10 Things I've Learned Working at Starbucks

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hello, my dear friends. Just for your little information, today was the day I ended my job as a barista at Starbucks. And now you sounded like "What? Did you just write the post reasons why you chose to work at Starbucks?". Well, it seven months passed already, and I don't get it how times jump that far. And yes, I was only working for seven months. 

I was dreaming about getting a part-time job at Starbucks since I was in high school (and it was also on my 2012 life list, you may check my journal). Life seems like teasing me, even God loves to tease me since the beginning. I never thought I would find myself working at my favorite coffee shop, with my Chinese Education degree (funny that my friends out there working as a teacher, me busy making lattes for everyone), as a full-timer, andddd... in Bali. But I am so thankful for this great opportunity. Working at Starbucks has taught me almost everything. And now I am here, writing some of the things that I have learned:

1. Customers are always right.
This is quite obvious, but yeah it is. Customers always want to get the best, especially when it talks about coffee (everyone takes coffee seriously, did you know that?). Some customers might ask for random drinks, some of them maybe don't have any clue what to order or some of them hates the taste of the coffee that we just made. Thankfully, Starbucks is a big company. We are gonna make whatever you want until you feel satisfied and happy with your drinks. Your coffee tastes wrong? Sure, we are gonna make another one. It is our passion to brighten up your day (:   

2. Working with "crazy" people ever. 
Not literally crazy, I mean like you will meet a bunch of different people. I was kinda "special" when I worked at Starbucks, I was the only one Chinese there, and it feels like you drowned in the wrong pool. The first month when I joined the team, I was trying hard to blend in. Long story short, I found out there are one or two people who kinda dislikes me. But I just don't care, I guess you guys have been that kind of situation too. It's okay. People are just people. And this case taught me something familiar when I was in Sunday School: love the people who hate you and pray for them. 

3. Friends with locals. 
Last week, I had a little talk with my friend. He asked me why I chose to work at Starbucks, the money is not that good, especially when he knew my degree. Well, I told him it's not about the money. Yes I make minimum wage at Starbucks. The reason why I choose to work here because I want to friend with local people. I came here as a stranger, but I have to stay here. Getting know to the locals is a must for me. Understanding what they usually do and don't, learn the way they talk, getting knowledge about the local tradition and so much more.

4. Barista is not always making coffee. 
I mop the floor, I clean up the merchandise shelf, I change the trash bags and any other else. You would never imagine how we work daily.   

5. I have to memorize all of the drinks menu in Chinese. Our store customers mostly are Chinese tourists. So, speaking in Chinese is a must. I jotted all the menus from Starbucks Chinese site. It sounds silly at the first time, but we are getting used to. Let me tell you how to say" frappuccino" in Chinese... it is "Xing-Bing-Le" (星冰乐). :D

6. Smile a lot. 
Because it helps. Sometimes I don't feel energized for work but smile cures everything. Start with fake smiles is okay. Your job is to make someone's day, start from yourself first, and spread it out.

7. Treat customers like friends
And don't be surprised if you will get a few new real friends after that. This is why we are trained to memory customer's names, especially for those regular ones. 

 Meet my favorite regular customers hereee. They are Taiwanese who also work at the same mall building where I worked in. They are so nice, friendly and soo adorable. I am gonna miss them all (':

8. You should read The Book Onward
Before you decided to join the green team, kindly asking for you to read this book first. Learning about a company where you are gonna work in is (kinda) important. 

9. This is kinda little trivia, yet really interesting: Korean people love Americano, Chinese people love Xing Bing Le menus, Australians love Flat White, and local people (my kin) love any kind of promotions, buy 1 get 1, for examples. 

10. Starbucks is not only about making coffee, but you also make experience through your coffee.

Working at Starbucks took me to another new experience, a new world, and also other opportunities. I am gonna miss everything: making coffee for customers, making free coffee for myself (hehe), hearing awkward jokes with the Balinese friends (seriously, sometimes I don't get it what they're talking about, I just laugh), sharing nasi bungkus at break time.

Times flies, and my life still goes on. I had some plans all ready to move to another chapter. Wish me luck, friends. Whatever you are doing right now, keep going, and don't forget to stay awesome! 

Oh anyway, I have one question. Have you ever working a job that you never expected? How does it feel like? And what has the job taught you? Share your story at the comment box below and I would really like to read it!

Read more about my Starbucks working experiences here:


  1. I love this post, cc <3 <3 and this makes me want to write a post entitled: "Why I choose to be a Chinese Language Teacher" LOL!
    and I looooove your statement, "It is our passion to brighten up your day."

  2. Hi Jane, this post reminds me of the 2010 version of my self. Soon as I finished my final project in college, I randomly applied to MAP. I was wishing for ZARA, but I got accepted in P&B as a store supervisor - I wasn't even graduated yet. The job is something that I never expected before. I was really young at that time and I had lots of people who are older than me in my team. On the first weeks, I really felt that some people didn't like me simply because I was younger than them AND that I easily got close with the bosses. Thanks to my social skill, I got hated by my team mates hahahaha.
    I learnt a lot, I learnt about retail and customer servicing. Same like you, I finally had this feeling that I wasn't belong there. And I resigned after A MONTH of working there. Hahaha I feel so stupid whenever I remember the experience :p

  3. I love your post anyway it makes me want to reach my dreams to join at Starbucks as barista like you <3

  4. Setuju sama nomor 9 hahahah ����