*happy bloggerversary to me!*
i can't believe a year has passed since i first started posting, but here we are: 200 posts and 270,000 hits! thanks to everyone for making my blogging experience so successful. i appreciate each and every one of you.
- back to our regularly scheduled post -
some of you might have heard some buzz about a leaked memo from howard schultz to bux ceo jim donald.
of course there's been much talk about this in my own store, as well as every other corporate owned store. one of the gratifying things to learn was that howard schultz has many of the same concerns we lowly baristas have. it feels almost satisfying to know that even his eye (all the way in seattle) is capable of recognizing key issues the rest of us at store level have been dealing with for months (years, for some).
do i think this (now very public) memo will change things for the better at bux?
dare i hope that howard will do away with excess syrups and powders?
will we finally be permitted to pack up that monstrous convection oven and send it back to whatever cruel animal sent it our way?
a big fat NO to all those questions.
i'm not afraid to say bux now feels like an entirely different company from the one that hired me. when i was a newbie we never had understaffing issues, we had plenty of room for all our product, and we never felt like we were heading away from 'cafe' and speeding towards 'donut shop'. now we have more drinks, more pastries, and more ways for customers to customize beverages to their hearts' content. we offer so many more choices and are pressured to complete the orders in record time (long gone are the days of timing a perfect shot).
and even though howard schultz knows that his operational decisions have created their own unique set of challenges, it does not mean he will be able to fix them.
because bux caters to a different type of customer now. and these customers will not accept service delays or minimal beverage choices. they prefer quantity over quality - and they are willing to pay for it. so even if bux did everything in their power to woo back their original customer base, they wouldn't be nearly as profitable as they are now. and we all can bet our little tushies that "profit" will beat out "nostalgia" when it comes to our favorite corporate coffee slinger.
but i know that as a barista i am also reaping the rewards of profitability. medical benefits, stock options, discounted stock purchases, 401k, high pay raises and the opportunity to advance are only possible because i work for a company that rakes in the dough. sure, i may think fondly of my early days at bux - i might even occasionally be envious of the hipster barista at my local independent coffee house - until i think of all the things i'd have to give up to work there. that's when i remember i have nothing to be envious of.
so, i'd like to pose a question to you all:
would you be willing to give up efficiency and speed for 'the warm feeling of a neighborhood store'?
barista rant: don't ask us to put a mug on hold for you, neglect to purchase it every time you come in the store, then expect us to give you a super discount when you decide to buy it three weeks later. and don't ask us to put it on hold (again!) until it gets marked down.