My Dunkin Donuts friends might be annoyed with this one. Well, sorry, this chick didn't receive the "Friends with Everyone" superlative in 8th grade for being choosy or picking sides.
I hate coffee. Don't like the smell, the flavor, I don't even eat coffee cake. I go to Dunkin Donuts for the bagels (don't really like donuts either-never bought one for myself, ever.) and I go to Starbucks for one thing and one thing only: The Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino. I have, quite literally, never ordered another beverage from Starbucks.
See how happy it makes me?
Today, I went to the Starbucks drive thru, all amped up for my delicious liquid treat. I sat in line behind a lovely '64 Mustang that stunk up to high heaven (and we wonder how the Ozone could be crumbling..), but was still SUPER pretty and observed the woman in front of me being handed an ice water and having a little chat with the Barista at the window. I thought, surely she didn't hit up the drive thru for a glass of ice water, that's just silliness. After another beat, the Barista came back and handed her what appeared to be some sort of venti latte, soy and half calf concoction (whatever it is you weird coffee drinkers order) and she drove off with a smile on her face. How nice.
Then I get up to the window, pay for my beverage and wait patiently for the frozen cup of yum to emerge from the window. Before my drink was finished, the Barista (a lovely, outdoor/hipster/type gentleman) came back with a cup of ice water in his hands and asked me ever so politely, if I might like to take an extra ice water with me.
Now I don't know if ya'll have stepped out on the face of the sun this morning like I did, but it's hot as shit today. I did not hesitate when answering and gladly accepted the complementary refreshment as I knew I would greedily consume it once my Frappuccino was finished. But I thought, wow, how freakin' considerate of them to do that! I was so impressed, I was immediately compelled to blog about it and tell all of my friends :)
Then it got me thinking about Starbucks, or at least "the Starbucks I've come to know" over the past decade. I don't know what the standard company policies are. I don't know if anyone has ever worked at a Starbucks ad found it to be the worst job on the face of the planet. I can only go by my own experiences and the experiences my friends have had while working there. From what I've seen and heard, Starbucks is fucking great.
Sure hate on them for being some huge trendy company. Call them fascists for making a shit ton of money by selling overpriced coffee and having the gall to open locations directly across the street from one another. Is it silly, yes, we know it's silly, but are we in America? Will people gladly stop in the Starbucks conveniently located on the side of the street they happen to be walking along so they don't have to cross the intersection? You bet your lazy American ass they will. So I won't come down on them for makin' moves, it's our fault they get away with it.
But again, let's focus on the awesomeness shall we?
I had a friend in college who worked for the Starbucks a few blocks away from campus. he loved the job. She liked coffee and all of those weird trendy drinks and was a people person so that job was a great fit for her. But I remember her taking about how happy she was, and how nicely they treated their employees and thought, wow, Starbucks sounds pretty neat. She said employees were encouraged to take the old, used coffee grounds home at the end of each shift so they could be used in their gardens and compost heaps. That the company, rather then add to our countries ever-growing waste problem, provided each employee with reusable mugs so they weren't throwing away dozens of coffee cups each day (saving the company money in supplies as well I'm sure). I also heard that some locations give leftover food to local homeless shelters in their area (something other popular food places are doing as well), so thumbs up for giving back to the community!
I also had a cousin who worked there for sometime, at one point it was the only job she held and she was thankful that, while so many others were being laid off, or struggling to find some steady work (herself included, she was let go from her full time job), that she held a position at a place who seemed to value her as an employee. Now I know it's not the most glamorous position, essentially retail with scones, but when you're struggling and things seem helpless, sometimes it's that "regular job" that can keep you feeling upbeat and positive about what's to come.
For example, I had another friend who worked at a Starbucks in the neighboring town from me and he LOVES hi job! He gets to talk to different people all day, see his friends and drink a ton of coffee (dude loves coffee) each day. He loved the job so much, they started promoting him. First he was a trainer, then a shift supervisor and now a manager. Again, to folks with a 9-5 office job, this doesn't seem like a great direction for one to take in life. But if you're happy with what you're doing and your bills are paid-what's the big deal? I say, thanks Starbucks, for making lots of people happy!
Again, I don't know what the national (international?) company policies are, but the fact that they allow their individual franchises to do good within their communities and give back to their employees, makes them stars in my book.
So git yourselves out there, order some freakin' weird beverage and throw a coin or bill into the tip cup at your local Starbucks, they appreciate it more then you know.
Oh and try one of those Frappuccinos if you haven't tried it yet, I like it :)