and so i face the final curtain.
i've been absent for so long, and it pleases me to no end that readers still happen upon this blog and send me comments and emails. but now it's time to bring this blog to a close. i have officially hung up my apron and am no longer a barista.
BUT i cannot leave without one final post about the bux. about the company that i used to love and used to be so happy working for.
first, though, i must tell you a story about the best manager ever.
she wasn't my first manager at bux, nor was she my last, but she was undoubtedly the best.
she was the kind of manager who recognized the hard workers and let them know they were appreciated. the kind of manager who listened to her partners complaints and concerns and who was a champion and voice for the baristas when dealing with upper management. she developed several baristas to leads, leads to managers. she was the go-to gal for her district and peers, always lending a hand, covering a store or answering questions. she had been recognized by her district and regional managers several times for the amazing job she did.
it might sound silly, but it was close to magical working for her. our store was at it's best under her guidance. there was no drama, no needless bitching - just a close knit store filled with partners who loved coming to work each day. i have learned so much from her, more than she ever could realize, and i'm honored to now call her a friend.
now, i've been quite critical of the direction bux has taken over the past few years. initially i was hopefully when howard came back, but quickly learned that all he was giving was lip service. i have no idea why seattle doesn't listen to its partners, because the ones at store level ALWAYS know better. we are the ones who talk to the customers each day, the ones who see how bad corporate decisions affect the business, the ones who actually still care about the culture and not just profit/loss statements.
i have made peace with the fact that bux will never again be the company i started with. that entity is gone and buried - and believe it or not, i can understand. when a company gets so huge it's impossible to hang on to the culture - especially when you're opening a new store just about every damn day. so, i reminisce about the days of yore, but i know it's not something that can be recaptured, even if you do bring back a former ceo. but just because you can't go back in time doesn't mean you can't move towards being something great. yes, it will be different, but it can still be GOOD. it's still possible to make decisions based on what's right, and not just what's profitable.
you know, i always used to joke about getting fired. not for doing anything wrong or illicit, but for being the highest paid hourly worker in my store. when bux laid off all those district managers (yes, mostly ones who'd been in their position for years and making a good chunk of change) i said i was probably next. but my best manager ever reminded me that although it looked better on paper to get rid of me and hire in a newbie, i did the job of at least two people, so in fact bux was getting a bargain!
well, i managed to quit before they got rid of me, but the best manager ever wasn't so lucky.
i have no more love for bux. i can't. not after they get rid of an incredible manager for made up reasons. and unfortunately her story isn't unique. it's happening all over. even my last manager (who is also very wonderful) admitted to me he also is in fear of losing his position on a daily basis. district managers are literally splitting hairs to come up with reasons to put managers on final action plans.
it's so sad, but managers who have put in years, YEARS of incredible service are being forced out. and everyone knows why.
why pay someone 60k a year to manage a store when you can find someone to do it almost half the cost?
i can tell you why - because that 60k gives you smoothly run stores, fully developed partners and happy customers.
what you get is a manager who cares and knows how to run a business.
what you get is loyalty which apparently bux is quite short of.
i don't know what will happen to bux if they stay on this road. and honestly, i don't care.
it seems they've given up caring quite a while ago.
so, although i won't be posting on this blog anymore, at least not as an actual barista, i have started a more personal blog documenting my journey to become a published author.
i want to thank every person who's ever read this blog.
i've had over 980,000 hits and you can't imagine how incredible that is for me.
so, again, from the bottom of my heart -