April 13, 2010
 

10 Tips For Success Working at Starbucks [*$]

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By Sponge Bob

I love my job working at the Krusty Krab for Mr. Krabs. But if I was going to work anywhere else it would be at a StarBucks. *$ is soooooooooooooooo cool!

Sometimes when I'm flipping Krabby Patties I daydream what it would be like. I imagine I would walk in, find an empty table, take my computer out, plug it in, connect onto the web through my T-Mobile wireless (4 or 5 times) and then happily go about emailing, AIMing, conceptualizing cool creative ideas, check out the attractive (and unattractive) people waiting on line for coffee or the bathroom, create PowerPoint decks, write code, listen to music, talk to Patrick on my cell phone and sometimes, multi-task where I actually do 47 of these things all at the same time!

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You're probably confused right now. You think I was talking about working as a Starbuckster. Oh, no! I would never leave the Krabby Patty for another counter job. Yeah, I love the attractive *$ green apron and cool laidback brown polo shirts that Starbucksters wear, but my dream of working at a *$ would be to do so as an independent management consultant!

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There are no clocks on the wall at *$ . This is just one of the many reasons it beats working in a cubicle in a stuffy office. You don't need much *$ coffee when you work at one. That's because the energy is consistently high all day long; plus the music is market researched to create the right "look and feel" which makes my feet dance under the table. Right now, I'm actually daydreaming at the Krusty Krab about writing this letter to you from a *$.

I figured out why so many people are on line to buy coffee. They all work in cubicles, which makes one want to go to sleep like a bear in a cave during winter... or a baby bee in a beehive... or a person who had 16 margaritas last night! They drink *$ and presto, they can stay awake for another hour or so until it's time to go down to the *$ again to get another cup of java. I don't want you to think they are not productive. They are, it's just that they get their best work done when they're standing on line talking or texting to their clients, using their e-things. There are so many versions of these gadgets so it's hard to keep up with everyone's mobile "chromed invaders.**" I love the sun light glisten when it bounces off them in the morning!

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Everyone seems so content and happy with their chosen career when they're in *$. *$ should go into the office modeling business. If Ralph Lipchitz, er... I mean Ralph Lauren can design furniture, *$ couldn't do any worse creating the new age cubicle. If they do though it could hurt their retail business... though alas, I digress.

As I was saying, everyone does look happy at a *$, especially when they see their reflection from their PDA's or of themselves near the window.

All this sounds great. I've painted a pretty picture, but sometimes working in a *$ can get hairy. There are a bunch of lessons I've learned from day dreaming about it that an experienced management consultant needs to know to maximize the ROI of the time invested working at one. To be specific, there are 10:

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1. Electric outlet - First things first. Forget everything else, the most important thing you look for when you enter a *$ is to find a table and chair near an electric outlet. Get as close in proximity (a.k.a. "socket prox") to the electric outlet as possible. If you do, you hit the jackpot. Everyone else who walks in after you will envy your proximity to it.

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2. Protect your territory - Location, location, location... As soon as you sit down, plug in your computer and then use the other socket for your cell phone or MP3. Even if it doesn't need recharging, block the socket up. *$ owns the wires and hardware, but you reap the rewards of "socket prox" ... free electricity. Later on, if and when it gets busy, you can sneer people away who want access to one of the sockets in your domain... Just keep your head down and ignore them when they ask if they could share the socket. Just say no and don't raise your head to even acknowledge they are on the same street as you. You have power in more ways than one. Leverage the extra socket to let the person of your choice have access to it. Even better, hopefully they ask if they could join you at your table and sit in the 2nd chair. Just volunteer to take your knapsack off the chair and invite them to sit down. Then, offer to let them have one of your sockets and they become putty in your hand.

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3. Don't be bashful - Say the *$ is busy or worse, packed. Don't be afraid to ask someone if you can share their table if there's an empty chair there. If there are no empty chairs, ask if you can sit on their lap.

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4. Play musical chairs - Look at each of the tables and chairs at *$ like the game Monopoly. The goal ultimately is to win the cushioniest chair in the store with double "socket prox." When you do, you're golden. This means you may need to move your seat to get closer to the socket everytime you see someone nearer to one leave. Make sure you have everything ready (coat, bag, computer, hot coffee burning your hands) to pick up and travel to the next table and chair. Grab your things immediately and stand up by the desired location and wait impatiently to get your prize. Look at your watch and act frustrated with the person still packing up their stuff in an subtle effort to get them to move along. This will send a competitive signal to others also playing musical chairs to the socket. Everyone will envy you. It's like you'll own all 4 railroads, Boardwalk and Park Place all at the same time

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5. Buy something / Tip well - so none of those Starbuckster workers try to push you out. Hey, if they do, it's their career. In the unlikely chance this ever happens to you, when they are escorting you out, make sure you give them a dirty look and tell them, "you're making a BIG mistake!"

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6. Analyze your options – All *$ are not born alike. In NY alone, there are like over 6,000. Of this number, roughly 5,900 are in Manhattan alone. This means that you have many choices of where to homestead your office. If you're avoiding your landlord since you can't pay the rent (since that residual check is late) pick one clear across town from where you live. If you are trying to just bump into that special purpose you are looking to date, pick a *$ near where they live or work so you can "accidentally on-purpose" bump into them.

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7. Keep your ears open - Think strategically; read Sun Tzu's "Art of War." Select the *$ location with the aim of obtaining competitive intelligence. If you're working on a project for Oracle, set up shop at an *$ near Ogilvy, who has IBM. O&M's employees visit their local *$. Remember, loose lips sink ships. You never know what gossip you're going to pick up about Palmisano really thinks of Larry. Hey, you never know.

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8. Don't just stand there, let's get to it. Strike a pose, there's nothing to it - I don't know what this means but make sure your jeans are dirty, your t-shirt is ripped and your hair hasn't been washed in at least 5 days

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9. Keep your eye out for celebs. Write down what they ordered and make a note if they use a Blackberry or a Treo. Try to remember what their Ringtone sounds like. Then, go home and play it by ear on the computer so you can delight everyone at one of those fashionable cocktail parties where everyone is standing over the person playing the piano (that person is you.) Then, you can regale them with Molly Ringwald's Ringtone, or Al Gore's or Michael Tysons. Make a goal to learn what Keanu Reeves preferred Ringtone is, or Rachel Wards is...sometimes the more obscure the celeb the better. Everyone will think you're so much cooler, in exact proportion to how pathetic the "where are they now" celeb Ringtones are.

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10. Be polite - (as much as possible) you never know who you're going to meet next to you. It could be a former member of Menudo or someone the same age you are (or even better, 10 years younger) who grew up in Bikini Bottom or another town nowhere near the one you did.

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Ciao!

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