8.21.08

So, yesterday was my first day on the job and basically I spent 2 hours talking to the store manager about Starbucks the company and 1 1/2 hours reading material and taking tests– “Activities” they call them.

The Barista 100 Level Training program consists of more than a dozen booklets [magazine size but not that thick] ranging in everything from Customer Care to Drive Thur and more and ends with the Barista Testing ;-o

There is SO, SO, SO, SO, SO much to learn it is overwhelming! However, someone has put an awful lot of thought into the process [no doubt someone that’s probably been through it] and they have divided it up into sensible sections easily laid out in a natural course of learning. While it IS overwhelming, they have done an excellent job of breaking it down and helping you through the whole process one step at a time.

I also yesterday had my first “Coffee Tasting”. It was Caffe Verona, a multi-region blend paired with espresso brownie. It’s really good with chocolate and they sell a lot of it around Valentine’s Day. Oh yeah, you have to taste everything ๐Ÿ™‚ I tasted a bunch of other drinks yesterday as well.

I brought home a lot of tax stuff and other various papers to fill out, a Starbucks Coffee Company “Partner Kit”, [I’m a “Partner” now], the “Green Apron Book”– reminding me to be Welcoming, Genuine, Knowledgeable, Considerate, and Involved, and a host of other pamphlets, papers, booklets, etc., etc., etc. I promptly told the store manager that I needed to take a week off just to read all this stuff.

Today, I jumped right in and got my feet wet– mostly I felt “in the way” but I did what I could to helped open the store– had to be there at 4:45 a.m.! WHEW! Now I know why they give you all that FREE COFFEE!!! I learned a lot today about the brewing process and the stocking of the pastries. I never noticed that they have “morning” pastries and “afternoon” pastries. I can’t believe I never noticed that.

And the whole brewing thing– that’s quite a juggling process… Let’s see, there are 3 coffees being brewed. Today it was the Pike Place Blend regular, Pike Place Blend decaf and the COW [Coffee of the Week] Komodo Dragon– I kept calling it Kokomo ๐Ÿ˜ฎ he he he he… Anywho… you’ve got these 3 coffees that you’re brewing and you can only hold them 30 minutes. If they are older than 30 minutes you dump it and brew more. There are 2 brewing stations, these 2 brewing stations are also holding stations. In addition there are also 3 more holding stations. SO… you’ve got 3 coffees that you are brewing, they can only be held for 30 minutes then you have to dump them and brew more, there are 2 brewing stations and 5 holding stations and because 2 of the holding stations are also the 2 brewing stations you are constantly shuffling containers around from the brewing to the holding and the holding to the brewing, etc., etc., etc. On top of all that, they all 5 have timers– 1 is always going off [at least 1] AND you’ve got to anticipate what the customers want so that you will have the coffee ready and fresh. IS THAT CRAZY OR WHAT?!?

And about 7:00 a.m. it gets REAL CRAZY! Busy hour I guess you might call it, and everyone is scrambling. The drive thru is backed up, there’s a line in the store, pastries are running out and there I am trying to figure out what to brew next ๐Ÿ˜ฎ It’s a RUSH like I’ve never experienced in my entire life. It’s what I think being on drugs must be like AND I LOVED IT! HA!

I’ll love it even more I think when I know what I’m doing and feel comfortable doing it. There is so much multi-tasking and I LOVE to multi-task.

And BTW, all of the above gets even more interesting if you’re one of the fortunate ones that gets to wear a headset. There are 3 people wearing headsets that they can monitor the drive thru and talk to each other with. The person working the drive thru picks up the first drive thru customer. If another drive thru customer comes up and the person working the drive thru is still helping a customer then the second person with a headset picks up the second drive thru customer and that second person is more than likely at the espresso bar making someone’s drink while they are picking up the second drive thru customer. Then, should there be a third drive thru customer, and this happens quite regularly during that 7:00 a.m. hour, the third person with a headset picks up that customer should the first person working the drive thru still be helping the first customer– and they probably are because I don’t have the right coffee brewing in a timely fashion :-/ Also keep in mind that that third person with a headset that is helping that third drive thru customer is also working the line inside the store at the same time! WHEW! Is that a RUSH or what?!?

OK, so if you’ve ever been to a Starbucks and they get your drink wrong and you wondered why… now you know.

And you know what else? When I was grinding the beans before brewing this morning… I almost, almost, ALMOST got the decaf mixed up with the caf! WHOA! That would have put some people over the top! or left them in the valley… who knows? You’d think it might have BIG BOLD letters on the bag– maybe even in a different color, that says DECAF?!? But no, just some tiny little writing that says, “decaf”. So if you ever get decaf and thought your were getting caffeinated… or you ever get caffeinated when you wanted decaf… there was probably some nebie like me behind the counter mixing it up :-/

I’m pretty sure that when all of this becomes “old hat” and I feel comfortable doing it and not in the way, I’m going to LOVE this job! AND, I get all the free drinks I want AND GET PAID FOR DOING IT!

Oh, today I had another coffee tasting: Komodo Dragon, it’s very bold and earthy tasting.

I open again on Saturday and next Monday. I work 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Beyond that I don’t know what hours I will be working except that I have a 4 1/2 training class a week from Saturday in Peachtree City. I’m going to be working all kinds of hours– I know that, so that I learn to do everything from open to close and everything in between ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. Got my U.S. 10K Classic bib and timing chip today. #3338

this has got to be like the longest post to date ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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