« Starbucks holds its annual shareholders meeting | Main | Does the average customer order just one Starbucks Petite? »

March 23, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

James Connolly

Maybe they can start paying a living wage if they are in a 'position of strength'.

Who am I kidding? That won't ever happen.


Get ready for the keurig promotional goals!


sounds like it was a snoozefest. too bad.... anything newsy or controversial said??

Jeff Tom

Why do you think you deserve a "living wage". Serving coffee. It is not a highly skilled job. Literally ANYONE can do it. And no, I am not trolling. I am asking a serious question. You are paid slightly above minimum wage, and have the option for benefits. For a fast food establishment (and do not kid yourself, that IS what Starbucks is), you are doing pretty good, and as about as good as you can and should expect.


Watching Howard today reaffirmed he is the huckster now as he was 5 years ago when I was hired. And then three years ago when he fired me along with 1000 other partners. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed. I am so glad I am not there any more.


Jeff Tom--literally ANYONE can do just about ANY job. On job training can provide the job skills for about 90% of the jobs out there, but the company will still insist you have a degree even though you are going to be trained regardless.


I can't wait to read the chapter in the new book where he fired all the ASMs.

If you think it's so low skill, you try it

I would strongly argue that most people could NOT handle the workload or skill set required to perform the duties required at Starbucks at an acceptable level; all the while with a smile on your face, a "How are you today?" on your lips, and a pack of Via in your hand. Nor should anyone have to.

The multitasking level and attention to detail while keeping things clean, stocked and running smoothly rivals any high pressure, job I can assure you.

This is why the quality of service behind the counter is changing so rapidly and barista turnover is going through the roof in many areas.

I have seen grown adult baristas literally trembling with fear and frustration trying to manage the everyday, every minute, activities on the job at Starbucks. It is very hard to find new employees that can do the job and want to stay given the low wages... many stay for the health care because they simply have no other choice for their families.

I would agree that Starbucks is now fast-food, but it didn't start out that way and it is trying desperately to not be perceived as such. With all the focus on everything BUT the stores and baristas I think you can kiss the rest of the Starbucks Experience goodbye.


@Jeff Tom.

How classy of you.

Why would I deserve a "living wage"? I guess we should all know our place and just be happy being your humble servants. Sounds to me like you would like to see us living off of marked out pastries and sleeping in VIA brewer box forts.

Say what you want now about how we don't deserve a decent wage; but you never know when you will need a job to make it.

Looks so easy, you try it. I dare you.

James Connolly

Everyone deserves a living wage. Everyone. Doesn't matter how low skill the job is, everyone should be able to make enough money to live on.

That's all I want. I'm not looking to get rich working for this shitty company, I just want to earn enough to pay my bills, put food on my table, and save a little bit in case I get hurt or my car goes tits up. This company makes more than enough cash to pay people a living wage and yet refuses to because that doesn't cause the stock price to shoot through the roof (Quite the opposite, actually: the quickest way Starbucks could tank its stock price is if announced it was paying its employees more).

So yeah, no living wage while the company pays out hundreds of millions of dollars the workers earned in dividends to people and organizations who didn't do a single damn thing to earn 'em. That ain't right.


Sounds like Howard and his minions blew more smoke up the investors asses yesterday. All I want Howard to do is to admit that there is no longer anything "special" about Starbucks--it's just another fast food operation, selling over priced, low quality food and beverages, just like all the others out there.

James Connolly

ncsm, that won't ever happen while Uncle Howard is running the show. His ego won't allow him to admit the truth. This is the whole point of writing Onward and giving all the "partners" a copy: there was no official narrative of how the company survived the crash and people were starting to put together their own narrative of the company surviving by sacrificing its employees for its executives. Hence Onward and making sure the Official Story gets out and embedded in every worker's mind to try and displace people's own conclusions.


Reality Check: I'm not trying to be obnoxious here but being a barista (or even a shift) shouldn't be a career. It's a stepping stone. It can be a career if you have a 2nd source of income (but not an actual job.) It is a part time job. If you can't live off of your Starbuck pay, you need to educate yourself and find something better. None of you are going to make enough money making coffee. Ever!

James Connolly

Who said anything about it being a career? You think I actually want to stay working at this shithole for another couple decades? In case you weren't aware, the actual unemployment rate is hovering around 16 percent right now, so it's not like better options are abound. All I want is to be paid enough so that I don't have to try and figure out if I can afford my prescriptions this week or if I need the copay money for gas. This company makes enough money to do that, but instead overcompensates lazy, entitled pricks and gives the money we earn as workers out as dividends to different group of lazy entitled pricks.

I am educated. I have an undergraduate degree. All but three people working at my store have undergraduate degrees. Starbucks was supposed to be my 'college job'. Then Wall Street gouged a three trillion dollar hole in the economy, jobs dried up, and that plan went up in smoke. So I make due as best as I can, and fight to improve what lot I've been given.


The new tech stuff doesn't interest me. I'm more interested in the core business and seeing that grow whether in the store or in a supermarket or the K-Cup business.

Scared barista.

I agree. Why is Howard Schultz getting a $3.5 million bonus and the rest of us who are not making even close to a living wage struggles to attempt to make ends meet and still cannot. What happened to the full time positions?Things seem to be talked about and thrown around and get our hopes up and all of a sudden it gradually fades away and we "forget" but the truth is we do NOT forget.
I hope they discussed in the meeting about a "living wage" and taking the caps off of pay. Not to mention what is up with out health insurance. Yes I am glad I have it but I still can't afford my meds and it won't even cover some of the meds that I need so I can't even get those. But then again what does Howard care when he has his $3.5 million and CAN afford anything he wants. Yes I DO appreciate what insurance we have for just 20 hours a week but it does need to improve without taking more money from us.


James: Does the homeless guy standing on the street corner panhandling for change deserve a living wage?

I'm with the posters here who believe that a job as a barista is a stepping stone. When I was in high school I worked in a video arcade for minimum wage. It was a great time, and for someone who didn't have any bills it was more than a living wage. Eventually I moved out for college and what I made didn't cut it anymore, so I quit and found a job that I didn't like quite as much, but it paid me the wage I needed to enjoy the higher standard of life I was accustomed to. It sucked for the same reason it paid more - it was harder work. Someone else in high school, living at home with mom and dad, filled my position at the arcade.

Being a barista - or even a shift supervisor - is a fun, challenging, and (usually) emotionally rewarding job. When you consider the benefits, including things like 401k match, stock options, and all too pricey health insurance, it can also be financially rewarding compared to the other entry-level jobs available in the world. The world is full of people for whom barista starting pay with generous benefits is a "living wage". Every year another crop of 16 and 18 year olds (depending on your state) enters the workforce and would be thrilled to work for Starbucks.

If you're finding that your Starbucks salary isn't supporting your lifestyle anymore, it's not Starbucks' responsibility to pay you more for doing the same job. It's your responsibility to find a job that will pay you what your lifestyle is asking you to make. Which, yes, does probably mean taking on more responsibility and working harder.

If you were to rededicate all the time you spend complaining about how awful your life is because of Starbucks on here, I'm sure you could easily take on a little extra for your new employer.

Coffee Soldier

Well said, adoubleshotofclarity!


Boy, Jeff Tom sounds like a real a-hole. I bust my ass at my job. Would I like to make more? Sure. But the fact that I don't doesn't take away from the stress and difficulties of the job. Maybe "anyone" can be a barista, but it DOES take skill to be a GOOD one. And forgive my presumption, but I'd be willing to bet Jeff Tom couldn't or wouldn't do half of what I and many others here do day in and day out.

Jeff Tom

You are half correct. I WOULDN'T DO what you do. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be able to support myself and my family. So I went to college, with loans as I could not pay for it myself at the time. I studied hard. Got a good degree that I was able to parlay along with my skills to a well-paying job.

That I earned.

And just FYI, I did work fast food in my teens. At McDonald's no less, for several years. So yes I have been "there". But we did not have benefits then, either, not even as an option.

If you cannot see that you are expecting too much from your postion, then I cannot help you, and will leave you to continue crying over your lattes.


Yeah, James Connolly you are a whiny little bitch.


Jeff Tom, I think you have a very high opinion of yourself. There are may people who have degrees that are behind the counter right now as the result of the recession. I do understand what point your trying to make. However, I think it isn't smart to say you would never do this. Some people have to do whatever they can in this economy.


Barista, Shift Supervisor and even ASM are not seen as, or ever presented as "stepping stones" at starbucks. They have always been too concerned with turnover and the skill sets are too mature for a teenager. If starbucks really wants people to stick around and have the maturity to serve their demanding customer then they should pay a living wage. Or else automate even more processes, make the whole store out of stainless steel and tile and churn and burn a high school aged staff. But the fact that they give benefits (aimed at older, mature career seeking people) and a minimum wage is ridiculous. @Jeff Tom and his supporters are idiots. By the way ASM salary is well below the poverty level in most if not all urban areas as well. Sorry these are the facts.


If you don't like working at Starbucks then get a job elsewhere. There are plenty of other people who would be happy making a little more than min wage, have health benefit options, 401K plans with a 6% match, stock rewards that vest in three years...for FREE, 5% off Starbucks stock, cup fund etc. When you start your job you know how much you will be making. SUCK IT UP!
I think Starbucks is definitely a good place for adults to work who have a second income.

James Connolly

@adoubleshotofclarity: A bit late to replying to this, but yes, the homeless guy standing on the corner does deserve a living wage, or at least the chance at earning one. It's interesting to see how people like you bemoan freeloaders like panhandlers and completely ignore that our bosses are just as much a bunch of freeloaders as the guy cadging for change on the corner.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Site

Ads (2)