10.10.08

The glamor and glitz of working at Starbucks died today :/ 7 weeks into it, all the romance flew out the drive thru window this morning at approximately 7:45 a.m.

I recalled this afternoon, one of my first few days working at Starbucks and the other partners talking about a partner who just walked out one morning when there seemed to be no direct leadership and chaos took over. Well, that’s what it felt like this morning– not leadership, just chaos. Fortunately, no partners walked. However, all though it did not cross my mind this morning, if there ever were a legitimate reason to walk, this morning would have been it.

I can’t really put my finger on one significant problem– there were many.

For one, the expediter has been broken for a couple of days now. The expediter is a labeling machine that takes the details of a drink order rung at the drive thru and prints it on a label at the bar. When it’s broken, like this morning, the person working the drive thru [me this morning] has to not only ring the drinks but also mark the cups, which are at the bar. At the height of rush hour this becomes very challenging not only because there is just one order after the other coming through the drive thru [it never stops] but the person working the drive thru [me] is also taking payments, handing out drinks, taking orders and dodging partner traffic as they try to make their way to the bar to mark cups. And while you are doing all this there are voices in your head [the headset] customer voices… partner voices… WHEW!

If it only worked that well…

However, every partner has a headset on and can hear the orders from customers at the drive thru. [Something to remember next time you pull into a drive thru– you wouldn’t believe what all we hear!] So, sometimes other partners will step in and mark the cups. Which is not really helpful when you don’t know this– you end up with double drinks being made. That happened several times this morning 😦

Then, just when you figure they are going to mark the cup, they don’t, and you end up with someone at the drive thru and no drink in sight. This backs up the drive thru quick!

And even worse is when you are so tied up that someone else answers the drive thru on their headset– trying to be helpful of course. This would be a help except that they may or may not ring the order, and may or may not mark the cups. You may get a customer at the drive thru window and the order on your screen doesn’t match what they ordered because their order was never actually rung into the system. And who knows if their cup was marked or not?

It can get SO CRAZY SO FAST!

Then there are the customers who really don’t know what they’re ordering and couldn’t tell a Cappuccino from a Frappuccino. You get them every day. They order one and really want the other. They order a Chi Tea and want a Chi Tea Latte or they order a Caramel Macchiato when they really wanted an Ice Caramel Macchiato 😦 I had two of these during the height of the rush this morning.

It’s not really a written policy, but at my store when this happens we will of course remake the drink, but also ask the customer if they are going somewhere where someone might want the original drink we made for them. And if they say, “Yes.” we give them the drink at no charge. I’m pretty sure that one of the customers I had this morning has caught on to this little trick and has pulled this one before– it wasn’t really that they didn’t know what they were ordering 😦 And keep in mind, this not only backs up the drive thru but the cafe as well as the Barista has to put things on hold and remake a drink.

Another thing, there didn’t seem to be any real clear leadership on the floor this morning. There were two shifts there. I never looked on the books to see who was actually in charge, but I should have to. I should be able to tell just by their direction.

Also, there were a lot of people coming and going on and off the floor for various reason– breaks and other stuff as well. That made things even more confusing and chaotic.

Even one of the girls that has been working there a long time commented this afternoon on how chaotic things were this morning. And no other morning I’ve worked in the past 7 weeks has been anything like it. So, maybe it won’t happen again– at least not for another 7 weeks, and I hope not tomorrow 😮

I did get M.U.G.ged again today and the card read, “You’re very steady. That’s good. With time I know you’ll harness the skills to survive any chaotic situation! You’re an awesome addition to the store!” …harness the skills to survive any chaotic situation… I think I’ve already done that :/

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1 Response to “10.10.08”


  1. 1 D. Beck October 11, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Sorry you had a rough day! (Want to switch jobs? Hee Hee!)


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