This post contains a Starbucks rant so you shoukd probably just go watch this instead of reading further.
I consider myself an expert in just about any field of employment I have ever worked in (and some additional fields like medicine and demolition derby racing because I have been to the doctors a lot and I have attended many a county fair figure-8) and it doesn't matter the length of time. I was a waitress for two hours and a hot roller girl at Glamour Shots for a month so do not talk to me about good service or good hair!
I've had many fun work experiences, but only one stands out as the one I feel the need to reference the most and that was my three months as a Starbucks Barista. This was when we actually "pulled" shots of espresso, we didn't just push a button on a coffee robot with one hand while sexting on cell phones with the other like they do nowadays!
I know, you may be thinking, "You don't actually tell people every time you go into Starbucks that you were a barista, do you?" Well, actually I do. But it is only because there is ALWAYS a situation that calls for it. I find that in old age, this is all you have - your mature face that makes people believe you when you say you "used to do" something.
But really, there is always a situation where I NEED to tell people that I was a barista. Maybe I am waiting with a bunch of people that are getting impatient about their drinks and I need to show solidarity, I need to be the goodwill ambassador, the barista-turned-civilian that can let people know, "your drink really is on its way, I know because I was a barista for three months. I probably made over seventy caramel macchiatos." Maybe I need to laugh with other baristas when someone mispronounces "grande" or roll my eyes when someone orders a fattachino. Maybe someone gets a flat tire in the parking lot, maybe a new customer is having trouble with a drink choice. Whatever the scenario, I usually need to let people know.
So a few days ago I was at Bucky's (baristas sometimes call it that) and I ordered a grande iced coffee with not sh*t in it. I know, as a former barista, that the cashier can just turn around, grab the coffee out of the fridge, fill up the cup,toss in some ice, and hand it over. It doesn't have to go in the drink assembly line. The cashier did just that - she grabbed the iced coffee from the fridge and filled up the cup and..... set it in the long drink line. I asked her if I could just grab my drink and she looked at me and said, "no, your drink is in line, we have to give the drinks out in order." She said this while holding her hand over my iced coffee.
I looked over at the peope waiting for their six-shot whatevers and back at the teen-ager that had just spent more time scolding me than it would have taken her to just hand over my freaking cup, and whispered, "but....I was a barista..." and then even quieter, "we never did that."
I knew then it was time to retire. I may not be able to keep up my Starbucks boycott that I vowed to myself that day, but I will no longer let people know that I was a barista there and that is really going to hit them where it counts. Right in their push-button souls.