7.03.2008

the brat lives!

not sure if anyone is still checking up on this blog since i've been away for months.
i have some very good reasons for being absent, and some very bad ones.

honestly, i've been frustrated with the whole bux environment and haven't really wanted to blog about it. this blog, after all, is called 'barista brat' and not 'barista bitch'. i felt all my posts were becoming quite bitter and angry, and although this is where i come to vent - i didn't think it appropriate to spew just for the sake of spewing.

so....i'm back.
not quite as cheerful as i used to be, and still very bitter, but i will make a concerted effort to entertain and not just emote.

i'm sure many of you saw the reports that bux will be closing 600 stores nationwide.
as of now, my store is not on the short list to be shut down. in fact, i don't think any of the stores in my district will be affected, so it will be business as usual for the brat.
am i surprised by the news that bux is doing so poorly that they will have to shut down 600 stores?
uh, i have a two-word response: breakfast sandwiches.

ok, ok, i know the stupid ovens and sandwiches were not the sole reason for our stock plummeting and our sales dropping. but honestly, when bux focuses on products that are NOT coffee related, the stores suffer. it's true.
now we are hit with the news that some stores will be serving sorbetto beverages (and yes, that means they will have yet another huge, annoying machine to deal with) and all stores will have new 'nutritional fruit blended beverages' on the menu.
really?!?
are there not enough jamba juices, robeks and booster juices on the planet for people to get their smoothie fix? does howard schultz really think offering a smoothie to a frappuccino drinker is going to bring our stock up? does he think people will forgo the long lines at jamba to stand in a long line at bux just for a 16 oz smoothie that contains a banana and some protein?

honestly, i was hopeful when it seemed bux was putting the focus back on coffee. but i think superlead was right when she said she believed it was more of a publicity stunt than an actual commitment to serving the best coffee all the time. we baristas are not feeling 'backed up' by the bigwigs in seattle. this company has changed since i was a newbie barista, and i know that change is to be expected. but to be perfectly honest: bux was a much better employer 'back in the day'. i still hang on to the hope that howard can pull it all back together, but so far i've not been impressed with his decisions.

barista rant: baristas and managers are not perfect, nor are we clairvoyant. we did not expect the insane heatwave, and yes we were caught unprepared. i'm so sorry that we did not have enough flat lids for your iced drinks. i'm sorry you were so inconvenienced with looking at a dome lid sitting atop your iced coffee. did you not notice that every other customer ALSO had a dome lid? so why, after seeing the ten people ahead of you walk away with dome lids on their drinks, did you walk up to the bar and ask me for a flat lid? uh, HELLO?!? did you honestly think i was saving them for the special people who knew how to ask for them? did you think somehow i would manage to pull one out from my apron just for you? use your brain! or is that dome empty too?

52 comments:

Pirate Monkey said...

I'm glad you're back Brat! Sorry to hear about the bitterness taking over...that sucks. Still, I'm glad you're not giving up on the blog!

Seth said...

You're back! I still check occasionally. And it paid off!

Why does it matter if your drink has a domed or flat lid? Weirdo.

I keep waiting for Starbucks to add deli or blenders to their name in the near future.

We don't mind you bitching! We'll read anything you post!

Dustin said...

Woo-hoo! Glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm so glad you are posting again. I've missed your blogs because you say everything I'm feeling. It's nice to know I'm not the only barista who feels this way.

green apron-ed said...

I occasionally check back at your site, and when we were at our Shift Supervisor meeting and my SM told me about the closing of the stores. I knew I had to get on here and see what you had to say. I figured you'd be back after this.

And as a fellow barista, I love to read your rants and raves, it's so so true. We ran out of grande/venti hot lids. try that one. "i'm sorry i can't give you one venti.. but i can give you three tall" what a fun two days that was.

Dolly Iris said...

Glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

So good to hear from you again! I subscribe to your blog via Google Reader, so I won't miss any of your posts.

Anonymous said...

I had almost given up hope on ya and was most pleasantly surprised to find a new blog entry :)

Glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about this blog, I'm so glad to see you writing again!

Lisa said...

Welcome back! I was shocked when my RSS feed showed a new entry!

HC said...

Great to see that you are blogging again! For some reason I just got the feeling that you had started posted again and looked you up in my bookmarks!

Keep up the excellent work!

Colleen said...

glad you;re back

alice said...

I'm glad you're back, come and emote, no problem, we'll read ;)

labsnabys said...

Welcome back! It's good to see you, and feel free to rant and gripe as much as you wish. :)

Zoltar Panaflex said...

I am glad you are back!! I was so worried about you!

Truth be told, I checked...every day...for an update. I love your blog, and I'm wishing for some good stuff to happen for you.

I don't get what Starbucks thinks they're doing, maybe their crack dealer moved away and they're running on empty...

Hyena said...

you are a very good writer - I hope you always write about whatever job you do. like zoltar panaflex says - i'm wishing for some good stuff to happen for you.

quayxar said...

oh whew! you're here ... i thought the starbucks laying off ppl news might bring you back out :) and i was right...

happy to have you back brat :)

Tom said...

I just knew you would have posted today!!

I remembering wondering, back in the days when Bux was spreading like the flu, when no conversation was possible without some use of the S word, when the tide would start to recede. At the time I was betting on somewhere in the mid-to-late-two-thousand-teens...

Great to read your wonderful writing again!!!

Kate said...

Welcome back! I always enjoy your writing... even the bitchy parts.

James UK said...

Still had you in my RSS feeds list, and pleased to see you still posting.

Always interesting to read what's happening in the World of the US Starbucks, and then comparing it to what's happening here in the UK.

Amanda said...

So awesome to see that you're back! I left you right at the top of my RSS feed, and checked daily for any update. I knew that you had to be having a frustrating time, what with all the huge changes that Starbucks is making now (and not necessarily for the better!)
Sorry to say it, but if I want a good, fruity, perhaps even healthy smoothie, I would NOT go to Starbucks to get it! Lord knows the coffee is great, but from my experience when they try to branch out, the results are less than wonderful.
Thanks for the new post, and don't worry, we will all read no matter what!!

Fatinah said...

so glad you're back - your one of my favourite blogs!

Christine Fletcher said...

Welcome back, brat! We missed you!

Susie said...

Glad you're back. I kept checking and waiting, and now I've been rewarded. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I've been checking every week. I'd like to read what you have to bitch about. A spouse of a co-worker works at one of the bux that test-ran those sorbet drinks - I thought of you immediately and how annoying that was going to be for you guys! I agree, Starbucks should stick to what it does best; all this branching out is just pathetic. Do your one thing well instead of trying do everything and coming up totally mediocre. Brat, I'm with ya! Keep on blogging! Hugs in Boston. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back brat! I missed your blog while you were gone -

Sarah said...

yay! you're here!

Moxie said...

Good to see new stuff from you, Brat. I've missed ya. And everything you wrote makes perfect sense to me. Those sammiches stink up Bux and the one I tried wasn't that tasty - I think it was the reconstituted egg thingy that grossed me out the most. Why don't they just buy a chain of diners or something and let go of this sammich-smoothie crap already? Sheesh.

Johnny Yen said...

Welcome back! You were missed!

I remember back a few years ago reading about their plans to open up 25,000 stores. It seems like nobody can just be content with a good thing and let it be.

Terrell said...

Yeah, that fucking blue card is cursed.

We, too, ran out of iced flat lids. And I blame that damn card.

We went from brewing two pitchers of iced coffee a day to twelve or fourteen.

It's ridiculous.

And it's not like all the freeloaders are going to continue coming in after the 14th, once their card expires.

Manuel said...

good to see you back brat......was worried you had been culled! yeah sbucks needs to concentrate on what it is......a coffee shop......do that right and the customers will return.....

Gary said...

Glad to see you back, Brat! I too have kept you in my RSS feeds and was thrilled when I checked today and saw a new post. Please feel free to post whatever you're feeling - if anyone doesn't want to read it, they're free to click away :-)

Casey Bridgers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great to get a post from you Brat!

I understand your disappointment, but by any measure, Starbucks is wildly successful. I'm surprised at the store closings, but I would have been more surprised to see Starbucks continuing to expand and the rate of the previous few years during this (brief??) economic retraction. Maybe this will help your out look: every day I and millions of others come into a Starbucks because we get a high quality coffee (or something else) and a pleasant experience. And that's because of you and the other baristas. Thanks to you and your colleagues, going to Starbucks is one of the things that makes my day go better.

staticwarp said...

sweet. i thought you were dead.

Anonymous said...

brat,

whether you are venting or spewing or being quite clever, it is all very enjoyable to read. welcome back!

Krysten said...

Really glad to see you're back. I'm a barista myself (not at a Bux though) and I've had a lot of customers asking me about the Bux closes. Scary stuff.

MikeO said...

Welcome back sweetheart!

Eric said...

Hey Brat.

Fieldtrip Chaperone said...

Great to see a new post.
Even if it's short and angry, I'm always glad to see new BB!

Keep it coming! Please!

nicole said...

Holy crap. I thought this blog was dead. Good to see ya posting again!

:D

cardensaraid said...

Welcome back! You were missed!

6th Floor blog said...

Welcome back!

If anything Starbucks should focus on having a wider variety of pre-packagaed simplier products. I miss the smell of coffee.

Jeremy said...

Welcome back brat, and as you said long ago Bux is doing test markets on frappachinos made from whatever type of milk you want, aka "Creat Your Frappuccino blended beverage". Thus allowing new ways for you to customize them.

Breaks down to
nonfat, soy, whole, 2% milks
regular, decaf, extra shots of coffee
less classic syrup, no classic syrup, sugar-free classic syrup, or just classic syrup.

That being said taste of the new frappachinos is much better and richer in my opinion. The barista's @ my bux seem to be able to make them in the same amount of time as the old ones.

debb said...

Welcome back! I've missed reading your rants... good or bad, happy or sad, I really enjoy your blog.

biggearhead said...

Sweet! A new post! I found your blog in the middle of the big lull and went, "Ah, I see I might've missed out on everything...it's all over!" Nice to know that isn't so.

I hope they don't close the bux down the street from me. It's the only coffee place in town that I can write in after about 8pm on a weeknight. Seeing as my writing usually STARTS around 8pm most nights, this is a very big concern!

barista brat said...

thanks everyone for your comments!
and for coming back to check up on the blog!

mellowlee said...

Whew! I am soooo glad you are back!!! When I heard 600 stores were closing in the US, I thought of you and totally freaked out! NE ways, really glad you are back brat!!!

Jennifer said...

You're back! I have your blog in my google reader and was so excited to see new posts! I don't care if you btch and rant - I enjoy reading your entries because they are always entertaining.

To be honest I haven't been much of a fan of Starbucks in the past couple of years. I got my own espresso machine and I may be biased but no button press shot ever tastes as good as mine. Now, if they really WOULD put the focus back on coffee and the quality of their drinks... then I'd be in their stores more often. A few months ago I read an article about how they were going back to their roots. Um yeah... let me/us know when this happens please! For the record I really do love the chantico - melted chocolate is always good :).

Your posts really do make me smile. I used to work for Dunkin Donuts and can usually relate to your stories! So thanks, keep them coming!

Julie said...

I'm so glad the Brat is back, I am sorry about the bitterness. I couldn't imagine, my old store actually tried to coax me into coming back ya know just for "a few evenings a week" I know what that would turn into I would never be home cause I would always be working. And yes smoothies for bux stupid idea. I don't know what they were thinking. But it's good to have you back.

Glutton For Punishment said...

Hey Brat!

Glad you're back, even if it may be a bit sadder but wiser. And wtf is wrong w/these people who care about the flat lid vs. the dome lid? Personally, I'd prefer the dome lid because it gives more room to mix in sweetener while leaving the top on.

Have a good one!

-gfp

Anonymous said...

I read your blog! You are the best!