An Open Letter to My Centerville Starbucks Crew:

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Dear Sbux crew,

Many people have no idea what being a “partner” means, but a year and half ago, I began to learn what it means.

Maybe people think this job is just “a stepping stone,” or a “pit stop” before we make our “real career.” Maybe they think we’re just a bunch of angst-filled hipsters with decent health insurance.

But being on the other side of the counter, we know better. For some of us, this is a second or third job. Many of us (including me) are trying to get an education while simultaneously trying to remember our regulars’ names and drinks. We too, like those who order Triple Skinny Vanilla Lattes with no foam, have families, budgets, sanities to maintain. While the perception may be that we just make coffee and listen to Coldplay, we know the true story about ourselves: we are a tight family that works hard and plays hard. 

I often imagine that for some of customers, we might be the most significant relationship they have. And while there may be some cappuccinos with a difficult person on the other end, we smile and stick up for one another. We laugh, get frustrated, see each other cry, support each other’s families, and often transcend the job aspect of being a partner and become friends.

That has been my experience with you all.

This was not a pit stop or a stepping stone for me. It was never just a job or a convenient source of insurance. And you were never just co-workers. You became and are some of my closest friends, the only family I have in Ohio. We’ve golfed, eaten, and drank ourselves into some really amazing relationships and I’m so glad I got to wear the apron with you.

It’s not like it’s good-bye. I know we’ll still see each other often. But it will be different not donning the green apron and throwing on a headset to get crazy with you. I will miss it. And I want to say thanks for making it a blast, even when life on the other side of the counter was hard.

So why did I make this an open letter? First of all, to let everyone else on social media know how amazing you guys are. I really do wish that every customer could know what kind of creative, funny, hardworking, and awesome people are getting them their Frappuccinos. I would hope that everyone would treat their barista with respect, giving them a simple smile and the occasional tip. I would hope that the rest of the world could know how much more fun the job is when the customers let themselves become more than a transaction, but a part of the store’s family. It’s really just what being a good human is all about, and I want that for you all.

Second, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you, each of you. I’m sorry if there was ever a day that I showed up to work with anything but complete appreciation for you. You have seen me through hard days and made them better. We’ve talked about everything from sports, family, religion, politics, and the end of the world, and I’m so glad that I had you guys to discuss those things with. You have done more for me than I could have ever hoped to do for anyone else, and I just want to say, “Thanks.” I love you guys. I have mixed feelings about becoming a “regular,” but I know you’ll always be there to make any day better.

Again, it’s not the end. Just the beginning of something else. So I’ll be seeing you all out at Archer’s, Soft Rock Karaoke, or at my place for dinner and drinks, because I couldn’t imagine living in Centerville without having you all in my life.

See you tomorrow when I come in to get my Venti Chai.

– Caleb


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