Pros: co-workers, free coffee, flexible hours
Cons: douche bag customers, restrictive dress code
I started my time as a barista in 2006, at a time when the company still felt fresh and vibrant, at least to me. What I loved about the company back at the start was the feeling that one could actually contribute to the company's direction, be it products, policies, or just overall success. There was a certain cachet to wearing the green apron back – more... then, or at least it seemed so.
I recall a company-wide management overhaul few years in (2009?) that really shook things up policy- and product-wise, and for me the sheen of the place never recovered from that. I was especially annoyed that upper management began to attempt micro-managing customer experiences because to me the freedom to create that experience based on the individual was the real Starbucks I had signed up for - connect, discover, respond.
Of course, 7 years is a long time to sling people's beans, and so perhaps my jadedness is more the result of overstaying my welcome than anything else, but at the end I was quite done with the sciolistic act you would get from customers.
The people are both the best and worst part of the job. Generally, the people behind the bar are some of the best you'll ever meet. There are some great customers, too, but unfortunately at the end of a long day it's the fatuous ones you remember, and since Starbucks makes its money by catering to the overindulgence of the North American ego I can only say that a lot of hebetating dolts end up coming to Starbucks for their affirmation. And a decaf triple soy half-sweet sugar-free hazelnut no foam extra hot extra drizzle caramel macchiato, which you will make perfectly but they will still find something to complain about for next time. – less