Let me respond to the young person who left several comments in my journal about the recent entry I wrote, concerning the unionization of Starbucks' coffee.
NOTE: I have been putting an
apostrophe before the "s" in Starbucks. This is wrong apparently. Even
though Starbuck was the name of the character in Moby Dick and
Starbuck's would be the correct way to spell the possessive of
Starbuck, upper management probably decided not to get into the whole
"where does the apostrophe go?" issue and dispensed with it altogether.
Do not be alarmed by the
presentation of the numbers in reverse. I simply copied all the
comments as they were left, so this is kind of like a David Letterman
12) "I think what we have is a bunch of whiny thirty something slacker wannabes who haven't got a clue what real work is like."
Slackers? Do you realize this job
affords NO sitting time whatsoever? You're on your feet, back and
forth, at the beck and call of the general public. Service with a
Mrs. Linklater responds:
From the Wikipedia definition of slacker:
The term slacker was commonly used
in the United States in World War I and World War II to describe men
who were avoiding the military draft. But in the 50's it
specifically referred to a variety of tendencies in the young
generation -- a use popularized by Richard Linklater's movie
Slacker. subsequently spawning the label "slacker
generation." A typical slacker is characterized by a static
unenthusiastic air manifesting in an apparent lack of effort. This lack of motivation is usually represented as a status of unemployment or only minor employment in the service industry. [Underline and lovely shade of red Mrs. L's]
I spent six and a half hours in
anaphylactic shock in the hospital one night from an albuterol
treatment, and guess what? I was at work 2 hours later at 4:45 in the
morning so that Joe Schmo could come get his iced quad grande sugar
free hazelnut nonfat light ice extra whip caramel macchiato. Am I a
slacker? I don't think so.
What is it about minor employment in the service industry that you don't understand?
And last, but not least.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT insult my
intelligence or doubt my competence without even knowing who I am. I am
that 21 year old barista who has worked herself to the bone to get to
where she is right now.
What are you, some kind of control freak? I'll do what I want.
Could I make your drink with three
customizations right? Yes. Could the particular barista at the
Starbucks you frequented do it? I don't know.
Apparently you didn't understand
what I said. Let me repeat it ver-r-r-r-ry sl-o-o-owly for you. I said
that I stopped ordering a 1) tall 2) decaf 3) mocha frap
with a 4) shot of almond. That's four things, not three. I don't
order it anymore because the baristas couldn't handle an order with
more than THREE things. They kept f**king up the order. Especially the
"DE-CAF" part. So the fact that YOU can do three customizations makes
you about average. Being able to do four is too tough for the average
barista in my experience. Reading comprehension is apparently too
tough for baristas too.
Your problem is mostly
generalization and stereotypes. Your little corner of the world does
not equate to the rest of the company or the individuals in their
I have an opinion. I don't have a problem. You're the one who is having the problem.
I understand your stance on the
unionization, but your point on that could have been made without
generally bashing ALL those employed by the company.
You're control freaking again. I can do what I want.
I'd really love to see you try and
get through just two training shifts at Starbucks and see if you think
it's still just "pouring coffee".
Luckily I never had to.
Damn, I need a caramel apple cider...
Odd place for levity. But funny.
PS: As far as the Barista community
on LJ goes...that is our place to bitch and whine about work. This is
your place to bitch and whine about coffee. Any questions?
I repeat, you have not
comprehended what I wrote. This journal was my place to bitch about
Starbucks' potential unionization. The terrible, burnt coffee, stale
food and baristas were lucky strike extras.
7) Part-time benefits
Twenty hours a week average gets
you benefits. This is not a stretch, really. We're not so different
from other retail and even desk jobs. I'm sorry...if you were working
part-time somewhere and they offered you benefits. I do believe you'd
take them if you were in my situation. No moron in their right mind
would say, "No thanks, I'm good!"
Starbucks spent more on their employees' benefits and training last year than they did on coffee. Think about that.
Once again your reading
comprehension suffers. Starbucks is different from other retail
establishments and companies that employ people part-time. Part-time equals
no benefits. I'm quite impressed that Starbucks offers benefits to
employees who work part-time. I can't believe the employees would risk
losing them just to have a union.
8) "Only making hot and cold liquids and pouring them into containers. Or sliding a cookie into a bag."
I'm not going to go into all that
goes on in a normal shift at Starbucks, but it is evident, madam, that
you have not paid ANY attention at all.
Sorry, I forgot about making change.
9) Union stuff.
Okay. I'm not for a Unionization
Movement (tm). I'm really not. I think we're given enough great
benefits, partner contacts, perks, etc. So I'm not going to argue with
you. I think the whole "organize now" mentality is a little overdone
I bet you cave just like everybody else is going to.
I still don't agree, however, that it's "just pouring coffee".
Okay, it's brain surgery.
When you look at it, most of those
behind this union movement are managers, assistant managers and shift
supervisors. Your typical barista, true, is not in it for the long
haul. They're college kids that need some money. And what's wrong with
that? But more on that later.
I never said there was anything
wrong with people working part-time to make some money. I asked why would
anyone want to work fulltime at Starbucks? It didn't seem like a smart
career move to me.
Any food service job has safety
concerns. I've burned myself at least once a week since I started back
in April. I don't complain. It's part of a job. I'm sure postal
carriers get sunburn, and data entry clerks get carpal tunnel. That's
part of the job. You deal.
Once again this whole reading comprehension thing is raising its ugly head. I was talking about the chances of becoming permanently disabled.