as per every six months, my manager sat down with me recently to go over my review. now, i never sweat these things because i'm very good at what i do, and my managers know it. in fact, my reviews are always very short and sweet because there's never any need for clarification or discussion.
this review, however, was by far the most entertaining one i've ever had.
of course i scored very high, and of course my raise was deserved, but there was one comment my manager made that had me in stitches.
under "areas of opportunity" my manager wrote:
'brat needs to be more welcoming of new policies and needs to embrace change within the company.'

i tell you, i let out a roar of laughter when i read that.
you see, i don't deny that i've been resistant to the 'new and improved' changes bux has been making. in fact, i've been quite vocal within my store concerning the ridiculous (in my opinion) decisions howard has made since his re-coronation as ceo.
not only do these new decisions add more work (with no additional labor allotted) for baristas, but they also are money-wasters.
does anyone remember that failure called 'chantico'?
now the latest thing is our vivannos, which have not been the smashing success we baristas were supposed to make them.
and remember when howard said he was getting rid of the the breakfast sandwiches? well, he's not. they are here to stay, and will be joined by oatmeal.
that's right.
we will soon be selling oatmeal as part of our breakfast menu.
'but what about the coffee, howard?!?' you might have heard me scream.
well, his answer is this: protein lattes.

i. kid. you. not.

oh yeah - coming soon bux will be offering protein lattes for those customers who feel the milk in their beverage is just not enough protein in their cups.
now maybe it's me. maybe i'm the one that's totally off base. perhaps there are a million people out there who sigh each time they take a sip of their bux beverage and think "oh, if only this latte had five more grams of protein - THEN my life would be perfect!"
or maybe this will be yet another promotion that will be pushed, then forgotten.
and, to top it all off, those horrendous chanticos have gone through a metamorphosis and will return as 'signature hot chocolates'. which again means more work for the baristas with no added labor to the schedule.

seriously, howard needs to work an hour in my store - or any store - so he can see the reality of what is going on in bux. sending us memos and dvds with 'inspirational' tripe which supposedly reiterate his passion for coffee is NOT cutting it with us baristas. we don't believe it anymore. his actions do not match his words.
but maybe it's just me. maybe i just need to find bux redemption in the bottom of an oatmeal cup.

barista rant: are you blind, or just passive aggressive? first you literally PUSHED me out of your way while i was cleaning up the condiment bar. excuse me for assuming you'd like to prepare your coffee at a clean spot. then you rolled your eyes because i was restocking the napkins. seriously - it took me all of 5 seconds to fill the napkin dispenser, so why the attitude? and then, after i'd cleaned and stocked, you decided that spilling nonfat milk all over the counter was apparently justified. not only that, you grabbed a napkin to wrap around your cup, yet left that nasty spill in plain sight. it took all my control to keep from calling you a cow to your face.


Emily said...

Geez, just because you didn't drink the corporate Kool-Aid and have opinions of your own about Starbucks' business practices doesn't mean you're a bad employee (in fact, it means you're paying attention.)

Unless you were flat-out refusing to make those disgusting breakfast sandwiches or protein-enriched coffee drinks, I don't see what the problem is.

ramblingmom said...

Rant response (from Cow -- said with a holier than thou attitude)

Excuse me. I'm a very important customer. I am the most important customer you have. I'm here every (blah blah blah) and I spend (blah $$$$ blah) a week here and I tip (like crap). Honey it's your menial job to clean the counter and you can wait until I'm done getting my (too much) crap to put in my coffee. After all your purpose in life is to make me happy. Plus you have plenty of time because they haven't even started up the protein drinks yet. And I'm sure you'll make it wrong every time (meaning you'll make what I order and never think to make what I might have dreamed up in my pea brain while you're making my drink).

h.bubble said...

Oatmeal and protein lattes? Oatmeal only comes from grandmas' house or if it's -20 outside.

Colleen said...

oh brat, i feel your pain. i rolled my eyes when I heard about the oatmeal. i'm an (uneducated) coffee drinker but i'm not a starbucks customer because i don't like the taste of their coffee. oatmeal is not going to bring me in their door. and adding "signature" to "hot chocolate" makes me think that the price is automatically going up a buck. i'd LOVE it if they offered different roasts and less strong coffees. if howard was interesting in educating people like me about coffee i'd be in the store.

James UK said...

People are getting ruder and ruder on this side of the pond too...

Vivano has just launched here, and personally... I can't see it being a big seller in the UK.

randomgal said...

Honestly? With the way economy is going, I personally think that Starbucks is just putting on any ideas they can get.

Allan said...

I practically live on oatmeal and coffee. It costs me about six dollars a week at home.
How much will bux oats cost?

ps: you deserve a raise. again.

Krysten said...

Oh Brat, I totally feel for you. I work at a corporate coffee chain and we have the same issues and it's pretty much awful. It makes you wonder if the higher ups have actually ever been in a store or if they just lock themselves in their corner offices.

Marion said...



I'm not paying Starbucks prices for oatmeal!

Even if they bring back almond!

jenna said...

chantico again? i am a chocolate WHORE and even i couldn't stomach the stuff.

Em said...

Love the blog! I, for one, am loving the vivanos. However, I mourn the lack of almond syrup.

6th Floor blog said...

I know you guys generally hate all the syrups because they take up space, but I wish there were more flavor options. (I really want Maple, which I notice some Seattles bests have)

I love chocolate, and Chantico was maybe off a bit, but I actually would be excited about the signature hot chocolates, although I hope their idea of signature isn't 'adding vanilla syrup' or something.

Moxie said...

Damn, Bux is keeping the sammiches? I hate the way they stink up the place. And the egg in those things grosses me out.

Howard, if you have one of your lackeys secretly reading this blog, this is what I think you should consider: aligning Starbucks with a big diner-type chain, such as Denny's or IHOP. Let THEM make these breakfast sammich thingies or oatmeal and YOU stick to the coffee.

I hate it when businesses go with panic-induced marketing plans. It never seems to work in the way they intended.

BusBus said...

HAHA! I forgot about Chantico! That was dumb. And oatmeal? Are you serious?! Yikes!

And the sandwiches look digusting. Evne if I did eat eggs, I wouldn't touch one (plus, I have read up on the nutritional-or lack thereof- content of them....that's a heart attack in a bun).

I have just finished catching up on all of your posts. It's an interesting insight in the world of Bux customers. I am appalled by how some people behaved! The scammers! The sheer rudeness of people: when did we de-evolve? I feel bad if I order something and I am not 100% happy sounding (I always use complete sentences, please and thank you).

It's a real shame that the front line staff, the ones who interact with customers and have a feel for what's hot and what's not, are never consulted. Everything is decided by suits in a boardroom who have never spent more than 10 minutes in their place of business. And they wonder why so many stores have had to shut down.

Chin up, Brat-you're doing fine!

Jaui said...

well, i'm glad that the starbucks in Malaysia isn't adding all that stuff to their menu (just yet), and if they do, it's not permanent and labelled as a "one time only" promotion... or it's seasonal.

although they did get rid of the good sandwiches they used to stock and kept the cheap yucky whitebread tuna ones... blech.

hopefully someone in upper (corporate) management speaks out about the fact that starbucks has moved away from its roots. i mean, seriously, muscleheads and gymbunnies don't go to starbucks for their fix of protein. leave the protein shakes and fruit blendies to smoothie stands and stick to making good coffee!

Anonymous said...

There's a store right next to the bux in my building that has better drip than bux and no lines so I always go there. They have quite a set up with the oatmeal in a steam table, I'm guessing. I really don't see where they are going to put a vat or two of oatmeal in any store I've been in. They are already full, for heaven's sake.

And the sandwiches are not good. I ate one once and it was just sadly bland when it should have had a little punch to it.

Your review was just silly. They shouldn't reach for something to complain about. As long as you are good to the customers, management should not complain.

It would be wonderful if you could get Howard behind the counter for a week or six - it would probably improve the stores drastically

jzakibe said...

When my manager told me about the changes, I just said you know why are they making our jobs more difficult? We have enough stuff here to try to sell.

He just smiled. If I have to push this oatmeal, I swear, it will be too much. I already have way too many nutritional facts to remember.

Jenn said...

Did YOUR manager make you dress up in a banana suit for the Vivanno intro...?

Ceetar said...

Those signature hot chocolates are delicious btw!

Edward said...

See, here's the problem....

All of you are, at best, poser baristas. You use fully automatic espresso machines. Actually, you are nothing more than vending machine operators when you think of it. Try working with a REAL machine and pulling your own shots. Grind, dose, tamp, pour - ever hear of it? until then, accept you work for a large chain and be happy with your corporate paycheck. You guys whining about real coffee is like a twinkie baker complaining out a change in the high fructose corn syrup. Get over yourselves...

indigo blue said...

It's "poseur", Edward. Geez, I hate it when these fake pissy bitches show up.

I do grind, dose, tamp and pull my own shots -- at home. When I want a consistent drink and I don't have time to make my own, bux is the way to go. Convenient and consistent, two of the most important principles in retail food.

FWIW, I actually liked the Chantico. But I always got it cut with a couple of shots, so it was like a really rich mocha. By itself, half a cup was about my limit.