Losing Much More than a Coffee Shop

Lauren - Modesto, California
Entered on July 4, 2008

I believe in people over profit. As a Starbucks employee, I am shocked at how insensitive the big wigs are acting during this time of “change.” My manager has worked for Starbucks for 12 years and doesn’t have a single negative remark on her employee record. She goes above and beyond each and every day and genuinely cares for her employees. Even when she’s off the clock she is invested 100% in the success and well-being of our store and our partners.

I was with her when she got the call. She was given 30 minutes to get to her store for the conference call where she learned of the possible closure of not only her store, but others in the area. The regional and district managers expressed a great deal of frustration regarding the future and their lack of control in the decision-making process of what stores were going to close. Contrary to Starbucks’ public persona, it all came down to money and stockholders. The partners came last. The partners that made the company what it is today are now expendable, including my manager.

Even if our store doesn’t close, we will be deeply saddened by those that will because we are a community. We are not some franchise like McDonalds, all stores work together to ensure each other’s success. We lend out product, we help cover shifts, we even have something called a CUP fund that every partner has the option to contribute to. The partner decidees the amount of money to be deducted from each paycheck and donated to the fund. This money goes to Starbucks partners in need. A year or two ago, two partners in my town had their houses burn down. Money from the CUP fund was given to them to help them get back on their feet and that’s exactly what they did.

Starbucks really is about the people. The partners and the customers. We genuinely care about each other’s well-being. Most of us are lower middle-class, but most of us still donate what we can, and serve the community in other ways despite our modest resources.