It’s the 3rd of July. The day before an extended holiday weekend. One of those days that some people might take off to make an extra-long vacation weekend. Or at the very least people leave work early. So how would you feel if a co-worker asked you to stay pretty much the full day to speak and talk with visitors? And not the important visitors who could be extremely beneficial to the company, but just some friends of his?

Now, these people might have felt just as annoyed as you are feeling just thinking about it, but I must say it did not show.

One of my college roommates up and moved to Seattle to work for Starbucks, so my college friends decided to make our annual get-together out in the Pacific Northwest. My one request was that I would get a tour of Starbucks HQ and have a sit down with Howard Schultz…the best he could do was the tour. Now while most friends might take you into their office, show you their desk, and lead you back out, this guy got in contact with a few of his co-workers and set up a much more intensive tour than I would have imagined.

The biggest thing that stuck out to me – these people were passionate about the work they did (…or at least acted like it). We met with people from the Seattle’s Best brand who spoke about their frozen at-home mixes they were beginning to roll out. On the food side, we tasted some pastry items and they explained the high standard of the ingredients. Employees walked us through the cupping process and how they test their coffees. And we wrapped it up with a taste test of their new evolution drinks.

Regardless of what they were talking about, these people had a strong interest in their product. They cared about the details. They knew not only what they were doing, but why, and wanted us to know as well. It’s refreshing to see people who really love what they do – who don’t just seem to be going through the motions and waiting to check out. I’m pretty sure not everyone there truly loves coffee. But they are passionate people, and know how to channel it properly to make the most of their careers there.

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Outside of of that, we acted like your average tourists and wandered around Seattle visiting the Public Market and the Space Needle, went on the Underground Tour of Seattle and also did a hike. I must say, even the people outside of Starbucks seemed to love what they do. And outside of my constant complaint of rain (from what I can remember, we were in a constant mist, though I’ve been told that I’m over-exaggerating), it was a great to head over to the west coast

It was a pretty risky trip, actually, as we decided that I would leave my pregnant wife and daughter behind for the weekend. I mean, my daughter was only 1 day early, and my wife was only 36 weeks pregnant, so everything would be fine, right? Well I made it back home on a Sunday night, the wife started having contractions the next day, and 3 days later she delivered our baby boy (the reason I’m only now blogging about something that happened more than 3 months ago). Just like we planned, right? ;)


My Starbucks Experience

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