Discourse Community Profile

The aromatic smell of coffee fills the air as you walk in. The familiar screeching sound of milk being steamed can be heard all throughout the coffee shop. There’s a line at of people at the front register,  so we all work together quickly to take orders and make everyone’s drinks. From the the counters, all customers see is pure anarchy during our peak hours (busiest time of day). Everyone is running in different directions like headless chickens but somehow nobody runs into each other. It’s a complex, synchronized dance that all Starbucks partners eventually master. Here at Starbucks, our partners (employees) are passionate about producing the endless amounts of lattes, teas, macchiatos, coffees and frappuccinos and will literally cry over spilled milk to prove it. We all have have the same purpose; create inspired moments and to represent Starbucks and its partner companies like Teavana and La Boulange Bakery in the best possible light. Our motto; “We create inspired moments in each customer’s day” is sewn into the inside of our signature green aprons.

The shift manager turns to everyone and says “That was a good hustle everyone, now help customer service! No down time yet!” Customer service is essentially the job of maintaining the shops resources and cleaning. During our down time, everyone makes sure that there are whipped creams made, fill the ice fridges, restock cups, check and clean cafe, maintain the pastry case, brew more coffee, clean blenders, make backup syrups, etc. Another customer comes up to the POS (Point of Sale). She orders a venti, soy, single decaf shot, vanilla chai tea latte with cinnamon powder and whipped cream. The order sticker prints out since we don’t write cups anymore and we put the sticker on the hot venti (large) cup. Emily goes to the bar (area where hot beverages are made) and gets to work on the unnecessarily complicated drink for Mary. She puts the drink downs and calls out “venti vanilla chai for Mary!”. She then turns her headset on and says “Her order is so annoying.” We all agree and continue our work. Partners usually use the drive thru headset to speak to one another. The left button is used to speak to customers while the middle button is used to speaker to each other. Though this type of communication is only obviously used in stores with DTR (Drive thru registers).

A regular day working at Starbucks starts off with partners clocking into work. Since partners have irregular, sporadic work schedules, the store manager Mel will usually post everyone’s schedule on a bulletin board. That way everyone can see who is working when and can find people when when shifts need to covered or switched. The bulletin board usually also has news about the new different types of foods or coffees that partners need to sample in order to be well informed about products. The manager will also post papers about how to make new seasonal drinks and other information that partners need to know. The bulletin board is usually kept up to date by the store and shift managers. The board is essentially one of the most important forms of communication for partners. It keeps us up to date with the company.

After clocking in, a partner will usually check ‘the clipboard’ to see where they have been assigned to work for the day. ‘The clipboard’ is updated everyday and it shows where every partner is assigned to work. It also helps shift managers know when to give out breaks and who is working when. Partners grab a headset, so we are able to speak to one another and go to their designated area. We usually work drive thru, the POS (front registrar), hot bar (making drinks), cold bar (making cold drinks), customer service (maintaining resources, cleaning, helping where needed).

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