It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been a partner at Starbucks. I get a lot of questions about my job. Like, how is it being a barista? Is it hard to remember every drink? Why did you choose this job? Do you like it? Do you get tired of the drinks?
I love my job. I never thought I’d work at Starbucks. I remember years ago, my sister and I joked around me working there. Little did I know, I am right now. I was actually referred from a friend that works in the company. During that time, I was looking for a job. Something with a flexible schedule so I can support my pioneering. The time I’ve been with the company, the more I have grown to love my job.
I can’t lie, the first few months starting there I was probably the most grumpiest barista ever. But I learned to work through the rude customers and improved on my customer service. I’ve always been a people person, but I never knew I could get annoyed with people until I started working there. Working at Starbucks, I come across different people with different backgrounds. With time, I have come to know my customers better. Once you think about it, a barista is actually an important role in a person’s start of the day. I’ve learned how important coffee is to some people’s lives. As a barista, I talk to hundreds even thousands people a day. Different drinks, foods, personalities. I soon remember what some customers orders are and that makes their day. I come across many people, but the customers could remember who they talk to since they may not need to talk to a lot of people compared to me. So I try to be as friendly and positive when I go to work, because a smile or laughter can make a highlight in someone’s day.
Do I get tired of coffee? No. Is it hard to remember the recipes? Sometimes. Most are basic steps.
At times, I do go home and think of my customers. Sometimes it was a mistake I made and completely flipped them off. Other times, I think of ways how I can make their next visit better.
For example, there’s this one customer who’s been at the store recently. She’s deaf. I haven’t gotten her name since it is difficult with the language barrier. But I try to communicate with her as much as I can. She enjoys her drink extra hot and one less pump of syrup. I have offered her a pen and paper to write, but she denies it. She tried to communicate through photos on her phone. Since I’ve met her, I have tried to start learning a few signs just so that the next time I meet her, I can actually communicate to her.
Then there’s this busy mom. I found out today she is a teacher at a Jewish school nearby. She always comes in the afternoon with her two young kids which are a handful. But I admire her so much for her patience with the kids. I see how hard she tries to remain calm with a smile on her face. I’ve been trying to remember her order, especially the kids. That way when she comes into the store, I immediately write them down and by the time she pays, the drinks will be ready. Saving her time to get table and setting her things down.
People think the hardest part of a barista is doing bar. I think that’s the most fun part. But maybe it’s because I am the most enthusiastic person in my store and bar is my most favorite place to be compared to everyone else. Because when I’m on register, there’s no way for me to stay planted.
Besides dealing with money and behind the scene things, I’d say one of the hardest things would be customer service. But that’s also the most important things we try our best to be great at: connecting with our customers.
It’s not all about the drinks.
I’ve learned so much about the different people that walk into the store. I’ve come to remember their drinks, hobbies, schedules. I’ve realized how important my role is in their life which makes me try to be better at my job each day. I love my job. And I love my customers. I’ve learned what it is to be patient. How it is to struggle. How to be flexible and adapt to your surroundings. To cooperate. Making fun of yourself and mistakes. Become better connecting with people, getting to know them more than just a customer. To still be positive while dealing with unhappy people. Each day is a new experience.