28 April 2008

Big Day

Today is the Tomorrow You Worried About Yesterday
And All is Well.

Today was, literally, the first day of the rest of my life. I officially started my full time Starbucks career today. Which to be quite honest, hasn't really sunk in yet.
My day started bright and early at 3:30am. I had to be at work at 4:15am. The great thing about opening is that it goes by so quickly. Sometimes too quickly! My shift today was kind of rocky in the sense that I never really got a handle on it. It was surprisingly busy! But I think I just need this week to get acclimated to my new routine and the things that happen on a day to day basis in the store.
After work I slipped into my *new* running shoes and thanks to some beautiful weather, I hit the trail around Green Lake. Green Lake is easily one of my favorite places in this city. The wind greeted me as I ran around the lake as I have done dozens of other times. But today was different--for the first time in a really long time I am genuinely happy. It's as if a huge burden as been lifted off my shoulders. I knew that each of my steps pounding the pavement were marking out my future, allowing me to finally take control. And then I cried; tears of joy. relief. I continued to run. I ran until every muscle in body was screaming for oxygen. As I stopped at the shore, gazing over Green Lake, I felt renewed. Refreshed. Recharged.

The best really is yet to come.

26 April 2008

A Page Is Turned

Yesterday was my final day at mbi.

And now I sit with Gilda Radner's quote "Delicious Ambiguity" ringing in my head. It's amazing to me the amount of emotions that are running through my mind right now. On one hand, I'm so excited to have the opportunity to dive into Starbucks 103%. On the other hand, I am absolutely terrified. I've learned to live quite nicely on my 2 paychecks for the past year. And now I'm down to one. And there are no guarantees. Not that I want a guarantee--guarantees are for people who don't want to work for what they get. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to earn it. I'm ready to prove it. I guess I'll chalk it up to a calculated risk. And then I'm back at excitement because I think about all the time that I'm going to have when I get off at 12:45p. Running. Hiking. Kayaking.Soaking up the sun. Doing my laundry in one day. Enjoying time with friends. Etc. Etc. Etc. This summer is going to be full of so many adventures!

My last day at mbi was very nice. I felt sort of embarrassed at all the attention I received. From the minute I walked in to find that my desk had been toilet papered, I knew that Friday was going to full of surprises. And it was. My Account Manager, Elton brought cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. Michele and Krista had a bagel party for me, Elton bought pizza for lunch, Michele got me flowers, and then we all went out after work for dinner/drinks and a movie. I was never in love with my job. That much I know. I found the difficulty in leaving was leaving the people that I shared so much of my time with for the past year. And Friday further proved that point.

And so now I find myself ready to embark on my next journey. My time at mbi was not wasted--I learned alot about myself, what it takes to work with lots of different people, and most importantly I learned that not only can I do something that I love, but that I NEED to do something I love. Getting out of bed for a job that neither excites you or fulfills you is not worth it. And I had the opportunity to meet some great people--including a friendship that I know will extend beyond Aeron chairs and ped files.

Some Stories Don't Have A Clear Beginning, Middle, and End.
Life is About Not Knowing, Having to Change, Taking the Moment and Making the Best of it,
Without Knowing What's Going To Happen Next.
Delicious Ambiguity.........

20 April 2008

New Perspective

I turned a corner today. Gained a much needed new perspective about one of the most important friendships I have ever had.

I just decided that I refuse, absolutely, stubbornly, adamantly, without a doubt, completely refuse to let this friendship dissolve. I refuse to repeat the past. I refuse to sit back and do nothing and let one of my closest friends dissipate into a distant memory.

For some reason I couldn't stop thinking about the Rachel and Mary Debacle of freshman year this weekend. This 'thing' has a tendency to sneak up on me without warning and just latch into my subconscious. And then it'll disappear for a couple months or so, only to resurface at a random, completely undetermined time. But this weekend, I wrestled with the situation with Rachel--what I did, what I didn't do. And at the end of it, I have to suck it up and admit that I just didn't fight hard enough. I hate to have regrets because they are completely pointless and counter productive, but the dissolution of Rachel and I's friendship is on the top of my list. But what is done is done, the only thing I can do about the situation now is to not let it happen again.

I went through my stages--anger, bitterness, stubbornness. And I end at perspective. My friendship with Annie is not a disposable plastic fork. It is made of the truest stuff--faith, understanding, respect, laughter, bagels, burned cds and so many other things. And I refuse to give that up. Ever.

17 April 2008

One True Thing

The thing that really makes me love a musician is their ability to perform their songs live. I absolutely love live music. Here a few of my favorites(mind you, the list could go on and on):

Colbie Caillat:
This is one of my favorite songs off her album. And I have to add that this video is dated February 2007. So she was a big deal before she was big deal.

Jason Mraz
He is far and away one of my favorite artist. He is quirky, extraordinarily witty and just phenomenal live. This is one his best songs. The quality of the video is kind of sketch, but it proves by point as to how good he is:

Dave Matthews Band
Absolutely love them. Favorite Band. Favorite Band Live. Favorite Song Live.

Kelly Clarkson
Would not be complete without the amazing woman that is Kelly Clarkson. This song was a hidden track on her cd and it was a treasure to find! It's called "Chivas" and rocks almost as much as she does. (Right, Melissa?) Again, video not the best, but KC is.

12 April 2008


I quit my job on Monday!

I had made the decision to do it about 1 week or so ago, but I hadn't actually put the ball in motion because I hadn't told my boss yet. So Monday afternoon I mustered my courage and broke the news to my boss. She took it really well--made me feel good about the time I spent at mbi.

It's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I feel so good knowing that I am taking positive steps towards doing something that I love. April 25th is my last day at mbi and I'll start full time at 'bucks on the 28th. I am super excited to be able to dedicate 100% of my energy to my store instead of the random nights and weekends I've been doing. My store manager is stoked, my assistants are happy and I'm estatic! I'm going to be learning to much in the next couple of months--from how to run a business, build relationships, navigating a new schedule and finding out exactly what I'm made of!

To start off, it won't be glamorous. I'll still be just a shift supervisor slinging coffee 40 hours a week, but I know that with my hard work and dedication my efforts will pay off.

01 April 2008

El Salvador Pacamara

Today was an all around fantastic day. I had the rare opportunity to attend a coffee tasting at the Starbucks Senior Support Center (SSC). And that was the second best part of the day.

One our regulars at our store is a man named Major. Now Major is kind of a major deal. He is the Senior Coffee and Tea Educator at Starbucks. When I first started working at my store, I knew that Major was a partner down at the SSC, but I had no idea he was as big a deal as he is. Regardless he invited myself, my Assistant Store Manager and Store Manager to the coffee tasting as well as arranging an highly educational learning opportunity before the tasting. He hooked us up with Brad and Brian who are the main roasters for Starbucks Coffee Company. These two fine gentlemen walked us through the process of taking a green coffee bean to the dark, glossy coffee bean that we all know and love. The coffee was roasted right in front of us! We heard the first pop--when the coffee bean literally bursts open like popcorn. We witnessed the second pop--which sounds like rain. It was incredible! Here is a chart that shows how the progression from green coffee to coffee beans, a process that only takes 11-15 minutes:
During the roasting process, as the 6 of us are huddled around the roaster, Dub Hay--the Senior Vice President of Coffee at Starbucks--came over to check in with us, shake our hands, ask us what store we worked at and such. My favorite part was pulling the hot beans from the hopper, watching the 20 pounds that were roasted JUST for us go through the cooling process and become ready to put in bags. We scooped the coffee into the bags ourselves. This is the freshest coffee one could possibly get. The only way to get fresher coffee is to go to El Salvador, pick the cherries and roast them on the spot. The name of 'our' coffee is El Salvador Pacamara. I have to wait for it to de-gas, but come Thursday I cannot wait to brew it! Here is a picture of the roaster used for our coffee:

As if that wasn't enough, we still had the coffee tasting to look forward to. Starting next week, Starbucks is introducing a brand new coffee to our brewed coffee lineup---Pike Place Roast. Today was the first time the partners at the SSC had the opportunity to try this transformational coffee. They had a little presentation, including a speech by Howard Schultz. This my first chance to see him in person and I have to admit, it was pretty exciting for me! The Pike Place Roast is incredible--it is so totally different from any coffee that I have tasted. After the tasting I got the opportunity to just hang out at the SSC for awhile and talk with different partners.

And it couldn't have come at a better time. I've officially made the decision to leave my other job and take on Starbucks full time, starting May 1st. I've finally found something that I am passionate about and that gets me out of bed at 3:30 in the morning.

I'm so excited.

I'm so terrified.

But as Howard Schultz tells us...ONWARD!