Saturday, September 2, 2006

Mrs. Linklater Responds to Her Critic--Part Deux


COMMENT:
11) "How many people does it take to make a cup of coffee and take your money?"

Two service channels open, one person on bar, one on cold bev and one in back of house to keep it all running smoothly, if you're a large and busy store. Would you rather wait 10 minutes for your coffee? Didn't think so. That'd just be an

[THIS IS NOT AN OMISSION ON MRS. L'S PART. THE REST OF THE SENTENCE WASN'T COMLPLETED.]

Comment from stardustxsiren - 9/2/06 12:35 AM

Mrs. Linklater:
A trip to Starbucks takes more than ten minutes to serve each customer in my experience. White Hen Pantry and Dunkin Donuts are both much faster by comparison. And *sigh* once again, if you'd read what I said more carefully, you'd know that I don't get coffee at Starbucks.  I get lemonade or orange juice and a sandwich.  The reason is that whole thing about baristas not being able to take an order with four customizations. Remember? Plus I'm very sensitive to too much caffeine. In a dangerous way.  Remember the blowfish analogy?

COMMENT:
 6) Minorities and "Urban Coffee Opportunities" (http://www.johnsondevelopmenthttp://www.johnsondevelopment [Mrs. Linklater has no plans to make this link work, sorry.]

Starbucks, in partnership with Magic Johnson, has created a program called "Urban Coffee Opportunities" that is specifically designed to put shops in locations which would be beneficial to both the company and the neighborhood.

Mrs. Linklater:
I'll believe it when I see it. So far, it's nothing but talk around here.

COMMENT:
The "typical" barista you describe in your area is again, not necessarily the same for all areas of the country - or the world. Just from personal experience, when my store opened, we had a handful of what you would call your "typical" Starbucks employee...we also had a 40 something year old father of 7, a 32 year old coffee master, and even one guy who was just graduating high school. Diversity is another part of Starbucks' Mission Statement.

Mrs. Linklater
40 years old? 32 years old? Father of 7? High school grad? Got anybody who plays Bingo? I notice you didn't mention Latinos, blacks, Indians, Asians, gays, seniors, or the handicapped. That's diversity.  
 

COMMENT:
Since I've referred to it twice...here it is in its' entirety:

-----------------------
Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.

Mrs. Linklater:
If this were working why is there the need for a bitch board? With references to NO CALL NO SHOW employees? And what's with making people think they should come into work two hours after they've been at the hospital near death, like you?

COMMENT:
Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.

Mrs. Linklater
We sell coffee to anyone regardless of race, religion, or country of origin.  Just don't try to work here.

COMMENT:
Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.

Mrs. Linklater:
Then why does it taste so bad?

COMMENT:
Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.

Mrs. Linklater:
I can't be the only exception.

COMMENT:
Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.

Mrs. Linklater:
Contribute positively to our upper middle class white communities and plant a couple of trees around town.

COMMENT:
Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success.

Mrs. Linklater:
That would explain the high prices.
-------------------


Starbucks does not hire any random human being with a spinal cord and a cognizant brain. Something else goes into the hiring process. This is evident in the "manner of speech" you referred to. You will not walk into a Starbucks and be asked, "Yo, what you want?". It. Just. Does. Not. Happen. We have brains. We're articulate. We may be working in retail, but that does not make us peons.

Mrs. Linklater:
Right. It makes you slackers.


Comment from stardustxsiren - 9/2/06 12:35 AM

COMMENT:
 4) Stale bakery items

Okay. Hard truth here is that this may happen. Because WE ARE NOT MAGICAL. No, we can't go in the back and bake you a new marble loaf. Nope, can't warm up that cookie either. Our pastries are delivered from distribution centers throughout the country. Here in CT alone, one district gets theirs from New York. Another from Boston. My point here is, the pastries, dependent on the distribution center, come from different bakeries. I don't know about out there in Chicago, but just because you've had a bad experience out in that area does not mean it goesfor the rest of our stores.

Mrs. Linklater
Can't you just say you're sorry, it won't happen again?

5) The Third Place
As pretentious as some of Starbucks' (yes, THAT is the proper apostrophe placement) terms and standards are (you know, calling their employees Partners and such), I do find that their mission statement is quite in line with what I'd like to see in a company. One part of said statement is to create the "Third Place" environment for their customers. One that is relaxing, where they don't feel rushed. We're not fast food. We're a coffee shop. Come in, have a mocha, sit back and relax with the paper or a book. It's a place to be that's not quite work and not quite home. Sounds kinda sappy, but it works. When have you last spent more than 5 minutes in a Dunkin Donuts?

Mrs. Linklater:
I believe I acknowledged Starbucks' [note proper use of apostrophe] ability to crack the "I need a place to hang out" code.  Marketing at its finest I might add.

(Sidebar: Seattle's Best was a sister company of Starbucks until it was merged. Thank you, back to your regularly scheduled bitching.)

Mrs. Linklater:
Seattle's Best  was a separate company. It was bought by Starbuck's in 2003. Employees there were ASSURED that their coffee wouldn't start tasting like Starbuck's.  Haaaaaaaaa.

Comment from stardustxsiren - 9/2/06 12:34 AM

 Lemme break it down for ya, sister friend.

1) Highly Caffeinated

Whether you know it or not, the coffee you choose not to imbibe at Starbucks has NO MORE caffeine content than your general Dunkin Donuts muddy water. We don't add anything to the brew to make it superdeduper caffeinated. No, there's no crack in the brewer basket. It's just coffee. JUST COFFEE! You said it yourself...

Mrs. Linklater:
Actually the typical "cup" of coffee people order at Starbucks is very large [16 oz] and contains 550 mgs of caffeine which is close to three times the amount in a regular cup. Starbucks is offering a maximum caffeine delivery system.

COMMENT:
2) Burnt

Let me ask you a question. When you DO decide to grace our humble halls with your presence, your highness, what blend do you drink? Do you get the light? The bold? Oh wait..no...you get DECAF. Of which there is usually but one choice. SO. You're going to tell me that just because you have walked in ahandful of times to your local Bux and gotten the decaf, that all of a sudden our entire line of coffees (fair trade certified and organic blends as well, mind you) are all "burnt"? Where else has your palate been, my friend? I'd like to knowyour credentials.

Mrs. Linklater:
Remember, I don't get coffee at Starbucks. However, a long time ago I did try some de-caf once after a movie.  It was the worst cup of de-caf I have ever had.  I'm not a regular coffee drinker, but I know enough to know when something tastes good or bad.  Besides, I'm not the only person who has said Starbucks coffee is burnt.  I'm just the only person who had to nerve to tell you.

COMMENT:
3) Overpriced

We are not serving you swill.

Mrs. Linklater:
You're serving overpriced swill.

COMMENT:
Starbucks, by trade, is a purveyor of high end beverages. You can choose to funnel your hard earned cash into a $3.50 latte, or to drink caffeinated piss for less over at Dunkin Donuts. That's your choice.

Mrs. Linklater:
Au contraire. Starbucks, by trade, is a purveyor of overpriced beverages.  In taste tests Dunkin Donuts beat Starbucks.

(By the way - what is it that you do? Besides sit at home and bitch about coffee?)

Mrs. Linklater:
When I was your age, I was writing commercials for one of the largest ad agencies in the world.  I was also a model and a member of Second City's Touring Company.  Yes, at the same time. And I was singing in a jazz group.  Oh, and I had a college degree from a respected university. So give it a rest.

Continued...
Comment from stardustxsiren - 9/2/06 12:33 AM

I respect many opinions and carry many respectable ones of my own.  Do not assume to know me.  I, unlike you, respect any and every person that is gainfully employed no matter what their job may be.  

Mrs. Linklater:
I think Starbucks has brainwashed its employees into thinking they are not serving coffee, they are serving a higher, more meaningful purpose.  Earth to baristas -- you're SERVING COFFEE.  

COMMENT:
I knew that your responding comment would prove me right.

I rest my case.

Mrs. Linklater:
I knew that if I dissected this case line by line it would crumble. 

COMMENT:
P.S.  I recommend spell check.
Comment from witstar2 -9/1/06 8:15 PM

Mrs. Linklater:
AOL does not provide spellcheck for journals on MACs.  I transposed two letters.  BFD.


Well, now, hasn't this been fun?

9 comments:

thisismary said...

Hysterical!  You gal are at your best when you are takin' folk to task fer bein ijidts.

witstar2 said...

Re:  Your last three rebuttal comments.

To let you and your readers know, if they haven't noticed already, you have made a mistake in believing a comment of mine (beginning with: I respect many opinions...) was included in the long comment/s after mine.  This was a separate comment that you have mistakenly tacked on.  Perhaps an edit is in order.

suzypwr said...

Thanks for the entertainment, Mrs L :)

xoxo

jevanslink said...

Dear Witstar2:

Sorry.   You all look alike to me.


Mrs. L

stardustxsiren said...

COMMENT:
<i>Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.</i>

"Mrs. Linklater:
Then why does it taste so bad?"

Because again, a dark roast coffee is not always the preferable roast for all tastes. But hey, if you'd rather go drink the colored water over at Dunkin, be my guest. I was never one to be against DD - people have a choice. I won't hiss when I hear them mentioned. I just know that if you like your coffee bold, Dunkin isn't the way to go. I'd reccomend, if you're used to that, to try our Lightnote or Breakfast Blend, or even the medium Serena Organic and then make your judgements. If you're going in there getting decaf Sumatra (a bold) or something, obviously it may not suit your tastes.

COMMENT:
<i>Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.</i>

"Mrs. Linklater:
I can't be the only exception."

<b>It's what we strive for. We're not perfect. I know most of the customers I see on a regular basis are more than happy with the product and the service. But again, we're only human and we make mistakes. Can you name any industry where customer satisfaction is at 100%? I didn't think so. </b>

COMMENT:
<i>Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.</i>

"Mrs. Linklater:
Contribute positively to our upper middle class white communities and plant a couple of trees around town."

<b>You're truly ridiculous. Would you walk into Panera or Au Bon Pain and tell them they suck because they cater to the upper middle class crowd, then go throw a parade for McDonalds who hires people who can't speak english? I'm all for equal opportunity, but come on now. You want to talk about not getting orders right? Please.</b>

stardustxsiren said...

"Mrs. Linklater
40 years old? 32 years old? Father of 7? High school grad? Got anybody who plays Bingo? I notice you didn't mention Latinos, blacks, Indians, Asians, gays, seniors, or the handicapped. That's diversity.  "

<b>Well of course at one store out of thousands there won't be someone from every single race, age, orientation, whatever. I was just giving a small example of the fact that we are not all 20 something white college kids. I can honestly say that out of all those categories mentioned, yes, I know at least one person that fits each bill at one of 4 or 5 Starbucks in CT. What a ridiculous thing to say, Mrs. L. You're not thinking before typing again.</b>

"Mrs. Linklater:
If this were working why is there the need for a bitch board? With references to NO CALL NO SHOW employees? And what's with making people think they should come into work two hours after they've been at the hospital near death, like you?"

<b>Because EVERYONE needs to gripe about their job. Obviously, there are problems. There always are. But I still will defend the company as a whole. Managers sometimes suck. Customers sometimes suck. The "bitch board" is just a place to vent. On the whole, my experience with the company has been that my managers and my coworkers are all committed to making the working environment a good one. I'm lucky to have opened a brand new store, so my experience is different. I can't speak for the entire Starbucks Employee Populace.</b>

stardustxsiren said...

"Mrs. Linklater:
When I was your age, I was writing commercials for one of the largest ad agencies in the world.  I was also a model and a member of Second City's Touring Company.  Yes, at the same time. And I was singing in a jazz group.  Oh, and I had a college degree from a respected university. So give it a rest."

Ah, so it's an entitlement thing because you think you're BETTER than everyone else. You're one of THOSE. I get it now. I suppose that explains your ignorance to the retail trade. In that case, I shouldn't have bothered with all this writing back anyway, because in your own little world, you're it, you're the best, and nobody can tell you otherwise.

Have fun with that.

stardustxsiren said...

COMMENT:
<i>Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success.</i>

"Mrs. Linklater:
That would explain the high prices."

<b>We're still a business. Notice that's the LAST thing on the list...</b>

In reference to working in retail:

"Mrs. Linklater:
Right. It makes you slackers."

<b>So what you mean to say is, unless you're employed full time, 40 hours a week, in a salaried, degree-requiring position, you're worth diddly-squat? The world doesn't run that way, sweetheart.</b>

Regarding the bakery items:

<b>Mrs. Linklater
Can't you just say you're sorry, it won't happen again?</b>

<b>So in other words, you have no comeback for this, right?</b>

"Mrs. Linklater:
Actually the typical "cup" of coffee people order at Starbucks is huge and contains 550 mgs of caffeine which is close to three times the amount in a regular cup. Starbucks is offering a maximum caffeine delivery system."

<b>I'm assuming you mean the venti as the "typical" cup? That's 20 oz. (24 oz cold - room for whip.) Your average "mug" of coffee at home is probably about 16 ounces. That's a grande size (and yes, even I think the size names are stupid.) We have tall (12 oz) and short (8 oz). So, really, there are options to reduce your caffeine intake and still get coffee. In fact, you can even to half-caf if you'd like, in both drip AND espresso.</b>

jevanslink said...

What are you smoking?  I was simply answering your question. Remember? You asked me what is it I do besides sit around and bitch about coffee.

So I decided to tell you what I was doing when I was your age. And I've done a whole lot more since then.

When it comes to entitlement, I'm always entitled to my opinion.  

Mrs. L