Saturday, August 30, 2008

Starbuck's Store Closings

I heard Starbuck’s will be closing 600 stores, and that is sad.

A lot of people hear “Starbuck’s” and say things like:
--“My Folger’s is just fine, thank you.” or
--“Who would be dumb enough to pay $4 for a cup of coffee?” or
--“How nice for you that you are rich and can buy Starbuck’s weekly.”

Look, I do feel guilty that there are starving people in my own city. But, aside from throwing wads of money at charity, what do you want me to do? I am sometimes sleep-deprived and Starbuck’s is the strongest thing I can find to get me going again in the afternoon slump. Do you want me to be a mediocre mom or a ZOWIE MOM?!

My friend Leigh says in her Southern drawl, “Kerrie, you deserve a nice coffee every now and then. You work just as hard as anybody and you don’t spend money on haircuts or highlights or boob jobs like other women do.” Come to think of it, I think she is nicely telling me that a little physical maintenance wouldn’t kill me.

So aside from the fact that Starbuck’s has the best-tasting coffee around, they have a few other things most places these days don’t.

-- Consistency – they’ve never messed up my order. And my mocha is the same in Phoenix as it is in Kansas City, Albuquerque or San Diego. The same.
-- Friendliness – no one has ever been snotty or acted like they didn’t want to be working.
-- Chit chat – how do they get those 20-somethings to chat on any topic in the drive-thru with a 37-year-old mother of 4 and act like they enjoy it?
-- Familiarity – they call you by your first name.
-- Employee health insurance – if you work there over 20 hours per week you get full medical insurance benefits for you and your family. I don’t mind contributing a little to that.
-- Altruism – they donate a lot of coffee and leftover food to local charities.