Dear Starbucks,

Here we are, officially breaking up, and like almost every break up I have gone through, I’m not finding this to be easy.

Five and a half years, easily the longest relationship I’ve ever had. You annoyed the living shit out of me until the very end, but at least I did it right back, this was never a one way street:) I don’t do well with goodbyes, so here’s hoping this letter finds you smiling.

I should start out by thanking you. You introduced me to my best friends, the one group of people that I could count on to “understand” me (even when they didn’t), and hug me when I needed it. From my very first store in Tennessee, when Justin made me tea because I was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe, to my current store, when Candice brought me wine/chips and salsa/pretty dishtowels with trees on them because I was in so much pain that I couldn’t leave my couch. You gave me these people, their stories, and their amazing personalities as my friends. The constant laughing, constant jokes, constant headset chats about customers….thank you. You gave me a place where I could shine.

For all the awful customers, those horrible people that made me see red in anger, thank you for those as well. It taught me to stand up for myself, to not take the bullshit complaints and be nice about it, and to stand up for my friends when they needed a second to breathe. Nobody will ever understand what being a barista at Starbucks is REALLY like, because it’s “corporate” coffee, and in the minds of a lot of people…it makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for putting me in situations where I hated my job, hated people, and hated coffee. Those days made me a nicer person in the long run, because I know what it’s like to be on the “other side”.

In truth, we DO make your coffee decaf if you’re an asshole to us. We hate it when you don’t listen to us when we repeat the order back to you, we hate the drive thru jokes like “Uh yeah, can I get a Big Mac?”, and contrary to popular opinion, we are not magic makers. We are baristas. Most of us get paid less than $9.50 an hour. We don’t make great tips, and we don’t LOVE coffee. We are normal people, who just so happen to make you your giant extra extra caramel frappuccino and silently judge you based on that drink choice alone. We don’t understand your urgency, why you get all pissy when you have to wait in line, and why you don’t understand when your drink takes three minutes to make because the shots on the espresso machine need to be adjusted. Tall and Venti aren’t the same, please read the menu and menu prices before you get mad at us. Macchiato is NOT pronounced “Marky Mark”, “Marchiato”, or “Mackeeato”. Frappuccinos are NOT the same as Cappuccinos, and no, I cannot “just add ice” to your hot mocha because you decided at the last minute that you would like it cold. It’s just coffee people, and if there is one thing I have learned in my five years, it’s that. It’s just coffee. 

What I can say (aside from thank you), is that I have appreciated you so much. When I wanted to spend a summer in California, you supported me. I left, and when I came back, I still had my job. When I wanted to move to Washington, you were right there again, giving me the chance to find a store close to where I was living and keep my job. When I needed health insurance, you gave it to me. Had I gone back to school, you would have given me Tuition Reinbursement. When I was working another job, you stayed with me, allowing me to “figure it out” while giving me enough hours to get my benefits. I can’t explain how much you have improved my life, and by simply allowing me to be me. Starbucks, you have been the only “constant” in my life, and leaving on Saturday isn’t going to be easy.

Thanks for the memories. The days that I laughed so hard that I couldn’t even stand, and the people you brought into my life who turned out to be my best friends.

Always,

Cass

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