Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Starbucks

This past week I have experienced quite a bit of grief and sadness as I gave my two-week notice and began the process of saying good-bye to my Starbucks colleagues. I am transitioning to a full-time position in our Vocations ministry at the monastery.

It’s turned out for the best; my barista skills are lacking due to my less-than-detail-oriented personality. All or most of my colleagues chuckle when something goes awry and I say, "Hey, I gave it my best shot." They demonstrated a lot of patience and grace as I muddled through my midlife transition job with my inadequate multi-tasking skills. Actually, I thought I was a good multi-tasker before I encountered this crew of young adults. I am a generation behind when it comes to multi-tasking. There might be a reason that middle-aged women are not working this kind of job.

I love my colleagues and their acceptance of me. I remember one said to me, “Thanks for being one of us.” I took it as a compliment that they appreciated my willingness to be flexible, help them out and believe in them. They are a great crew, and the manager is wonderful as he works with the baristas and with his customers. I know that even though I never quite got all the details of calling the names or marking the cups down, he valued me as part of the team. Sometimes in life we do our best and have to leave it as is.

I have a new respect for baristas and other service industry employees. At times I used to throw my leftover change into the tip cup, but never again. I will tip a barista well, because I have been there.

I think St. Benedict got humility right in chapter 7 of the Rule. If you want to ascend in life, you must descend. We need more descenders on this earth to bring humility and grace to each other, so that all may be one and respected. If you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, be the servant of all.

Thank you, Starbucks.

1 comment:

  1. Why look at being a barista as "descending"? From what?