After graduating from Alta Loma High School in the summer of 2017 I felt that I was finally ready to get my first job. I was tired of relying on my parents and sometimes even friends for money. It was time for me to start doing things on my own. After applying to numerous fast food restaurants and retail stores, I finally scored an interview at Starbucks through a friend of my father who works at the corporate offices. It took a long time for an interview to be scheduled, but eventually they called me in. I went into my first interview very prepared and confident in myself. I went dressed professionally and had all of the paperwork I needed. The interview went smoothly and I was hired a few weeks later. In November of 2017 I began my first job at the Starbucks on Baseline and Haven, right down the street from school. Going into the job I knew there was going to be a lot to learn. Being that this was my first job, I was going to learn how to be a good employee as well as all of the other skills needed to work at Starbucks. While I knew it was going to be a lot, I was very prepared to learn.
Before my first official day, I went through many hours of training. Luckily a good friend of mine, Derrick Gerlach, also worked there and was going to be the person training me.
I hung out with Derrick a lot before that. We both shared a common love for skateboarding which allowed to become very comfortable with each other. He was also very good at his job, being that he had been working at Starbucks for almost seven years. He made the job seem fun and simple, even though it wasn’t at first. Derrick taught me everything I needed to know in order to keep the store running smoothly. I first learned how to work the cash register. Having to memorize all the different buttons and functions of the register was a pretty long and intricate process. I was constantly asking where certain buttons were and how to ring in those strange orders that Starbucks customers are generally known for. After that he trained me in customer support. This was the background role of the store. I learned how to brew coffee, keep everything stocked, and how to keep the store clean. This part of the job came easy to me and was pretty straight forward. I picked up on these customer support roles very quickly. Finally towards the end of my day of training, Derrick taught me how to make the beverages. I had to learn everything from hot coffee drinks to the iced refreshers. He told me, “This is the most fun and most frustrating part of the job. It’s going to take a lot of getting used to.” He was right about that. Making drinks was fun, however it was very difficult making them fast and correctly. After a couple of days of this training process I was ready to start working. Those long hours of training with Derrick really helped me become prepared for my first day.
I walked into the store on my first day at 3:00 p.m, pretty nervous. My store is located on Baseline and Haven so I knew it was going to be pretty busy throughout the day. I walked to the back, clocked in, put my apron on, and asked my manager, Maria, what she wanted me to do first. I was put on the register for most of the day. At first I was stressed and very worried about making mistakes. I made many mistakes on that first day. However, I quickly became familiar with all of the buttons and controls of the register. I also became more comfortable dealing with customers. Of course I was a little stressed out at first, but I just kept calm and remembered what Derrick taught me in my training. The customers were also very patient with me which helped a lot. Luckily I did not have to deal with any rude or angry customers on that first day. Later on in the day when the store was a lot less busy, I went on bar and made drinks for the customers. This was one of the most stressful literacies I have ever had to deal with. I made the drinks quite slowly and most of them came out wrong. Learning to bar and make drinks took many days to get used to. Making the drinks was definitely the most fun and stressful part of the job as Derrick had mentioned to me. At the end of the shift my shift lead Jon, had me clean up the store. Jon would always say to me, “Nobody learns this stuff in one day, no need to stress about it.” Cleaning the store was a good thing for me to do in order to relax myself from the stressful experience I had making the drinks. All I had to do was sweep the lobby, take out the trash, stock the cups, lids, and straws, and do a quick cleaning of the bathroom. After that I was ready to clock out at around 8:00 p.m.. Throughout the whole day my partners were very helpful in getting me to improve and become comfortable with working there. Now I am almost three months into my job and I am very comfortable and happy working there.
Becoming employed at Starbucks introduced me to many new literacies. In addition to learning how to be a good employee I learned how to work a cash register, deal with customers, make the beverages, and many other aspects of working at a coffee shop. At first learning all of this at one time was frustrating and overwhelming. Now that I have had almost three months of experience I have finally started to become comfortable and confident when working at Starbucks. I don’t ask as many questions and I work a lot faster now. Working at Starbucks has become something I really enjoy.