbucks is doomed.

Schultz is a great spokesperson and loves the brand he articulates better than anyone. When growth was a no brainer, it was OK with him at the helm. Now, Starbucks needs a leader, a true CEO that can manage change and manage a team of senior executives in very difficult times. Sadly, Schultz is not up to this task.

Think about it, do Dunkin, McDs, other QSRs and the like have the same problems that starbucks has? No. Why? They have competent leadership.

Me

"Sadly, Schultz is not up to this task."

Well, at least his pay certainly is... ;-)

mattology

step 1: pikes place same coffee EVERY DAY ? come on. showing up at 2pm and being stuck with pikes place :(

step 2: why are there like 01981 pastries that nobody eats ? stick to the stuff that rocks all day long. pound cake, marble loaf, lemon loaf, blueberry muffin, croissant, banana nut thing.

step 3: i spend between 20 and 40 a week at starbucks, why don't they know my name by now? Bring back the baristas tha are awesome.

energybolt

I like the idea of interviewing the baristas!! Customers too!! What can it hurt at this point?

mattology

also, why did they spend $20492840982 on all new bars when the old bars were working wonderfully? the new ones don't even steam brevé as well, for most typical baristas.

carter

it is unreal to me how people can turn so fast. schultz is the reason why we have great jobs at starbucks, why seattle is on the map, and why this company is so great. dont talk about his pay; he isnt even receiving a salary this year. the entire economy is screwed, in great part because half of u idiots voted for bush, not once but twice! give schultz and his crew time and they will make it right. u people r absolutely unreal

Frappagyna

Hey all.....I posted this the other day in a thread but I think it got lost in all the excitement as it never got any response. So posting it here again!


We had a discussion today at our store about refils. We have recently been tightening up on the people who walk into the store with a cup from hours earlier and demand refills. We politly remind them that refills are available if you have stayed in the store for a few hours, and then do a just say yes if it's the first time. If it's not the first time we charge for a full price coffee, less cup discount if they reuse the cup. The question is free refils with a registered starbucks card.

Do you only get free refills with a registered card if you have stayed in the store, or can you just head back into the store a few hours later in the same day and get a free refill with your registered card?

I can just see everyone waiting to give me their opinion....

Frappagyna.

max j

i read these posts all the time, and usu dont comment, but have to agree with carter on this one. Howard Schultz is one of the most successful businessmen in US history. he built starbucks from nothing. its not like other companies aren't struggling. carter i agree 100% with u. everybody forgets why starbucks is so great, and who made it great. interview the baristas? r u out of ur minds. nobody gives a damn about the baristas on nat television. there is a reason schultz is being interviewed. He is the backbone of this company we all love, so lets give him the time and respect he has earned.

Mike B.

I think carter is absolutely right. This man created one of the top 100 jobs out there and it's a job that you don't even need a degree for.

Yes, they should interview baristas on their views of the company and what it going on.

And mattology, they got new bars because they felt the coffee would taste much better and because the new bars are smaller so that you can see a customer over them and have a conversation. Honestly, it does taste better because the shots are almost always timed correctly. Whenever i go to a a store with a new one and with an old one, the new one tastes better.

Mike B.

Well max j, he didn't start with nothing. He actually bought the starbucks company back in the day when he saw the concept and how successful it could be. As great as he made it, he didn't start from scratch.

and frappagyna, technically it's supposed to be free all day as part of sbux rewards. We get customers that do it all the time. I don't like the idea either but it's not up to me. Now the real problem is determining if this person was here earlier today or if the cup was sitting in their car from yesterday.

jac

Who is this?

Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Paul McCartney! Our customers have given us "permission" to expand the Starbucks experience into Entertainment...

We will use shot glasses! Wait, ok no.

Starbucks rewards cards and a free pump of this or that! Wait, gold cards. Duetto. Starbucks cards. Oh hell I forget even how many there are.

No more breakfast sandwiches! Wait, nevermind.

Ladies and gentlemen, coffee is our core. Please meet our new svp for MSI.com! On second thought, make that a vp and forget MSI...how bout V2V! Or shared planet!

Back to the core! Hey, want a banana smoothie? You see, our customers have given us "permission" to....

Back to the core! Now, try some oatmeal, it's good for you.

I could go on. But what's the point?

concernedbarista

When I used to go into Starbucks as a customer in the late 90s and early 00s, I was always impressed by the service and of course, the drinks. This brand was one of the few places you could go to get amazing customer service....it always felt like the baristas loved being there, wanted to know you, and wanted YOU to love being there. THAT was the Starbucks experience I remember.

I started working for the company in 2003 and became a manager a few years later when i decided to make Starbucks my main job. I always remembered how I felt as a customer, and did my best to make my store reflect that "starbucks experience". And it worked...we created a store that was known for having tons of regulars, sales hit new heights, and the energy of the store was palpable. I always had the support of my DM to do what was in the best interest of the brand. But over the last year or so, it became about QASA, cutting labor, reading action items, and so on. All of this, when Howard himself said originally "we are in the people business serving coffee". How do you say that, and then cut labor to the degree you are now, without it appearing to be a huge slap in the face to the customers (many of whom are diehard regulars)??

I am now a barista (my decision), and I am so glad that I can just smile, connect and enjoy the customers without worrying about running labor well below standard and still trying to maintain a third place environment. I feel for all the managers out there.

I am also aware that this company is nowhere near the heights it previously achieved. I believe they are on the right track in some ways (namely Gold Card and all of the benefits of membership, etc) and that now is NOT the time to panic and cut millions in labor at the expense of losing customers due to slow/unfriendly service.

I will keep doing my best to represent the brand, but I can honestly say that I dont feel any support from upper management, and least of all Howard Schultz.

Please Howard, if you are reading this website: Take your finger off the panic button and get out into the stores, and observe. You DO have an amazing brand, and people are still lining up every morning to get your product. Don't cheat them. Give them their money's worth, and they will reward you no matter what the overall economic picture is.

Mike B.

Well since this is an open thread, has anyone seen this? Starbucks coffee used as galosine What are you're thoughts?

burntoutbarista

Frapagyna:
The "free refill" benefit for Registered Card holders is only supposed to apply to a single visit. That being said, I really don't know of a single store that actually enforces that policy.

laborrecap

howard may have helped the company to grow but just because we have a job because of him doesn't make him the best CEO in the world.

the best CEOs are executing in the field along with their management teams and are heavily involved with what goes on in the face of the company, i.e. those who are working in the stores.

howard may have gotten us to this point but in order for him to be great he has to help heal what he created, which is now a coffee company focusing on health food, frappuccinos and tracking goals for incentiveless targets! not to mention cutting labor when we need it most through the holidays.

so what if howard isn't getting a salary this year. i bet he bonuses and he has millions already he doesn't need more. spread the wealth to the barists, ss, asms, and sms that need the money and are the true representation of the company.

Darleen

Well, talk about biting the hand that feeds you. I have an idea, lets see just one of you armchair critics build an empire. Didn't think so.....

Mysticboi

Realli now? Did he build the empire himself? No, he had a bit of help from us. Lets see his empire run without baristas. Your as good as crippled when u chop off your own arms and legs.

SEADAVE

Perhaps Katie could ask Howard what, if any, mistakes he has made over the past year in trying to turn his company around. Does he regret that his now infamous memo (~Feb 2007) about what's wrong with Starbucks was leaked to the public? Does he feel that the memo tarnished Starbucks image in the eyes of the customer? What percentage of Starbucks current sales decline does he attribute to the problems outlined in the memo versus the declining economy? As Starbucks has matured as a company, has it lost some of its cache in the U.S. market and if it has what does Howard have in mind to adjust? Does Howard feel that there has been a mixed message coming from the company over the past year that has perhaps left some customers and partners feeling confused about the true direction of the company?

bstncoffee

Out of curiousity, what has the general reaction been to the holiday drinks?

I really dislike the change from gingerbread to gingersnap. I've started ordering it "without the ginger stuff on top," but I wonder if there's a better way for me to specify that request (I tried asking for it with nutmeg instead of ginger, and ended up with both)

Anony

Ask for no candied ginger. If there is any ginger on top of the whipped cream when you get the drink, ask them to scoop it off and add new w/c.

Kathie: Don't do this. It's not good for anybody.

Cut out the Heart

Carter and Mike B.,

No doubt Mr. Schultz has been great for the company but like all great athletes, there are times when your skills are no longer what the team needs. Howards value to the company has passed. He needs to move on and revel in what he has built. The longer he stays, the higher the risk that the company will continue its downward spiral. It is the right thing for Howard to do to say to his folks that now is the time to move on and for him to turn over the reigns. The problem is that Cliff Burrows is not the guy. Lani Skinner was the right person to lead the company but Howard F'd that up.

Jac, you are spot on with your observations and as a result have reinforced the reason it is time for Howard to walk away, quit talking to Katie Couric and let other take the once great company he built to the level it needs to be.

Now I am going to give Howard a little credit even though it is going to kill me, he is right in that the growth of the company covered up their problems a bit. What I used to keep telling my close friend that was screwed over by Weldon Spangler who let her go, that it is easy to be good when all was going well but the true test of a company is what will happen when you hit hard times. Howard, you failed the test of a Built To Last company. The first ill wind and you went right off the rails. Congratulations for being the next company profiled in a business book on how NOT to do it.

Gord

Kathi:

Posting passwords... not cool for anyone. Shouldn't much matter though, they can probably change them in two seconds.

I'm with you guys with the gingersnap latte. It's great with a spoon if I want to stop and eat the candy and whip cream first.. if not then I get a gloopy candy mess at the bottom of my cup. Still, interesting idea, if only the ginger bits would float. :)

I hope all these messages get saved in some internet archive... just so in a few years we can look back and see all this complaining didn't mean a darn thing in the general scheme of things.

I have to admit, I feel your pain when talking about the labor bit. I've been in stores where it seemed short staffed, but I'm betting it more likely poor scheduling by the manager as I've been in the same stores at other times and baristas were standing around. Seems like the labor could be shared around a bit better. I could be wrong, but seems like this. :)

raise

in the dc area, being promoted to shift gets you a $1.50/hr raise.

if you go back to being a barista, they only subtract $0.50/hr.

so get promoted to shift, then drop back to barista in 6months after your next review.

The ASM

Gord...in a few years do you really thing that sbux will still be around, at least as we see it today? We will be sold off to Pepsi or some other big company and instead of the expensive stores, Starbucks will instead be only available for brew at home or in vending machines across the world. Starbucks has ruined its self for the future, I am just a realist.

Flbarista

i for one am excited that with the cuts in non-coverage hours i'll NEVER be able to get my coffee master certification....

thanks guys!

Melody

The ASM I don't think Starbucks has ruined itself. As Clover expands, you're going to have better and better coffee experiences in the stores.

But one thing that is happening is that Starbucks is moving very fast. Launching ideas quickly and trying to be as agile as possible. So new ideas and new food are coming out at a much faster rate than ever before! Not everything will stick! I think Starbucks is throwing things at the wall and seeing what will stick.

Yes, it causes some of the "schizophrenic" experience that I've mentioned here before, but man, if they hit a home run with something - like oatmeal - it's well worth it!

Me

Is oatmeal still a runner? It's getting colder now and we are still selling somewhere between none and 5 a day. Doesn't sound like a home run to me. But yes, it's genius if you consider it has literally no markouts.
But hey, napkins don't have an expiry date either, lets try and sell the napkins... ;-)

jac

Melody,
You poor thing. You've gone all nutty smitten after your SSC tour. A home run with oatmeal? Do you hear yourself? Oatmeal does not enjoy the high profit margin that coffee does. This is not an oatmeal company. They dont sow, harvest, procure, or roast oats. No one came to starbucks to work behind the bar making....oatmeal.

Having modest success with oatmeal is not hitting a home run. It's dropping a bunt and managing to get to first base with the help of an errant flow.

Want a banana smoothie?

Melody

Webcast thoughts:

Tea is coming:
Michelle Gass talked alot about teacoming as a significant new piece. She mentioned full leaf tea a couple of times. A new "tea infusion" which is tea & juice, and apparently more steamed-type tea beverages. Anyone want to share more?

A "lean" store:
Listening to Cliff Burrows was intriguing too - actually with his definite accent, when he was talking about a "lean" store , for a while, I was thinking, 'what is that word he's saying? A 'lynn store' what's that?" . Since you're only listening to audio without the video play, you miss something. Gotta wonder if a lean store will only be in Lynn, Mass. ;)

One disconcerting point was that the 'lean' store had much more "fixed" baristas. I can understand that this is critical to increase the efficiencies of delivering a quicker beverage, but the more "fixed" the barista, the more likely there is a 'robotic' subtone to the store. Of course, since I didn't see the video, I don't know how fixed we're really talking. Yet I have no doubt that these undercurrent-type messages that the customer picks up on are quite important.

As I said before, I wish I had listened to the conference before I had posted anything in this thread or the 3 conf call threads. Oh well. I've made some stupid posts here over the year! LOL. Live and learn.

New store placement:
I definitely thought it was interesting that Cliff Burrows talked about store growth in "urban areas." Starbucks seems to see the urban centers as places for good company-operated store growth. Not really sure why. I would have guessed that it would be good to bring Starbucks to places where there's no store for many miles.

mystarbucksidea.com:
Terry Davenport mentioned several times the discussions on MSI focused around "value" - Sure seems like Starbucks is reading MSI!

Lattegal - Sorry the Vivanno is a pain to make! It's such a nice change of pace to have! I like them both!

Gold Card and the "core customer":
Also interesting to me was Michelle Gass speaking about the "core customer" though she never specifically defined that term, given what she said, the reasonable inference is that these people come to Starbucks a minimum of 8 times per month and comprise about 1/4 to 1/5 of Starbucks customers. THIS is the group, it seems, that the Gold Card was really targeted for. I supposed that means as a barista, you shouldn't be discouraged if 80% of your customers look at you like you have 2 heads when you talk about the Gold Card. You just gotta keep talking about it until you chance upon the core customer. Still, if Starbucks has like 50 million customers a week, that small percentage of core customers becomes a really big number!

Of course, again, I'm making inferences from what Gass said.

Watchword of the conference call

Well if last time we had a conference call we learned about Starbucks being "re-architected" this time we got "specificity and granularity.". LOL. What's next, "resolution and adjudication" ?

LOL at Jac & Me:
* Jac I am bit Starbucks smitten! I'd consider it an endearing quality though you may disagree. HOWEVER, your criticisms of Starbucks fit squarely into the problem that I have often referred to as the "schizophrenic" Starbucks experience. I expect the only way out of that problem, long-term, is segmentation of the brand. But until then, the fact that the baristas are expected to run from a blender with a banana in hand, to being able to know something about CAFE practices, and describe that Thanksgiving Blend is a blend of Sumatra and Guatemala Antigua coffees, DOES create the schizophrenic problem that has not yet been resolved. Jac, I'd love to share a french press with you and have healthy debate. We'd have fun. I promise.

Me: Napkins! Expensive! Wouldn't it be good cost-containment to put them behind the counter and make people ask for them like they do at Subway? I'm just throwing that out there - not sure if it would work in a Starbucks environment.

green_cup

Well, talk about biting the hand that feeds you. I have an idea, lets see just one of you armchair critics build an empire. Didn't think so.....

Posted by: Darleen | December 06, 2008 at 02:33 PM

Had the Kool-aid?

yada yada yada

You've heard it all before and no matter what ANYONE has to say about ANYTHING, you'll always back up Starbucks. Darleen, you're a Starbucks robot. Even when you don't even work there, you'll support Howard Schultz and the company he built and subsequently (albeit not all by himself) ran into the ground. It could be a well-respected, revered analyst on these types of issues or some barista: if the opinion is different than the standard "Rah! Rah! Goooooo Starbucks! It's the best!!! Yeah!" dribble, you'll have nothing to do with it.

For your own sake, please open your ears to all ideas, collect ALL of the information out there BEFORE forming (or reforming) your opinion and know that, yes, you can be critical of Starbucks while still backing it. To lots of people, the recent moves in this company hurt, deeply, because they love/ have stake in/ enjoy the company but know where it's headed is down the black hole of failure.

It's okay to criticize -- it even helps fix things sometimes.

As well, your comment is offensive. For the people that work at Starbucks, it isn't intrinsically JUST Starbucks that "feeds" them -- they work their asses off (for the most part) and now even harder for less. They don't work for the sake of their love of Starbucks. So, in essence while Starbucks has some responsibility in providing them the means to the job, they're feeding themselves with their hard work to keep the job. Do not belittle that.

Finally, what have you done to make Starbucks better, yourself, personally? As much as I can tell, the only thing you did was quit. How did that make the company better? Where was your hard work? Seems like a quitter to me. Dunno, though, maybe you quitting just made the company about 1000 times better than when you were working there.

You're becoming an ugly person. Don't go there... I know you're probably a lot nicer than you've been acting lately.

Gord

I love the buy out by Pepsi bit. It's been rumored for years and doesn't actually make any sense. If it came to the point where Starbucks had to become brew-at-home or ready-to-drink do you honestly think they wouldn't figure out a way to do it themselves? They already own pretty much the entire ready-to-drink coffee beverage market.

Oatmeal is a huge hit for Starbucks. Not only because of the sales of the oatmeal buy itself, but because of the increased ticket per transaction that oatmeal helps bring. The oatmeal is an attach item to go along with the drink the customer has already ordered.

Getting back to the core encompasses more than coffee, although most can't see it. The core is the coffee house experience. The coffee house always has accompanying items for the coffee as well as other non-coffee options.

If you've been watching the history of Starbucks, you'll have seen the same arguments about a variety of things ranging like frappuccino (which is a huge money maker for Starbucks) to just offering skim milk as an option in drinks. This time it's about Vivanno etc. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And Jac, yes I would like a banana smoothie... you know why, because they are profitable. If not, they would be dropped from the menu. Simple.

Starbucks is still making a profit, still expanding and I can bet you that Starbucks isn't going anywhere any time soon.

In fact, with all the changes in the last year and Howard saying the transformation agenda has been completed, I'm betting that while this year will be difficult for the company, it will get easier on the employees. For example the laptops for managers, the online scheduling, etc. All tools to make life easier. This is the difference, instead of looking at just one part of the picture (OMG they are taking away 2% labor - that's what, like 4 hours a week from a store... that's like 45 minutes a day), look at the whole picture. Those 4 hours will be meaningless when you add in the new tools that have been announced, at least in theory... I'm sure there will still be those who complain.

To Me: You cannot use your store as the barometer for oatmeal sales. As a whole, oatmeal is selling very well for Starbucks.

To Flbarista: Coffee Master certification should fall under training hours, so the cuts in non-coverage will have no affect.

Zach... formerly The ASM

Melody, I have always enjoyed your sometimes over-the-top positivity. However, I must disagree with you. Clover is not coming anywhere near my market (even though it would be a hit). Oatmeal should have been released for Christmas or Winter, not summer. That would have helped tremendously with the weak sales that almost all stores are seeing (compared to what we have seen in the past). Also, Starbucks has shot itself in the foot this last Thursday. After the announcement of the labor, cutting our forecasts and the faux-positive remarks about how this will help, one of my friends who is a Store Manager put in his two weeks notice (he's been with Starbucks for 16yrs now). We are going to loose valuable people over the course of the next couple of years -this will be the undoing of the once great Starbucks. We still have a chance if we stop throwing out all the money towards meetings and manager conferences (yeah, like it was remotely helpful for those who were not allowed to come). I'm sorry but right now is not the time to be focusing on V2V or though I hate to say it (red), right now is the time that we should restructure and find new, forward-thinking leadership. Howard's time has past and he NEVER should have come back. We all know that he is grooming Michelle for the job but I just hope the board comes to their senses and makes someone with their heads removed from their you-know-whats.

I have been trying to be positive throughout the whole year, but this has been one of the most unhappy of my long career here. There have been several highs but far too many lows. My hat is off to anyone who, like Melody can find the bright side to all of it.

Thank you.

I was at a Starbucks in the Seattle area and they have a new big silver brewing machine that freshly grinds and prepares decaf brewed coffee, they say it is a test. The thing that is funny is that this is the exact same machine that is used in the service lobby at Kirkland Toyota (also a Starbucks machine). Hmmm... what direction is Starbucks going in if you get the same coffee at a service station as a real Starbucks location.

Melody

@Zach - We're in broken times. I analogize a bit of what is going on is that Starbucks has a broken leg. Baristas are wearing a big plaster cast that is heavy and burdensome and still asked to make a frap, time shots, grind more PPR, go wipe off tables, peel bananas, warm a piadini, and so on ... Hopefully when the cast comes off, things will feel much better, albeit perhaps still lesser healing pains.

@ Posted by: | December 06, 2008 at 10:22 PM - Sounds like the Clover. It's a HUGELY expensive machine. They likely bought it BEFORE Starbucks bought the company that makes them. It's a fabulous machine and was purchased at a very spendy amount. It's coffee like never before. I met a gentleman today in the software industry who by all appearances has the discretionary income to afford one of these in his kitchen, but can't get his hands on one. I'd consider it random great luck to happen upon a Clover, where ever it is. LOVE IT. http://www.v2v.net/actions/the-clover-coffee-experience

expired shot.....I appreciate what you said about posting a lot of the emails as I do the same however let me share a situation I am in that Im sure is not entirely unique and is just one example of the many reasons our email should remain private. I am an asm running a store with an overseeing manager. I know this is not uncommon in our sbux world especially with so many sm's jumping ship. My overseeing mgr allows me to operate the business and guide our partners with full faith in all of our abilities and therefore is very rarely actualy in-store since he is also managing a store that does over 3 times our sales. I utilize the email/portal program to inform him of any partner issues and also the sensitive info that goes to our DM since he cannot proccess epans for a store he is not technically the sm of. Please Jim, even with the damage already done, in respect for all partners, PLEASE remove the passwords

Melody- Sadly, no its not the clover. It was the same machine that was at the 2008 shareholders meetings. I know for 100% certain it is not the clover. The location is the one in Clearview, WA on Hwy 9. It looks like the Interactive coffee brewer.

http://www.starbucks.com/business/ocslist.asp

I just find it sad that this is a foodservice item, designed for delis, hospitals, ect in a traditional Starbucks. It cuts labor greatly I am sure, but is it worth it...

expired shot

way back in the day of a troubled store, as an asm, I would send super confidential email to a DM, for his eyes only, then delete my sent email, after having printed it(for proof of action taken on my part), and personally file outside the store for my own safe-keeping and then delete the message. The outgoing message would state clearly I was uncomfortable with that mode of communication for privacy reasons and that I would be in the store for follow-up at x hours for the week. It's not fun, but I believe that in this day, it is never smart to leave confidential items in your inbox. Too many people have worked for Starbucks and already know our codes. sound paranoid, maybe, but it's leaked minutes after we receive new codes. At this point it is a waste of money to change codes every time something is leaked. It is sad, and embarrassing, but part of life.

Mysticboi

LoL, other than the SM codes, all the other codes are posted at my store. I use them often to fix technical issues that we run into. Phoning the help line takes forever...I do all the repairs myself.

The winter promo has been up over a week now... Can't believe no one has posted anything yet! I'll let someone else post the beverages, but how does a maple sausage scone sound... McGriddles, much?

Ryan (SS)

Kathi, I hope you do know that your IP is recorded by Jim, and I'm sure he'd be happy to provide your information to the SSC if they want it. You may be able to provide a fake name, but your IP doesn't lie. Then the SSC can make sure you're kept out of the loop, for good =).

And Jim, I agree with anon at 10:58, please remove the passwords. I have a feeling that this blog and the SSC have a mutual respect for each other, the SSC receives information about how we're feeling from this blog, and you receive some information, and a reason to have this blog, from them. Please respect the mutual understanding you two have and delete any sensitive material (such as passwords) so that preying eyes don't see. Thanks! =)

Mrs. Tillinghamshackles

Its official in our district. To save non coverage promo set up has been turned into a slide task.

Well. This should be interesting.

Darleen

Finally, what have you done to make Starbucks better, yourself, personally? As much as I can tell, the only thing you did was quit. How did that make the company better? Where was your hard work? Seems like a quitter to me. Dunno, though, maybe you quitting just made the company about 1000 times better than when you were working there.


green_cup,
Who's the ugly one here? My finger points right at you buddy. First off, I generalized my comment to the few that threw out the personal attacks on Howard. You threw one directly at me, seems more ugly to me, don't you think? You don't know me from Adam, so don't assume anything about me, my work ethic or, my contributions to Starbucks. I find it very comical how so many can sit in judgement of a man they do not know. Yet, were it not for HIS dream of a great company, these same folks would not have a job to bash. Am I in Howards corner? You betcha! Do I think he dropped the ball? Yes again. Did I see things that I couldn't allign myself with? Yes. The reasons I left the company are my own. However, I did leave, I didn't just come on a website and bash the man. I made the difference in my own life. Still sound like a quitter? I think it took more courage for me to walk away then to stay, that would've been easy, just another day. So please green_cups, before you try to psychoanalyze take a look in the mirror. By the way, my contributions to the company were huge, many awards in my tenure. I was not minor league.

Darleen

Realli now? Did he build the empire himself?

Obviously this will be lost on you mystic boi. Have you not read Pour your heart into it? Who was the one going door to door asking friends and business colleagues for financial help to get Starbucks started? Howard. Yes, he did build this company one cup at a time.

Darleen

As I read over your post green_cups I see there is one thing we do agree on. The partners work hard. Those are the same partners I defend here. What I am saying is if you have that much hate in you for the company you work for, then you are part of the problem. Come on, we have PARTNERS saying things like they would like to show Howard his GRAVE? How productive is that? My eyes are not closed to the fact that this company is broken, but it is not defeated. I will continue to believe that if you can no longer contribute, it is time to contribute where you feel you can make a difference. Coming on here and spouting off like some do, what does that do for Starbucks? Does it help? Doubtful. True criticism is not wishing to show Howard his grave, but maybe to help find solutions. I have yet to see one of the folks who armchair critique the company actually offer any concrete solutions. Have any of them built a company? I haven't. I do not belittle anyone's hard work. What I tend to get angry at are the ones who have such hate, yet do nothing to cleanse it but throw around more hate. I have never called anyone a hurtful name, nor have I belittled anyone for having an opinion. I will stand up for the ones who offer solutions, not the ones who spread ugliness.

Darleen

While I am on the defensive green_cups, one thing I can truly say is I am a nice person, with a huge heart. This is just one small side of who I am as a person. When I see someone getting attacked for who they are it lights a fire in me. Howard is not a monster and it pains me to see him portrayed as one here. Had he made mistakes? Haven't we all? Have people been affected greatly by those mistakes? Definitely. I do not belittle that or excuse it. However, none of what has happened has been planned from day one. These are unfortunately the times we are in now. To make the company great again will take everyone's commitment. Someone put an analogy of a sports team here. Would you as a coach want someone on your team that was not a player? Argh...I'm beating a dead horse obviously......

Jim Romenesko

Don't waste your time posting passwords; they'll be deleted.

Jim Romenesko
Starbucks Gossip webmaster

Darleen

Jim,
I'm sure the passwords will be changed now. I think it was just uncool to post them to begin with. Thanks for the integrity to delete them.

Darleen

One more thing then I'm off to start my day. I know, I actually do have a life outside of Starbucks. LOL. For the partners who are thinking of going onto the portal and reading confidential emails, directives or what have you. Remember this, that is a terminable offense and I'm quite sure the person who posted them will not be around to help you find other employment if you get terminated. Your SM will be more than happy to share any info. with you, if this is not happening, ask for clarification. Okay, I'm off to have a fun day off. Have a nice day folks.

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