August 28, 2014

Partner, or Peon?

I work at Starbucks.

You probably know that I had wanted to work for Starbucks since the age of 15 or 16. I applied many times. I interviewed many times. I got rejected many times. Then one day, I decided to apply one last time. I had a few options in front of me - moving to Colorado, moving to Tennessee, and this job.

The day of my interview, there was a huge snowstorm, and when I called the manager to let her know that I might be a couple minutes late, she told me that it was okay if I wanted to reschedule. I said no. I had determined in my mind that I HAD to make it to this interview. If I decided to skip it because of bad weather, then what would that say about me? That I wasn't going to come to work if the weather was bad? That doesn't make me look like a good employee, right? No. I had to get there. My father drove me, like a mad man, through inches of slush on the 95. I walked in the door the minute that I was supposed to be there. I interviewed, I was myself, and I was offered a job before I walked out.

When I got into the car, and told my dad that I had been offered the job, we both started crying. My parents knew how much this meant to me. They had seen my disappointment, and they knew how much I wanted the job. They supported my unwillingness to just apply willy-nilly for any job because of how committed I was to getting a job at Starbucks. I was set. I was determined that this was it. I wanted to do coffee, and Starbucks was the best way for me to start. I knew it. My parents supported me, and my dream of making coffee for people, to give people a moment of happiness in their day.

That's what I believed Starbucks was. It's what Starbucks says they are. Sometimes, I still believe it. Unfortunately, oftentimes these days...I don't. Even in little things like not brewing decaf coffee first thing in the morning. We have early morning regulars who ALWAYS get half-caf, or decaf coffee, and they don't want to wait for a pour over, because waiting for a pour over stinks. No one should have to wait for a pour over in a place like Starbucks.

My job is always on my mind these days. A lot has been going on this year. I won't go into specifics, some of you know exactly what has been going on, but I won't go into it here. Very long story short, Starbucks has let me down. And I get it. This is The Man. This is Corporate. However, this is a corporation that has made a really big deal about being more than Corporate, or being more than just The Man. And maybe I'm just naive peon who wanted to believe in something better than what is showing to just be simple reality. Isn't that always the way? Even with Communism - it was a great idea at first. People supported it, believed in it til the end. Even when it was ruining lives. They didn't want to admit that this thing...wasn't all that it was made out to be.

That's what Starbucks is to me now. Not all it was cracked up to be. Sure, there's insurance. Sure, there's access to education. Sure, there's free coffee. Okay. But what are we really to Howard Schultz in the end? A machine. Cogs that when they start to squeak, get a little grease, but even when that little bit of grease doesn't fix the problem, and the cogs keep jamming...the mechanic begins to dig a little bit..okay. But he certainly likes to take his time. The cogs keep jamming. For months. And yet, just little drops of oil, little tweaks are made, instead of just taking apart the machine and finding out how to really fix whatever might be wrong.

This company really does just care about money. I love my coworkers. My partners. And unfortunately, the job keeps you stuck because honestly - insurance is a pain to deal with these days. It's nice to not have to worry about it.

I don't like being a cog. I wish that I was really a partner. They say that I am, but I'm not really. I'm a peon, and I'm having trouble accepting that. But I don't know what else to do. I've done everything. I've taken every flashlight and shone it into every crevice to try to get the mechanic to take me seriously.

They say they do. I just am really struggling to believe it. But I keep going to work. I keep coming back from my lunch breaks. I haven't walked out yet. Clearly, there's a microscopic bit of me that believes Them. Or is hoping that I do. Telling myself to try and think about trying to believe them.

I either need a husband with a solid income, or Jesus needs to come back, because being unemployed is not awesome.

I wish that I could somehow be convinced that I'm not a peon. I desperately want to be a partner instead. I wish that I knew what to expect when I go to work..well, I do. But I mean from myself. Sometimes it's a good day. And then the next day will be rock bottom. I'm getting motion sickness from this roller coaster.

I wasn't really ever expecting to write about this, while still working for the company. I figured that eventually I'd quit, and then blog it all out. But none of this is angry. It's mostly just sad. Sort of hopeless. Disillusioned. I guess that's the best word. Disillusioned.

Alas, it's all I can think about. But I've talked to so many people in Corporate about it, and ugly cried to them, on the phone or in person, and I've talked to my coworkers about it all so...I guess it's not much of a secret.

My heart is genuinely broken. That sounds silly, to most of you, probably. You think, "It's just a job. It's just Starbucks." Well, yes. But getting this job was a literal dream come true for me. I am heartbroken.

August 17, 2014

Since last time...

For obvious reasons (obvious to me, not you,) I can't share everything that's going on these days. To suffice, personal life is going well, professional life is a struggle. Obviously, life ebbs and flows, so I'm just trying to do my best and see what happens. See what God's purpose is in everything, and not shy away from just enjoying what is nice.

In recent news, I bought a laptop. It's a cute, little Chromebook, and when I bought it, Google stole my soul. I'm pleased that it will fit in my creative tote bag, the one I bought from the screening of "A Film About Coffee," which was a beautiful, and informative film that I absolutely loved.

I'm making progress in my Coffee Tasting Journal. I have four medium roasts, and three dark roasts left to document. I'm hoping to make tasting more accessible for my partners, alongside a partner who is also enthusiastic about coffee (only one of so many reasons why we are a type of soulmates.)

I hear guitar outside. It's really faint, but it's out there, somewhere. I wish I had more discipline to learn the guitar that I was so generously given, a million years ago.

I just made plans to go on a hike with my friend Sam. I have barely seen her this summer, if at all! Between her internship, and her job, and my job...I think we saw each other a couple times at church. Anyway - we're going to make our way around Kenoza Lake! I'm so excited!

What else..I'm growing my low-maintenance plant collection. A succulent, and bamboo. My dad bought me the bamboo for my birthday, and the succulent was an impulse purchase. It's in an adorable yellow pot, how could I say no? I also got myself some daisies this week. They're perfect, white, Gerbera Daisies. My cat wants to eat them.

Robin Williams passed away this week, which, sort of surprisingly to me, made a bigger impact on me than I thought it hindsight, obviously. Who would have expected him to kill himself? We, the distant fans knew him as an entertainer, a good man, someone who was funny, and kind. It goes to show that because we don't know everyone's stories..we don't know how our words, or actions can affect someone - for the better, or the worse. We are imperfect people, but we must try to do what we can to show kindness to everyone we meet. As believers, to show the love of Christ to those we encounter. We simply don't know the impact that we are having on people.

Sharayah moved back to Washington. I miss her like crazy. (Why are there fireworks outside?) However, our mutual friend Katy and I are hoping to traverse to Washington for the SCAA Coffee Event next year. Nothing but good times will be had.

Side note: There are some MASSIVE flies in our house right now. Like, killer flies. Like, gonna eat my brains while I sleep, flies. Like, so big that Hitchcock could have made a movie about them flies. BIG. I know that I killed one, I think I killed the biggest one...seriously, the size of a quarter. That's just not right, people. If I don't answer any texts tomorrow, you'll know that they've gotten revenge on me for killing their leader.

One of my supervisors from work in is Europe right now. She spent the weekend in Paris, and I am convinced that there is no place on Earth more perfect than that city. I'm convinced.

Let's see...what else should I touch on? Personal life: quite nice. Work life: quite challenging. Spiritual life: needs improvement. Since my rededication to the Lord, I feel like...Things are kind of just in a tizzy. I=MY heart isn't hard to God, or His Word, but it's challenging to keep my face towards Him, and to trust Him with every aspect of my life. There are things that are easy to keep in prayer, and others that I can pray about, but it's hard to live out the faith that I'm trying to have about the situation.

I just need more. I need to pursue the Lord more than I am. I know this. It's the only way that I'll have some semblance of peace about what makes me uneasy. I know that if I continually surrender my will to His, that things will fall into place the way that is best. I don't want to compromise, but I don't want to handle things the wrong way.

I have to seek Him. And trust Him. I'm thankful that He knows my future, but I am capable for making things harder than they need to be. And we all know how THAT goes.

Well, I have an early morning. My schedule this week is great. Here's hoping for a good, productive week, with as little tension, and stress as possible. And full of treating others the way the Christ wants me to treat them. Hashtag the struggle is real.