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January 28, 2009


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Jim Romenesko

The store does get points for connecting although it was limited to one partner, the garbage guy to be exact. I happened to be wandering around when he started his task and he asked how I was doing. I said fine and asked how long he'd worked at Starbucks and how did he like it? He went on to talk positively about Starbucks, especially as compared to his previous employer, Tully's. I then drifted back to my table where my party of four awaited. Mr. Garbage Guy proceeded to go outside, change the drive thru garbage and ignore the rather large and gross sea of cream colored liquid that had pooled at the bottom of the garbage container; soon to dry up and leave a very large, nasty stain on the concrete.

Sampling? Zip. Coffee discussions? Nada. New tea discussions? Zilch.

Meanwhile, back at the table, my party was hoisting white and red drink cups. For awhile, it almost felt like we were back in the spirit of Christmas once again although one member mentioned it seemed weird there were two colors of cups.

And then there was the "Rosemary Ham And Swiss" sandwich which boasted of “fiorucci rostello flamed ham" (whatever the hell that is) paired with a mild dijon mustard spread and domestic swiss cheese. It tasted like plain old ham to me and the mild dijon mustard was not noticeable at all. A small, very bland, dry sandwich that was so not worth $5.75. I can't imagine a Starbucks partner taste testing this sandwich and saying, "wow, this is so awesome we GOTTA get it in our display case pronto"....but, apparently, someone did.

Eventually we were done and we headed for the door, through the crumby lobby, past the still empty, dirty and forlorn pastry case as well as the gross men's room which hadn't been cleaned and out into the cold, brisk morning air.

I'd like to say things don't get worse...that this was the example of a Starbucks gone bad and we'll soon be back on track. Unfortunately, such is not the case. As you will see in next week's column.


Time - Late morning
# of people who think Fife smells as bad as Tacoma – a lot
# of partners on the floor – 6
Service time – 30 seconds
Was the restroom better than a gas station restroom? - no
Busy level – steady
Staffing level – fully staffed
10 minute lobby sweeps? - no
Would I recommend to a friend? - no
Legendary service? - no
# of stores where anyone has tried to connect with a customer – 1 out of 3
# of stores where they've offered samples of anything – 1 out of 3
# of stores that could have been considered “shortstaffed” - 0 out of 3

Juan Valdez is the nom de cyber of a former Starbucks store manager who became disenchanted with the increasingly bitter taste of the Starbucks experience and fled to the mountains of Colombia where he now rides his burro and ponders the glittering sunsets.

SBUX Alum Bill

Are you trying to get these people fired?


Seriously if the place was that bad, they should be fired.


"# of stores that could have been considered “shortstaffed” - 0 out of 3"

This sounds sort of unnecessarily snarky to me. The problem isn't that we're all short-staffed so much as none of us are getting the hours we need anymore. Yes, I know, it's not just at the Bux, it's everywhere. But still.


Something about this column just seems mean-spirited. (Not just this post. The column in general.)


This is hilarious, keep it coming

i love these! i wish someone would do one for my store while i was working so i could see how i'm actually viewed at a customer's perspective.

and btw, milk carafes are now on demand. we only leave half-and-half out now. if someone wants a different milk, we tell them to go to the bar and request it. or if the R1 person isn't busy they'll take care of it.

also, i'd like to add that at first, when the -3% crap started, our store was definitely understaffed, or maybe we weren't used to running that way, but i think now we're able to handle it, and things don't seem nearly as stressful as they first were. idk, maybe we're just not making as much business as before.


This sounds sort of unnecessarily snarky to me. The problem isn't that we're all short-staffed so much as none of us are getting the hours we need anymore. Yes, I know, it's not just at the Bux, it's everywhere. But still.

I agree that I'm annoyed by the tone you take when addressing staffing levels. There is no excuse for a store with 6 partners on the floor not taking care of it's lobby. But you make it sound like these couple of fully staffed stores you've visited prove that there are no short staffing issues in the company. I'm a shift in DT store that typically runs with only 2 people from 4-6pm. Do we do 10 minute slides during that time? Hell no. One partner uses their till to check out DT and cafe alternating one at a time and the other barista makes all of drinks, warms all of the pastries and sandwiches and brews the coffee, both get rude comments and looks from customers for a situation we can't control and neither of us get a break. So please stop acting like there aren't those of us who are dealing with short staffing issues on a daily basis and are truly working our butts off just to achieve mediocre service. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't there.


It is obvious what the point of these "weekly columns" are for the writer. I would take them at face value. If you fully believe what he is writing, I have some land I'd like to sell you.... Come on people, are we really this bored in life?

Former Barista

I thought it was a hilarious article..sounds like MANY SBUX that I have visited...specifically in Maui - whoa, what a mess.


While I do enjoy reading your stories, I have always said, Starbucks partners, present and former, are the worst customers. You have a nice writing style and knowledge of how things used to work so you get to have your stories posted here, but this is not the same company you used to work for. I urge you to bring down the snide comments that suggest that you are/were better than those baristas. Every sarcasm drips with offensive arrogance.

Green apron tied twice

I started with the company in 1988, and trained at the Pike Place store...good times working part-time for more than five years. We earned health benies for more than 25 hours/week, a lb. of free beans and each paycheck contained "beanstock." I handed cups of coffee to customers and didn't put it on a special shelf. They had names like, "Mrs. Campbell, Pierre, and twin's daddy." There were only two flavors (almond and vanilla) and we had to mix the mocha powder by hand at the begining of each shift. We religiously tossed drip coffee that was not consumed within an hours' time.
As I saw the company grow, I also lamented the addition of so many concepts that seemed unfulfilling and baristas that couldn't tell you where Ehtiopia was on the globe.
Here I am (today) with a morning pot of drip at home and a carafe of French press on Sunday, becuase it's all about the coffee.
Mr. Schulz could do himself a favor and go back to the business of coffee and people - leave the machines, gadgets and sticky sweet stuff and food behind.

This column is very sarcastic. I like the idea of a column like this however I don't care what Tacoma or Fife smell like. Also, as you are a former partner you should be ashamed of yourself for referring to a current partner as "Mr. Garbage Guy". Really?

Good Guy

Show some respect and don't call a partner "garbage guy" that's rude.

You are a rude person with bad manners.

hard working barista

At my store, I often am short staffed because of lazy SM and or ASM. They often don't work on the floor when they are scheduled. It's a busy DT. We don't have enough people to server both lobby and DT. To fit in a lobby or any closing tasks has become impossible. IT'S NOT A LACK OF PLANNING, TRAINING or THAT WE AREN'T WORKING HARD ENOUGH. Quality is out the window now.

WOW what a jerk

The "very large, nasty stain" sounds a lot like the person writing this review.


Whoa...you need a job, hobby or maybe a significant other or something.
Sounds creepy to be skulking in the lobby like that.


Sarcastic or not, these reviews paint a very good picture of most, if not all, of the Starbucks I've been in recently.

Plus, I went in to a Starbucks in my hometown in CO, and they completely got rid of all of the comfy chairs. It looked like a McDonalds with some fancy coffee-inspired wall mural-- BLECK!


This does not surprize me. You do seem bitter, though. As I have posted before I was a Barista and was laid off just after the first of this year. I was hired in August had worked my 240 hours and earned and started paying for bennifts in December. I would have been up for my first pay increase February.
My training was by watching a computer program and then by a Shift Supervisor showing you how to work the espresso bar and by first hand experience good or bad. One of the computer moduals was all about how to clean the store. The next modual was about POS, point of sale, at the register. The register has many layers of screens depending on your drink or food pick. Speed was always a factor by not only the Customer but the management. I had very little hands on time at the Espresso bar or the window. I was assigned maybe four different times at the window, otherwise, I worked the window when no one else would respond to a drive up which starbucks refers to making a slide. In our store there have been Barista's that have worked for SBUX for 3 or more years, many of which are students. They have mastered the espresso bar over time. Making those fabulous drinks wet or dry extra foamy and so forth and doing so in seconds or as fast as the shots can be can come out of the machine. They are the most efficent people to have at that post. For most newbys it was more efficent to have them posted at the front register so they can do the lobby sweeps. I was told at my lay off due to shift cuts (fewer shifts in a day)that the store could only have the most efficent team on. This in the long run is why you see the bathrooms dirty. Less Barista's in a demanding store and the register Barista is now making the espresso, too, and not getting in a lobby sweep. It is impossible to do all of the daily chores and keep a clean store while cutting back and still delivering a fast good cup of coffe or espresso. I was told I was one of the best Barista's with the customers and never late nor whined but I was expendable due to SBUX having only the most efficent shifts on. I don't see how not having that fourth Barista to do what I was doing is making Starbucks shifts more efficient. This may be faster and ultimatley sell more drinks but they don't get the whole job done or the store clean. This will be a problem soon because the Barista's that do get the job done will collapse or leave SBUX altogether because they are way over worked. The current policy already is unhealthy for the workers in that you are constantly on your feet with only a ten minute break after working 4 hours. And if you see that you would not finish before close you often work through you break. If your legs cramp and you have caught up you still must find something to do. You must keep busy and on your feet moving at all times. Store policy! Barista's are not allowed to sit down unless it is on your break or on your lunch regardless on how much you have already done. (The only exception to the no sitting rule is the shift when they are counting the money in the back.) You get a lunch break if your shift is more than 6.25 or 7.25 hours. I am a Real Estate agent by trade and have several jobs and I am astonished by the amount of work that was expected from a Barista. And the skill that a Barista possess' that has been there for some time is amazing. Everyone should be a Barista for a "day" and find out how hard they work it could give you insight what SBUX is all about. I hope that all my friends at my store stay well and I am truly worried about the current work conditions.


Only the Batista who non-connecting Batista seems beyond rehabilitation. You either enjoy making people happy or no.


Only the non-connecting barista seems beyond rehabilitation. You either enjoy making people happy or not.


This sounds just like the store I work at (except Chapters is to blame for the washroom). The efficient barista that doesn't make eye-contact-that's me too.

You should have made a point to mention something to a manager or partner on the floor. Rather than blogging about how filthy this store was, why don't you help out some of the regulars in the store and talk to the DM, ASM or SM. I don't understand why any of us needed to read that when it could have been resolved so easily. We know that the whole third-place atmosphere is totally lacking in some stores but take back your stores people!



These give me great perspective.
Juan, if you could respond, what has been your best starbucks experience as a customer ever?


Would you get out of Washington State for gods sake!!!!


Screw "EYE CONTACT!!!"

they just announced 300 more stores closed. I think you'll be lucky to get any contact at all with the staffing and labor cuts coming!!

How about "coffee dispensers" and one guy behind the bar??

So much for "third place!"

Now the "third Place" is the unemployment line!

Thanks, Howard. YOU RULE.

Going forward... fire yourself!

ShiftSuperviser in Puyallup

I admit that I have caught myself sitting in a "nice" sit down resteraunt or even a place like subway (two days ago!) and have caught myself passing the same sort of judgement. Even then though, I have brought the situations being witnessed to a employee or managers attention. I have a assumption and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but was this the store that you once worked at? Also, you're seriously going to tell me that you sat in the lobby for over two hours? I can promise you that if you had someone so focused on finding your faults while you worked, watching your every move, I'm almost positive they could find just as many as you found in that store. I'm even more confident saying that Im sure you probably werent a "employee of the month" picnic to be around either. Your column points out many flaws that should infact be taken care of but it also points out how much of a negative person you are. Some leadership skills you developed there hun! Oh, and try that ham and swiss sandwich heated sometime. Maybe that will allow a little sunshine up your ass. =)


blah blah, this is getting old already. you're obnoxious.

Were you fired? Sounds like it.

When were you a manager and for how long? The lobby slide barista, was this her first day? Sound like you kind of like to make assumptions without knowing all of the facts. The 3% isn't that big of a deal...translates into about 20-25 hours a WEEK! I have to wonder, were you fired from the company? Is that why you are disenchanted with the company? Was the company first disenchanted with you? Sounds like maybe they should have been.

Shift Manager

This sounds to me like a no it all writing bitter dribble. I used to work at Johnny Carinos before my 5 year stint with the Bucks, and I have not once gone in to harp on people.

And I agree, its really hard to be excited about my job. I smile. I talk. I play. I make great drinks. But in the back of my mind I think of Howard's 10million dollar bonus, as I'm worried will I make that last school payment if my store gets closed.

Everyday I hear it from my partners. Starbucks doesn't care about its people anymore. They don't care about their heart and soul. And you can feel it now. STOP with the stupid promos. The Tea Lattes are a NICHE market. Why do I get yelled at when I can't sell your rip off another cultures drink? Why are my people being told they can't work as much, and there are constant hires?

Its not a fun place anymore. And half of us are just trying to get through till graduation or the next big thing comes along.

So please stop adding to an already stressful work place. And please take this jerk off your page. We used to love STARBUCKSGOSSIP at work but now its just another attack on us.

this is a tough time for everyone and trying to keep up moral and keep drink quality and service standards high is challenging at times. having someone post this blog that wasted ten minutes of my personal time does nothing but irritate partners trying to do their best despite the cuts. leave us alone if you dont like the coffee or cant have some sort of compassion for the hard working baristas go to mickey d's, smell cheeseburgers and grease and drink one of their over processed crappy lattes - now that would be compassion

we work very hard at what we do - who are you to judge - are you really that sick and twisted that you enjoy looking down on us?

a shift from franklin, tn

Juan Valdez

Thanks to everyone for the feedback, so far...keep it coming! Believe it or not, I take all of it to heart in the spirit it's intended although I must say my burro does shed a tear at some of the name calling but don't worry about him. I just give him a couple of carrots and he's as good as new.

For those who are new to the column and didn't get a chance to read the first explanation of how it came about, here you go: http://tinyurl.com/9u2raq

And here is a further explanation I left in the comment section of my last column (this one includes an email address so you can REALLY let me have it): http://tinyurl.com/c7hyla

The only reason we mention that I am a former store manager is in the interest of full disclosure and transparency. Both Jim and I thought it would help cut down on questions of "who is this guy". It has nothing to do with thinking I'm better than anyone; much less current partners.

I'd also like to add that bringing up the occasional shortcomings of some partners doesn't mean YOU don't do your job. I also don't pretend this is how it is everywhere or that anyone's experience will mirror mine. I simply report what I find. In this store's case it was bad. It will be even worse in next week's column. Hopefully, after that, it will get better. Over time, which is one of the reasons for the stats portion of the column, a picture will emerge of Starbucks, where the company is at and perhaps some of the reasons for that.

The reason I stay in a store for awhile during my visit is not to be "creepy". It's to be as fair as possible. Think about it - if I had written this column and only stayed ten minutes, there'd be just as many people chastising me for not giving them a chance to clean the place up. So I stay for awhile (the time period varies) and they get a chance to correct the wrongs. Unfortunately, as in the case of this store, if they don't clean it up, that will be noted too and, in fact, they'll end up looking worse for wear.

And who am I to judge them and expect them to correct the wrongs? Why, my friends, lest we forget, I am the customer. And they judge you just as strictly hundreds of thousands of times a day.

To those who wish I'd step outside of Washington State...sorry...that's where I am and while I may hit some stores when Im on trips, it won't be that often.

As for supposedly being "bitter", geesh, take a look at the comments on my posts. Or for that matter, on any post on Starbucks Gossip...who really are the bitter ones?

And, to answer Camspi's question, the best experience Ive had in a Starbucks is at the Columbia Center SBUX in downtown Seattle. They consistently do a wonderful job there.

To those who don't want to follow the above links but still want to offer feedback, I can be reached via Burro Express at juanvaldezsbux@gmail.com

well, actually

Fife is the "northernmost suburb" of Tacoma? It's due east of Tacoma. Many cities in south King County (e.g., Federal Way), often considered suburbs of Seattle, could just as well be considered suburbs of Tacoma.

A very large bear

Of course, because the barista doesn't want to talk about beans and biscuits, they must really be bad at their jobs. While keeping a clean store is incredibly important, I don't think anyone owes it to you to discuss the philosophies of Verona over a few nibbles of apple fritters. Especially when they're with a group (of 4 no less!) Why would I attempt to barge in? It's an awkward situation with or without an apron. And you know full well it wasn't any barista's choice to display the rosemary ham sandwich in such a way.

This is the prime example of a snooty barista that newcomers tell me they've heard about. You must've been a hit with your partners.

Juan Valdez

You got me, well actually. For some reason I had north stuck in my head. Thanks for the assist!


Wow, I don't get why so many people are offended by this column. Partners: Chances are you have at least one or two customers who are sometimes sarcastic and perhaps even snarky. But Starbucks is depending on all customers right now because every dollar counts -- even the dollars spent by nasty customers.

Our stores' existence partially depends on customer voice surveys. Those surveys are filled out by people who might be disappointed by filthy cafes and unfriendly service. It's in our interest to pay attention to their feedback! Even if you don't appreciate the columnist's tone, you have to admit his concerns are still valid.

JV, thanks for your insights. Keep them coming!


Why thank you for these articles. It really makes me love my job even more seeing that I can't do lobby slides every 10 minutes, sweep, sample, talk about coffee/tea/PROMOTIONS for every thousand customers that walk into the store.

The hierarchy of needs from a customer standpoint really don't see sampling, and the cleanliness of the floor as top needs. If they're getting they're drink in 30 seconds and probably not having to wait in line very long, that WILL satisfy the majority of people. Of course bringing the experience to the next level would be nice, but you're really butchering and being overdramatic over some details. Getting mad at 'Mr. Garbage Guy' because he didn't fully engage you in a coffee conversation? Please.

girl from chicago

Re: the sugar spills on the condiment bar.
your coffee cup has a large opening (please tell me you're smart enough to remove the lid first) the sugar packet, or sugar canister depending on the store, has a very small opening. please explain to me how you manage to miss when pouring one into the other. it isn't that hard, i'm sure you do it at home perfectly fine. try not to be so lazy in public.


I've only been in a Starbucks shop about six times. The first visit I ordered a "large" coffee and was corrected by the barista as to what a large was really called. Something in French? Can't remember what it was but the other five times I still ordered a "large". I supposed that's why the barista seemed sniffy and looked over my shoulder rather than make eye contact. Every time I left a Starbucks I not only felt I'd been robbed but oddly humilated too. Maybe we're not Continental enough out here in northern Nevada. The coffee is good though. But has anyone here tried Dunkin' Donuts ground coffee in your local supermarket. Delicious, and for about $6.99 on sale it makes a bunch of cups. I don't know if it's changed since but about a year ago I made my last visit to a Starbucks in Wendover, Nv. It was in a casino. It wasn't just lack of eye contact there, I wasn't sure if the two young, bored looking barista even spoke english, they never addressed me directly and continued chatting the whole while in spanish. The cups were plopped down with neither a gracias or a thank you much less a smile. Is plural barista, barista or baristas?


This was your comment Juan,

Meanwhile, back at the table, my party was hoisting white and red drink cups. For awhile, it almost felt like we were back in the spirit of Christmas once again although one member mentioned it seemed weird there were two colors of cups

Juan, as you should remember managing your store, every cup cost money and not using perfectly good cups is not green or cost effective. With that said, however, where I worked we changed out the cups the day after Christmas! Our DM'S orders. And then again after New Years.

As far as this store in Washington, being an example of the current conditions in our City in the South, it just isn't so. It is a shame that you are up there and not experiencing the Southern hospitality. lol
We are extremely micro managed by our SS's ( even though we have fun with our SS's) let alone our SM. And our SM gets routinely screamed at in our store in front of Customers and fellow Partners by our external DM. This treatment is hardly the promise to partners that they will have a superior work enviroment. That only happens when our DM comes around which is a lot more often than when I was being trained. DM appaerances have increased during the Holidays and all that time he was just figuring out who was going to go. Never offered to help us when 20 people were at the drive-thru 15 people standing in line at the register.

Juan-you mentioned that you came in at mid morning when six people were on. This sounds like what happens right after the morning rush and that this store as well as ours has a drive thru. Right after early rush we restock and do the first set of dishes. Sometimes we even have to remake the teas,remake the Mocha and even restock the milf and whip creams. The Coffee Barista usually slides at that time, too. But everyone watches the door because when customers walk in we go to our posts to take their order. That means if I was in a middle of a lobby sweep even if it is wiping down the condiment bar, our first priority is to the customers needs so we our told put down the broom or rag and get to the register. Then go back and finish whencustomers clear. That can happen a lot and look like we are half doing our job. Were you a Barista before you became an SM ? Just curious? The over worked Baristas should not have to constantly defend themselves against this kind of judgement. It seems sneaky at best. Could you possibly be a secret shopper? Maybe you work for Pete's, whatever, I just wish you could check out our store and see how hard the 3 baritas are working. Also, during the rush hour we do have 5 Barista's on because our store is in a suburban neighborhood of a very large city an SBUX Customers love their coffee for their 45 minute commute to the tall office buildings where most of the Customers work in that affluent neighborhood. Most of our repeat and loyal customers are retired or self employed and come in with their computers to work from our store. Then we have a huge rush of mothers that come in with their kids after car pool. Just a little insight why we need four baritas most of the time.
Readers of this post please be impartial about stores and how they are being managed in the rest of the US, you are just getting a glimpse of stores in one an area of one state. And yes it is embarrasing and ironic that it is where starbucks originated and is where corporate is located. But this is not how the stores in our Metro area our managed. When I was deciding which store in my area to apply at I got to see 5 to 6 stores on the Northside and they seemed clean and friendly and came in as a customer not a prospective employee.

Mike Brosel

I find it very hard to believe that you had nothing better to do than sit in a starbucks cafe all day and take notes. "Juan" you sound like a poor boy that got fired from starbucks, lost his donkey, and now finds that he has nothing better to do than take cheap shots at his former employer. Get over it man!!! The reason you sit around and complain soo much is because you now realize how much you miss working for this great company, and that you will never again find a company that cares soo much about its partners.
And before you rant and rave about how poorly the company is being ran, understand that this is a business. And in business you have to change with the times. Starbucks cannot sit around and give away free drinks like "the good ole days", they cannot continue to pay workers who demand to only work 2-8 pm on wed, and sat. They cannot hand out benefits to partners that demand that store scheds be made around them. This is a business!!! These are VERY, Very hard times, if you partners continue to sit around and cry about all the changes the company is making, then your work life will remain gloomy. How about you focus on the fact that "YOU" have a job!! You have a job, when allot of people in this country would give their right arm for the position you hold, YOU HAVE A JOB! And the only way for you to keep this job, is to work a little harder and smile a little more. Thank God that you can continue to feed your family. If that is not good enough...then go work at McDonald's!


I wandered onto this site from links elsewhere, and I'm not sure what to think about this mystery shopper review column. On one hand, it's very interesting to see a more in-depth view of what a store looks like from the customer POV. On the other, I feel like some of the other commenters here are right - you are judging certain aspects of the store's performance too harshly. Why not mention to a barista that 'hey, I'm out of half-and-half' or 'your restroom needs attention' and see what happens then? Part of good customer service is seeing how the customer experience is recovered when things aren't going so well.


I can't believe Mike Brosel's attitude!!!
I was agreeing with him as he ranted at Juan and then he turned his vennom on the Barista's. You need more than ever to take your on adivce, Mike. And for God Sake do not continue to kick the Barista's while they are down. How you are preaching and talking down right now is not upholding Starbucks number 2 principle. The Baristas have just been told that someone will get cut and they have to work in those conditions plus in most cases without enough Partners on to do all the work. They are faced with no personal time and bennefits dwindling due to the cut in hours. How can you want to scold them anymore. What goes around comes around.


Also, Mike Brosel, You talk about scheduling, at my hire I was told by my Store Manager that the flexilbe scheduling is a huge bennifit. And Starbucks hires students and people with 2nd Jobs. This job will never pay enough for a Partner to support their Family. This job is a second income job only, except maybe for the suits.
There is even a scholarship program for the students! Do you think they should throw that away now, just for you, so they will be available at all hours? Get off your high horse and quit with the guilt trip.


Hey, allow me, a customer to comment if you will. I somehow surfed into StarbucksGossip from an article I read on Drudgereport and find it interesting. I'm a loyal Sbux customer and have been for a long, long time. I've visited your stores from coast to coast, in foreign countries, and Hawaii. I've yet to see a store that even remotely resembles the ones "Juan" describes. Makes me think he's a troll. These are hard times buy I still enjoy my downtime in your stores.


OK, let me start off by saying I'm not Juan and I've never met him/her. I can, however, clearly see where he is coming from. I used to own a number of ice cream stores. They are hard to keep clean and are subject to large fluctuations of customer traffic. I have had employees who quit during their first shift and I have had them stay as long as seven years. Attitude has a lot to do with longevity.

Look back at your comments! One of you brags at being able to handle a crush with only 3 baristas. Good! Doesn't that even put a little question in your mind as to why 6 people can't pplice the lobby during a quieter period?

One of you says that not all stores should be judged by these stores' failures. Agreed! But none of you seem concerned that these failures are impacting the vision of Starbucks that some customers have.

One of you doesn't think I deserve to be looked in the eye at the hand-off. NOT Agreed! If you can't be civil in a retail setting you don't belong in retail. Starbucks is losing customers for a myriad of reasons. This, among other things, is why there are staffing cutbacks. If you don't treat your customers as the sole reason you have a job, you are simply part of the problem.

One of you wants to lecture us on how sloppy we are when we pour sugar into a cup. Sorry I don't live up to your standards! But JV's purpose in citing the sugar problem was, in my opinion, to illustrate that someone who was right there doing part of the job wasn't interested enough to do the job right. Maybe they could have spent a little more time making a sign that says, "I don't clean up your spills because I hate you." But that probably wouldn't contribute to the "Third Place Experience."

Clean restrooms? Let me tell you something. A lot of your customers won't return to your store after only one bad restroom experience. If it's not clean where they can see it, they assume it's not clean everywhere else. Dirty lobby and dirty restrooms don't speak well for where you are making my beverage.

One or more of you thinks it is either JV's job or the customer's job to tell you how dirty the store is. I guess that's because you don't have the time to look around. Maybe you can't act immediately, but you should be aware of your surroundings enough that you don't have to be coached about cleanliness by your customers.

One or more of you wants JV and everyone else to know how tough it is to work while you are going to school. Sorry kid. I went to school too. I supported a wife who was also in school. I paid for her hospital stay too. I didn't have to worry about the cost of health insurance because they didn't offer it. I didn't have to worry about whether I could take my employer's product home once a week or twice a month. I couldn't take ANY of it! Stock Plan? Seriously? And yet, you just can't wait to get out the door. Let me explain. It's right over there. Write me when you get that really good job.

One or more of you wants me to know that you are a hard-working barista. I'm proud of you. That was why you were hired. If you had said in your interview that you were planning to be lazy, you wouldn't have been hired. Did things change? Yup. Did things get worse? Maybe. You have two choices. 1) Suck it up and show us all that you can handle the added burden, or 2) Refer to the directions to the door above. You are not compelled to stay here. The problems you encounter may be very real and very ugly. They may be too much for you. Quit! But if you decide to stay, don't use those problems as an excuse to shirk your duties. If those problems persist around you, bring them to the attention of your SS, SM, DM (you know, just like you think it was JV's job to do). If it doesn't get better, get out! It's too late to jump ship when all the lifeboats are full!

I'll bet most of you look in the mirror before you leave home. If it is only to admire yourself, you've got it wrong. If it is to see how you can look your best to everyone around you, good. If someone points to another person who has smeared lipstick or unkempt hair, that is a time to sneak a peek at a mirror to see if there is a booger hanging out of your nose.

Let the screaming begin!


lol @ ndemystic "remake the Mocha and even restock the milf"

the milf do go fast, gotta keep 'em stocked...


AMEN to "NOT JUAN"! =)

Over It

Juan and Not Juan both suck. And if they ever came into my store would probably be upset because we didn't treat them like the *special little snowflakes* they feel they are.

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