Sunday, July 03, 2005

# Posted 1:35 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

LETTER FROM A VICTIM OF STARBUCKS: It's been a while since my full frontal of fisking of the WaPo's anti-Starbucks slander, but I think that the following letter from a honest-to-goodness Starbucks worker bee has some enduring value:
Hello David,

Being a Barista myself, I really enjoyed reading your post about Starbucks. As a Barista, I serve coffee for legions and legions of latte-cappuccino addicts, who cannot say "enough," and start their day without our coffee. Starbucks has (and is!) the greatest job I had so far. I got to know great people, and because Starbucks requiers harder work than Mc Donalds (more responsibility, more "style"...) and gives good health insurance for workers, it naturally attracts many college students and adults (40 and over) as a part time job and a source of benefits. But let's talk about our customers, I think it is more relevant:

[W]e have our regulars, which get huge discounts, if not free drinks. As a shift superior, there is no such thing as charging full price from a poor "addict." [A]regular costumer knows us by our names and our personal stories; they share their stories with us as well. If a regular customer comes in and ask[s] for a venti Latte, I am not going to charge him full price for it: might ring up as a tall latte or even a regular coffee...Just a few words about the Starbucks environment.

I also, like you, don't see where is the problem with Starbucks. This is a free country, and no one brainwashes students to buy coffee. They are well aware of how much of their own money (or their parents, often enough) they spend, and if they don't, you know what - they will learn quick when it's time to pay the bills. If I like to drive to school, I have to pay for car insurance. If I don't feel like paying, I can take the bus. It's my choice, and I am not calling up my insurance company, yelling at them for using me... and car insurance costs way more than a cup of coffee.

Seriously, I think that [WaPo correspondent] Blaine [Harden] has something against Starbucks...you know the no-corporation, yay noLogo (it's a book) kind of people. I did hope though that Starbucks would comment, but maybe no comment is all the comment such an article deserves. As a reporter and an editor in chief (my other job besides being a student), I know how bias can get into a story, and what's newsworthy... It's sad that this reporter wasted so much of her energy (and her paper's money) on this article.

Well, this letter is long enough. Oxblog looks like a good read and I will give it a look every now and than. My own blog should be online soon enough...Take care, and keep posting!

I don't think I could've said it better myself and look forward to reading Shay's website. "Starblogs", perhaps? However, I did get some other interesting comments about my past which I also thought I would share. The following is from DI, who knows about grad school budgeting first hand:
I'm now an underpaid prof at a state U, but 15 or so years ago I was a (middle-aged) lowly grad student at a similar U. I drank cheap beer and cheaper coffee, but I borrowed a total of only $11,000 to get a PhD. And, believe me, no one, even [U. Seattle law School career services director] Erika Lim types have any damn right to tell me how to spend the money...

My wife and I went out once a week to have a hamburger and drink cheap beer with our friends. Without this I don't think either one of us would have finished. (We managed not to borrow any money for her MS andABD. She's got a better job than mine, too.) Not only that, but one year I spent my most of my loan money on our Honeymoon. I wouldn't have graduated without her, and it's the only vacation we got for 10 years. One week in Jamaica in November.

Not only that, but we paid "student fees" (almost $400/yr each) for stuff we *never* used. Perhaps Ms. Lim could see if she could get the law students' student fees dropped. That might pay for their coffee, and the coffee is much more useful than the crap you typically get out of student fees. (I admit that undergrads frequently get their money's worth.)...

I could go on, but were I at her school, I would forgo a latte on any day I could get Ms. Lim to take a hearty cup full of STFU.
Not just a hearty cup full of STFU, but a venti methinks.

Next up, blogger Charmaine Yoest points out that Republicans have a very good reason to boycott Starbucks: it's gives all of its political donations to Democrats. In fact, Starbucks even hired a former Clinton administration official to be its Washington lobbyist.

Now, I'm not a card-carrying member of either party, but thanks to Charmaine, I will take exquisite pleasure in the irony of seeing masked anarchists and other anti-globalization types vandalize Starbucks in the name of resisting nefarious captialist imperialism. Maybe I'll even join the next riot and steal myself a Frapuccino maker.

Finally, we're going to hear from one actual critic of my post, that cantankerous blogivore Mike D., who writes:
What you all seem to be justifying is the spending of $3.50 a day, or more,of somebody else's money on coffee?!!

As student loans seem to be defaulted upon at a much higher percentage than other loans this seems to be even more egregious. Especially as a superior product could be had for both a lesser dollar expenditure and, even more important, time expenditure. Especially as concerns the almost totally citizen/taxpayer supported law student of the 21st Century. Of course, this comment is coming from an annoying old guy whose college years not only pre-dated Starbucks, but even Mr. Coffee.
Wow. That must be almost forty years ago. Back when students spent their precious funds on truly important things like marijuana and love beads... (Sorry, Mike, I couldn't resist.)
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment