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Yesterday almost every Starbucks in America closed for three hours in a widely publicized effort to retrain all the employees not to burn the damn coffee. No word yet on the status of the Olsen twins after the shutdown. The general consensus, which we agree with, is that this was as much a PR stunt as a retraining effort. And over at Starbucks Gossip, the definitive blog about the company (inexplicably run by King Of Journalism Jim Romenesko), the employee drones are doing their part by being INSANELY ENTHUSIASTIC about being dragged into work for three extra hours.

I just got home from the training session and I have to say it was great. It put us all on the same page and let all of us know that the standards have been raised and we WILL be held accountable for it. Not everyone remembers it. This meeting wasn't to teach us how to make coffee and thats what a lot of people are missing. This was about making the BEST cup we can EVERYTIME, no exceptions. It was about how to give you customers what you pay for and more. Not to mention it laid down some new guidelines to make sure that if the customer does not get what THEY think is the perfect cup of coffee WE WILL MAKE IT UNTIL YOU ARE SATISFIED. We learned the vision of Howard and what he expects of us as a whole company so that not just some stores but ALL of them are doing the best everytime. I personally thought it was informative and helpful, especially to the new hires in our store who don't know yet what they need to do and reminded all of us how to provide our customers with a place they want to be. To be perfectly honest with you I think that there are a lot of baristas out there (and if you have read some of thier posts you know what I'm talking about) that we are not only in the coffee business but also the PEOPLE business.

Posted by: TurboSpaz | Feb 26, 2008 7:28:40 PM

just got back from my training a little bit ago and i have to say it went AWESOME! i can definitely say for the first time ever, my entire store is all on the same page.

it wasn't just about "learning how to press a button" or "learning how to make coffee." it was about customer care. making our customers our #1 priority. getting back to the whole "third place" mentality. quality over speed of service.

yes, we also were making sure that we are pulling the perfect shots and making sure that we calibrate and time our espresso shots correctly. and steaming our milk to Starbucks standards so that we can make your decaf quad venti soy stirred 180 degree 3-pump vanilla 6-pump white mocha with light whip PERFECTLY EVERY TIME.

we also learned about what steps the company would be taking to get back to the good old days of Starbucks and reaffirming our commitment to the company, each other, and most importantly, our customers.

i agree that not everyone throughout the company needed to be trained to do something if they already knew how to do it correctly. but even if you didn't need the training, it's still a good job on the part of Howard's to MAKE SURE every barista, shift, ASM, and SM in each store are on an even keel with training. I applaud him and my fellow workers for taking this time out and dedicating ourselves to our company and customers. those who think this was silly (customers and partners alike) just don't understand what Howard is trying to do with making this company not just the way it used to be but BETTER.

Posted by: baristagirl | Feb 26, 2008 8:03:19 PM

[Are there any REAL Starbucks employees who want to complain about this shit? Email us.]