When reading Amanda Ripley’s “Camp Starbucks” (3/28), I thought we would be getting, deep dark-roasted-coffee secrets about beloved Starbucks. Instead, we got the ravings of a disgruntled retail worker who discovered she could use every known coffee cliché in complete sentences.
Nothing about illicit bean transactions, or “I can’t believe this is Folgers,” or revealing the fresh water used in brewing comes from the lower Anacostia River. Nothing. What did she think she was hired to do? Did she honestly expect the keys to the executive washroom? To travel the world searching for bean deposits? To count all the bean profits?
The fact that Starbucks takes the time to train its employees, pay them a decent wage, give them a title, and offer real benefits, was enlightening. All this without the benefit of pimples. Most fast-food establishments training programs consist of “When this buzzes press this; when this beeps flip this” and lasts as long as it takes to punch in and arrive at your station; the fry vat, fast food’s equivalent of playing right field in Little League, is where most fast-food careers begin and end.
What Ripley forgets is that you have to begin a career in the proverbial mail room and work for a promotion. The only promotion in her article was of the “self-” variety. But I forgot, she is an artiste. What will she think of next? Perhaps a series of disappointing careers in the service industry titled: McDonald’s: My Big McStake or Baskin Robbins: 31derful Reasons Why I Quit. Take your pick, the stories will all end the same.
I must say the story was as disappointing as a bad cup of coffee (cliché), which you will not get at Starbucks. You couldn’t have wasted a page of newspaper more if it had been left intentionally blank.