Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 4, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Sometimes Jobs Kinda Suck

So some chick who works at Starbucks is pretty fed up with the fact that she isn’t treated like the wonderful, special, shiny diamond that her parents have been telling her she is for the last twenty-some years, but rather she’s treated as a mindless, clock-punching drone.

Shocking.

In an effort to rally support for her cause, she wrote a letter detailing her plight.

This was covered—with the appropriate levels of snark it deserves—over at Gawker the other day, but I thought it warranted a little bit more publicity here at BSBP to ensure that this letter will continue to spread far and wide.

The letter doesn’t even really require any sort of snide remarks from me.

She takes care of basically mocking how entitled and clueless most young peeps are nowadays when they stumble into the working world for the first time.

(Note: At 28-years-old am I allowed to refer to people 25-and-under as young or do I have to cross the magic threshold into my thirties first?)

Anyway, I’m not going to try and say she doesn’t have some legitimate concerns, but I just find it amusing because she’s clearly writing this as though she’s the first person in the world who has ever worked for a heartless corporation for a shitty wage.

It’s amusing…and oddly depressing all the same.

Here’s her letter:

I am a Starbuck’s barista. I work at one of the busiest drive-thru stores in the country. My fellow employees and I work extremely hard for a company that I thought had our best interests at heart. A lot has been changing in the company, and it has been for the worst.

Today, I walked into our back room which is also our break room. There is not much space, but we have a few fold out chairs and a table. It’s the only place we can go to escape the cavalcade of customers that are constantly in our store. Upper management decided that we did not need a break room anymore, and if we wanted, we could sit in the cafe with the customers, but we were not welcome to eat and relax in the one space we previously had. Unfortunately, our cafe is always fun of customers. We literally have no where to sit. Have you ever worked an eight hour shift at a low wage, thankless job? Sometimes, you just need to sit for a few minutes.

This is not the company I thought it was. The employees are consistently being pushed further away from the forefront of anyone’s mind. We are college graduates, we are artists, we are parents and students, and we deserve basic respect by customers and by our employers. I’ve attached a picture of our new ‘break room’. Where would you like us to sit after we spend hours on our feet keeping your stocks up, Starbucks?

We were told that any complaints would be ignored, and that the policy of no food/drinks in the previous break area would be strictly enforced. Meanwhile, they built a fully furnished conference room IN our Starbuck’s for the upper management to use for meetings, breaks, anything they please. We are not even afforded a place to sit.

We aren’t trying to overthrow the company, we just want a place to eat during our two 10 minute breaks and one unpaid half hour lunch. And we could use a voice if you’re interested.

Take a moment to digest the horrible, once-in-a-generation predicament that has been bestowed up on this poor woman…and then hit it up in the comments.

Snarky responses are not only allowed, but encouraged.


Responses

  1. Cry me a bloody river and get back to me when you’ve worked backbreaking labor outdoors, in the hot sun, with NO breaks for 10 hours a day and no insurance (which I *have* done) and get back to me later, chiquita.

    This is only one product of the Participation Ribbon generation. And I’m getting bloody tired of it.

    • …but…but…but where is she going to sit to drink her $10 latte on her break?!

      Heaven forbid she sit out with the common riffraff!

  2. She’s acting like she’s a F***ing chimneysweep in 1800s London.

    On a serious note, I thought Starbucks was supposedly one of the better evil empires to work for.

    #OccupyBreakroom

    • I assume she hums “Hard Knock Life” for the entirety of every shift.

  3. She should have waited for a REAL injustice. Such as a lack of bacon at the annual staff breakfast.

    • Damn right. That’s where you draw the line in the sand and start a letter-writing campaign.

  4. I think her concerns are legit. However, I’m a nurse and work 12 hour days. I get 0 ten minute breaks and also a 30 minute unpaid lunch. Hello, people who aren’t salaried don’t get paid to eat.

    • I totally agree that she’s got some valid concerns here, but I take umbrage with her insinuation that she is A) the only person to ever deal with workplace injustice and B) the fact that she makes it sound like she’s not making coffee for a living, but rather forced to do some sort of laborious manual labor in an underground mine shaft or something.

  5. I’m assuming there’s a realistic case here. I mean, not to be THAT GUY, but imagine if you were told you had two options, eat with the patrons at the library or leave and find a spot outside to eat. When you’re “on break” in the same locale as the people you serve you never feel like you’re on break because the customers are always watching you. Customer’s thought: “Why is this chick/dude doing nothing over here not helping while I stand in line?”

    Just saying…

    • I did say that she had some valid points here, but my bigger issue isn’t with the loss of a break-room. My issue is with her reacting like A) she is the first person to ever suffer an injustice in the work place and B) she’s making it sound like she is some sort of indentured servant forced to work hard labor for 18 hours a day instead of someone who makes half-caf, double-pump, soy milk, no-whip, chai macchiatos for a living.

  6. Can I be bitter and horrible…I’m living in IRELAND which if anybody knows/cares, is in the middle of a major economic depression (currently referred to as a mere ”recession” by our eating-stupid-for-breakfast politicians) and as a highly skilled yet highly unemployed person I almost feel a teeny bit jealous that this girl even HAS a job??? So I’ve probably missed the point of the whole article, but I just needed to vent. She’s right though – everybody deserves a break from their customers, but she needs to learn about the outside world and take a little walk outside the hallowed walls of Starbucks, and use the time to think, and worry about real issues, like whether her socks match. I went out on Saturday night feeling fabulous and noticed my socks didn’t match. It’s a crisis and it needs to be dealt with.

    • The point here was basically along the lines of what you’re saying.

      Yes losing a break room sucks, but it is a miniscule inconvenience and not a hardship like she’s trying to make it out to be with her rambling letter about the atrocities of her job.

      It sucks that every workplace isn’t perfect, but that’s just the way it is and has been forever. Her letter makes it sounds like she’s slaving away in salt mines or something.


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