Ironically as I write this I am sitting in my local Starbucks. I have recently picked up coffee again after a 5-year hiatus, but here I sit.
My 12-year-old son has asked me to drop him off at the mall. This is the first time and I am a little anxious. I am nearby and ready for his call:)
Many years ago I worked at a Starbucks. I am from Seattle and they are everywhere. I always thought being a barista sounded like a fun job and there came a time when I needed it just to make ends meet.
Starbucks also offered medical benefits to anyone working over 20 hours and would help pay for college.
The one surprise I didn’t know about having my part-time Sbucks job is that they give you a shit ton of free food. Anything that was close to expiring at the end of the night we got to take home. We could have free drinks before, during, and after our shift and take home a pound of coffee each week.
I was a single mom at this time to my older son and worked full-time during the day as a preschool teacher. I needed something to fill those new weekends and evenings after my divorce where my son was gone at his dad's.
I needed to supplement my income and I needed to stay busy. I was reeling from my divorce and worried about making it alone. Having to go to work after my day job gave me an opportunity to wash some dishes, talk to some fun humans and make some drinks (I really sucked at the last part). I liked greeting people at the drive-thru window and in person. I really didn’t even mind mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms at the end of my shift.
Sometimes I would have to leave my son home alone in the early mornings when on the weekend I would take a super early 5 AM to 9 AM shift. Sometimes I worked more than I would have liked to, but what happened for me was the extra food that we received in yogurt parfaits, sandwiches and salads saved me so much money and the medical insurance as well. I also decided to go back to school not only because of Starbucks, but I did eventually get a bachelor's degree in my 30s.
I am now vegan so nothing at Starbucks is edible to me really, but I do have fond memories of the staff there that soon became like family.
In so many ways, Starbucks saved me way back then in Seattle 2007-2009.
My life now is so much different, but I can't help but look back and feel gratitude for those couple of years that made a big difference in my life. Sometimes it's the little things that get us through a tough time and we can't quite see it then, but in retrospect we can appreciate how we were being taken care of.
Actually as a company sometimes I frown on Starbucks because like Amazon it is a huge conglomerate taking away small business, and really it is not the most healthiest of things to eat and drink, but then if they are really taking care of their employees in similar ways as they did for me when I was in a pinch than I am thankful they exist.
Being from Seattle, it does still feel nostalgic to visit a Starbucks. It feels like a little piece of home in a cup of joe and a smile.
Thank you to Starbucks.
About the Creator
Author of Let Your Privates Breathe-Breaking the Cycle of Addiction and Family Dysfunction. Available at The Black Hat Press: