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May 21, 2010


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Darth Discontinued.

Any news on those partner experience survey results?


You mean, does corporate actually care? No, not really...


Not quite a conversation-starter but...


Barista G

Nobody has started a lawsuit against the Bux in the past two or three weeks... what gives?


Any other stores have their Door Chimes removed with the install of new alarm panels? I personally think this is a partner safety issue... Thoughts?

Barista Ben

Door Chimes? The heck, like a doorbell? Or did a sound go off when someone walked in? We've never had a door chime, just an alarm system. Ironically it was broken forever, which I gave up on telling my SM to get fixed, until we got robbed and they realized a useless alarm that I am sure they paid for monthly was a bad idea. I even used to leave the alarm on hours after we opened, asking my SM to turn it off halfway through the rush because I "forgot".

Oh well.


My rant is that Starbucks doesn't have many fun choices that are low-carb or diabetic friendly.

How hard is it to make a lowcarb frapachino? I mean, if you're using regular/black/coffee, ice, HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM and NOT milk.. maybe some kind of Sugar Free Syrup like DaVinci brand..
Why can't they make drinks low carb/keto/atkins/diabetic friendly?

Starbucks has this silly "skinny" thing marketed towards people who are on "low fat" and low calorie. Many people have found it's carbs and sugar they have problems with rather than fat and Starbucks doesn't seem to recognize this.


I think after almost 2 years I'm beginning to hate this job.

My manager doesn't care whatsoever and my ASM might be the slowest, dumbest person I've ever met. The manager works 30 hour weeks, makes unbelievably awful schedules, and gives about 1 in 15 people an actual review. The ASM hands over the worst shifts of anyone in the store and gets irritated and defensive whenever a SS attempts to help. We've run out of key items every day since IMS launched because the two of them are the only people who open. Our store earned a $300 party after the VIA challenge, after which the deadline was missed and the money went back to Starbucks. The DM has set up two meetings with me over the last three months to discuss my promotion (to ASM, for which there are multiple open positions in the district), and then canceled both with no reason, apology, or reschedule.

I find that my blood pressure slowly rises from the minute I step into the store, and I'm close to biting off someone's head within 5 minutes of starting my shift. Only after I stop, get a little sugar and caffeine, BS with a few customers I like, etc. can I calm down and work to the best of my ability.

I'm not the chronic complaining barista who grits his teeth at every customer who wants no foam - I do enjoy the service aspect of the job. It just seems that when I look at the store as a whole, my blood begins to boil. Do you guys have any advice on things I can do to loosen up and enjoy myself again?


Door chimes? I have never worked at a store that used the door chimes, what are we, Subway? That would be soooo irritating. I always work with a general rule of thumb that the front should never be left attended. There are always at least two people working so its not a problem.


A door chime would be way annoying. It would even haunt you in your dreams. But the creaking door that informs us of every customer that comes in is almost as bad.


While working on your alarm system did anyone else's tech kill your POS system? The registers were down for 45 minutes and all he said was that I needed to call support. Well in my opinion if he knew what the heck he was doing in the first place then we would not have spent 35 minutes on the phone fixing his mistake while trying to teach Espresso A with only two people on the floor.
I miss my creaking door. I could trust it.
We start warming sandwiches Monday and I'm not really looking forward to it, one more alarm, five more things to do and you don't get an extra labor hour until after you sell 35 sandwiches.
I personally do not drink flavored coffee and my SM seemed a bit surprised when I said I would not be trying them since we do not carry them. Go ahead and throw all the reasons that I should and I'll stand here and smile, but we aren't asked to taste and promote @Sbux ice cream which is also not sold in stores so why should this be any different. Flavored coffee and the need for SBUX next BIG thing just shows that the foundation for this business model is weak at the core and grasping for air. Gurgle gurgle.


Still can't get over Ethiopia Sidamo being pulled... :-(


all of those things are options, you know... all you have to do is ask. We have heavy whipping cream and sugar free syrups, without even needing to get another brand. As far as the frappuccinos go, I know the light base is sweetened mostly with Stevia, but is not completely sugar free.

Regardless, we do have options for low carb lifestyles.

As far as the alarm, my store had a two month long battle between our alarm company and the safe company, trying to place blame on one another. Our alarm stayed broken for far too long. Every time I called it in it was classified as an emergency, yet it took over two months to resolve?!?! Our alarm company were total d-bags about it the whole time. I hope it never breaks again just so I can avoid dealing with the unpleasant, cocky tech.


@J: We have heavy cream and sugar-free syrups, so we can make you a reduced-carb beverage. However, please keep in mind that both our caramel sauce and whipped cream contain sugar (I say this because a friend of mine used to order an "Adkin's friendly" Caramel Macchiato made with sugar-free vanilla, heavy cream, extra caramel sauce and extra whipped cream).

@Bummer: As a five year partner who has completed the Coffee Master modules (twice) and has yet to be certified, I can say I feel your pain. My recommendation is to transfer to another store or district. It won't solve all of your problems (every store has its share of demons and drama), but from my own experience I can guarantee you will feel refreshed to be in a new environment.


The door chime was a quiet beep at the alarm panel (in the BOH) but was still audible from the backline. There are sometimes when you're cleaning the fridges, back turned, or general pre-close duties that it's helpful to know someone walked in and is standing behind you. We were told that they were only to be left on for the 24 hour stores, and disabled for all other stores... It was commonplace in my district and neighboring districts to have them enabled prior to this switch.


IF you don't have door chimes, yo ufind yourself very attuned to the comings and goings of customers, even with your back turned.


@ J how much lower than 90 cals can you get? Go and have a glass of water.


Bummer.. I feel the same way lately and I partially suspect the stress from upper level management has successfully cascaded down the totem pole. They say there is movement into asm positions since the layoffs but Ive yet to be granted my meeting with the dm as well. How can u not feel a little burned by that?! I do and contemplate writing my dm's boss to say I'm not getting a real opportunity after waiting almost a year!. I know starbucks hates hearing this.. But I've developed as far as I can as a shif and need more before I fall asleep!!

is it so hard to be civil

Bummer and JavaJunk

I couldn't agree more. I just stepped down from shift to barista because of all of that. I have no hope that anything will get better. I hope that stepping down will give me the time to find another job. All of the quality leadership has left my district.

It's going to be fun watching Howard's house of cards fall.


I have often read people comment about how Starbucks is going to fall apart in light of all the cultural and upper management directional changes. I think what we all must accept is that Starbucks is not falling, it is evolving.

Starbucks is slowly changing from the honestly wonderful place it was to work to just another example of a cookie-cutter American chain product. Starbucks has become a virus and is emulating virus like tendencies for survival and growth. The only way to sustain and grow in this type of environment is to go through the same motions as all the other "successful" chain restaurants that you find everywhere.

All I can tell you is that if you don't like what you are experiencing working at your store, either accept the fact that it is NOT going to change back and to find a way to work within the new system, or get out. Either way will do nothing to stop perpetuating the graceful downward spiral of Starbucks to a comfortable and predictable state of emotionless mediocrity.


just because you were burned (and it could be b/c you really are not that great of a worker...that is the real reason you are not being promoted. This is the real world, not jr. high where your little friends go out and make posters and get people to vote for you) does not mean the company is going to fail or becoming a virus. Really? that's the best you can do? You just proved my point. It's easier to say others are the ones at fault than to take responsibility.

Darth Discontinued.

Believe it or not, there are instances where the most qualified people are never promoted either in place of promoting the ethically handicapped or the kiss ass. It is possible for you to be a great worker. I have been making less capable people look great for years.

I disagree with the person above me who states that you are lazy or immature because you were not promoted. They obviously exhibit those qualities their self by slamming a stranger on an internet forum.

However, just because you are capable and hard working does not guarantee a promotion. Workplace politics are sometimes more important than ability.

If Sbux has shown anything during their freefall it is that promoting within is not a priority.


Anyone do cool art for the new Frappucino rollout? I did this yesterday fraps


Wow Bryan, how long did that take you? And how did you get everything so vibrant?


HOT WATER issue...

I frequently stop at Starbucks and get a grande cup of hot water, then add a packet of Via & Splenda for a "homemade" Starbucks coffee to go.

I have never been charged for the hot water, until today. The barista (at the store I frequent the most!) charged me 50 cents. When I pointed out that I usually get it for free, she said "you have to pay for the cup."

Is this a new "policy"? An isolated incident? I'm not trying to freeload, I'm still using a Starbucks product (VIA), and sometimes I even pick up a pastry. I'm just being a "wise consumer."

(And frankly, I prefer VIA to Pike Place anyway.)


about 2 hours on and off (I worked during my 30 minutes unpaid break and was on front reg. during a slow day so I could ring up customers when they'd come in then return to drawing). You gotta use chalk ink markers that are in pretty good shape and you MUST have a good working white one to bring out the true colors on the black surface. Its the long chalkboard too so you have to remove it from the wall and do it mostly horizontal so the chalk can flow from the marker and not 'dry out' while drawing. Then it's just about blending, mixing, and having fun with the current promotion and taking your own spin on it.


There's no charge for water, but I can see how that store would start to get annoyed with you. Unless you are buying the Via at *that* store, that is pretty cheeky behavior that does cost the store money.

Coffee Soldier


Why don't you just get a reusable travel mug...I have a customer who each day stops in and asks for hot water in the mug and we gladly give it to her...I'm wondering do you take the Splenda off the condiment bar too since you are using a Starbucks product you can justify using that as well?


Ugg. A heavy whipping cream drink? Surely you jest! You may not have a spike in blood sugar, but your blood will look like alfredo sauce. Atkins died of coronary artery disease, my friends. I'd shy away from his advice. A cup of HWC has over 800 calories, 88 grams of fat, most of them saturated. A 90 calorie nonfat latte has the sugar equivalent of less than a teaspoon, and 9 grams of protein. Diabetic or not, no one should be drinking that cup of coronary.


Coffee Soldier,

Good idea re: the mug. Will try it.

And regarding the Splenda, yes I take it from the condiment bar. You have a good point there. Please let me know what a packet of Splenda costs Starbucks and I will gladly offer to pay for it at the counter.


SteveBMD are you also willing to pay for a portion of the labor, rent, insurance, lights, marketing, taxes and allow Starbucks a little profit too?

or do you just expect they build stores to provide you with hot water too?

50 cents is not unreasonable to have a business on standby willing to give you the water when you need it. Look past the nickel that the cup, lid and Splenda costs and perhaps you will get it.


Steve is buying VIA, one of the highest profit line items we have. He can have a packet of splenda and some hot water. geeze.


@SteveBMD Do you ever tip the baristas when you go into your local store? I would charge you too if you kept using a disposable cup every single day. I would suggest using a reusable mug too. A hot cup of water and a packet of splenda each day will not harm anyone or anything but a new cup and lid everyday is very wasteful.

@DenverASM Yes, he's helping Sbux profit as a whole but what about the baristas that serve him free product each day? Do they benefit from it at all? Sbux is not a non profit organization, people don't work there because they want to serve customers free product or without anything in return.

Shame on you to anyone who frequents a coffee joint, sbux or otherwise and doesn't use a reusable cup when they *know* they're going to get a beverage. It's just so wasteful.

livin' la VIA loca


PLS PLS PLS come to my store and buy your VIA from me. I'll happily give you all the FREE hot water and splenda you want. How will you know I'm your barista? Just ask me to show you my GREEN APRON BOOK.


Charge 50 cents for the cup? I must have missed the "Add Cup" button on my POS..


Steve, I will more than happily take you as a customer at my store, as well! Thank you for making Starbucks a part of your day... For purchasing Via and a pastry every now and then. While I would encourage the reusable mug for its benefit on the environment, I will even continue to welcome you with the less than five cent cup and lid you use now. And a few packets of splenda and some cream! And even if I didn't WANT to give you that hot water, I still would as that is the policy and my baristas will not manipulate that to suit their needs or exact some revenge as a result of some general discontent.

FormerBarista and DenverASM, you do realize the baristas aren't paid commission, right? That you have one job and one job alone and that is to provide a welcoming, friendly and inviting 3rd Place. And again, even if you feel the need to seek vengance on a non-traditional customer, the policy is still that we don't charge for water.

The tip arguement is equally absurd as I see customers on a daily basis who purchase $20 in hand crafted beverages who don't - and never have - tip. Shall we stop serving them, too? Or should we just modify the price of their drink as punishment? Suck it up and get over it. Your tips are earned, not guaranteed.

(and you're an ASM? Reaaally? That program clearly needs some attention in your area as my ASM knows better.)


Has anybody else tried the new flavored coffee. I am going to try some and report back tomorrow. Hopefully, I won't puke.


i would just like to vent a moment, and comment that my SM should not be aloud to hire without supervision.

every "partner" is worse than the last. its like the women who date 'fixer-uppers' because they have low self esteem. she collects the slowest, dumbest, most socially-awkward people possible, and i think there's bonus points if she can catch one that's hooked on hard drugs.

I am so exhausted. that sentence was not supposed to end there, but it could easily. I am so exhausted from training people that are determined to fail at their job. I know i should be motivational, i know i need to encourage and explain, and teach, but im just plain sick of being the one stuck with the mess. I don't want to spend the night closing an entire store while my closing buddy does the dishes for 3 hours.

rant over. thanks for listening.


I haven't been on this site since my barista days in 08, so i hope i'm doing this right. BUT I'D REALLY APPRECIATE ANY INPUT.

But my DM terminated me in 08 for a completely bogus reason, my manager even quit because it was so stupid. but she put me down as rehireable if I ever wanted to come back to the company.

Well a month later our store shut down and everyone's papers got lost.
Two years have passed and I got a second interview coming up and I don't know if I should even bring it up?

Is there a chance my papers got lost too? A former coworker told me that since it's been long enough to not matter anymore. If the files existed, wouldn't they have been able to find them by looking up my name? And if they had any hangups about a terminated partner they wouldn't have called me for another interview, right?

I REALLY need this job. I know I could explain the situation, and I think I impressed them during the first interview. I'd just rather not deal with it at all, but at the same time, I don't want to run the risk of lying and them getting all upset about it and blowing it all anyway.

Sorry this is so long and whiny, I just need some insight!!

(former) FLA SM

@ canberran:

To the best of my knowledge, Starbucks will always have *some* kind of records on you for various reasons (legal, tax, etc.) Also, I'm pretty sure any rehires will be assigned their original employee number, as they are not reused. That being said, as long as you were noted in the computer system as "rehirable", you should be OK.
Any reasons for the termination are not going to come up because (a) it's likely that the original paperwork got lost or destroyed, (b) even if the termination paperwork still exists, it's in a box in a storage facility resembling the final scene of Indiana Jones, and (c) it's extremely unlikely anyone is going to go to all the trouble to look up old info that's not easily found on the computer or by phone with HR. As long as you were flagged "rehirable", that's all anyone really cares about. I would definitely disclose that you were once an employee and are rehirable, and then leave it at that. If they want more details, then keep it vague and don't bad-mouth anyone.

Oompa Loompa

@ canberran

What was the "bogus" reason your DM fired you for? Just curious.

Anyway, I'm guessing most managers will check on a former partner's rehire status by making a call to the PCC if they're smart. I had a former partner apply at my store that was from out of state a few months ago that had worked for Starbucks for 3 years and was a shift lead. During the interview using the behavioral interview guide she did well and my DM even interviewed her a second time for me saying she would be a good hire. Well PCC called me back on her status for rehire and the partner had a stack of corrective actions for tardiness, no shows/no calls, several cash handling (i.e. till drops of +$100 missing). Her reason for separation was job abandonment. These are a few things that no one is going to mention during an interview. I passed on that former partner like she had the plague. Glad they didn't "lose" her paperwork!


canberran, Mention it. "Files" have nothing
to do with it. When a partner is separated, we provide the reason and status (rehireable/not) to Seattle and then the potential new SM SHOULD call for details and status (not all do their homework). I would BRIEFLY explain what happened without being judgemental or accusatory and then explain what you learned from the situation.

Ultimately, even if you were deemed not rehireable, it's this new SM (and DM's) decision as to whether or not they want to take a chance.

And don't forget how small this community is. The last thing you want is not to say anything, get the job, and then have your SM here rumors through the grapevine!

Honesty is the best policy.


BSR" I tried the flavor coffee. Once made inthe french press (gross!) and once in the brewer (we decided that ignoring the grind fundamental for brewing was a big issue and we could just urnex the urn) It was better, good with milk and sugar, that really brought out the cinnamon (which was the only one I tried). But I don't like flavor coffee, so I don't know.


Drinking the cinnamon one right now and I have to say there is a definite cinnamon in it like the cinnamon spice mocha of the past if you're old enough to remember it. This coffee was obviously ground for drip brewer so don't use the french press it only adds "style" to it when you sample it to customers. This coffee does not taste anything like true Starbucks coffee. I rather have Pike Puke than this. This feels like the time when Senator Lieberman left the Democratic Party.

Darth Discontinued.

Holy crap ShiftMisto, we must be co-workers.

On a side note I work in a neighborhood store. Not a store at the corner of busy street and busy street. We are still very busy however that is not the point. We give out about sixty (not an exaggeration) cups of water to children whose parents let them roam the streets unwatched. Those kids liter all over the property as well as other local businesses have asked us to stop giving away free water because of the liter on their property as well. Those kids have never bought a single thing over the long time i have been here.

Steve, you purchase a product of ours. Hell you atleast intend to buy something SOMETIME. You would be welcome in my store, with a smile and no charge.

Disclaimer: Some locations located next to big businesses/venues that sell other beverages have it in their contract that they must charge for water or not give away free water for competition reasons.


I tried the Vanilla coffee. I do not like flavored coffee at all. Until now. I thought it was very good. I'm shocked.


Sooo...what is the policy regarding people who come into a Starbucks and sit without buying anything? At my Starbucks, high school lets out and 20 kids take over the outside patio. There is usually 1-2 who actually buy something. The rest just sit there, taking up space, being loud, and getting free water. People who purchase actually have to leave rather than being able to enjoy their purchased drink. Why can't the manager ask them to leave?


When non-customers ask for water, feel free to say no. I do.

looong time shift

Give them tap water. About two weeks later, the problems should take care of themselves.


@Darth Sid Discontinued
i told you we should be bff's but you never responded..

I think i am lucky that we don't have too bad of a kid problem. we do have our highschool crowd, but we've made it a point to relate to them and i think we have a mutual respect enough that when we get testy, they get the point.

On a related note.. in my area we have had some laws change regarding smoking in public areas. anyone else going thru the awkward phase of explaining to long term customers that their afternoon coffee and cigarette duo is now a one-man show?

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