Monday, November 26, 2007

10 Reasons Why I'll Work at Starbucks: Late Bloomers Guide to Saving: Pt. 3

My latest fantasy: I wish I had 20 hours of week to work at Starbucks. (I would gladly grind coffee beans for health coverage.) My 10 Reasons for Working at Starbucks are below.

Part-time employment is one way to catch-up with savings for slackers like me. Others use a part-time job or a second job to deal with a recurring Retirement Nightmare, namely the threat of running out of money after only 10 years into retirement. That’s a reality faced by James Barajas of California, according to an article by Julie Connelly for AARP magazine .

Barajas, age 57, worked at Verizon and earned a salary of over $50,000. His division was eliminated in 2006, but his retirement savings were not enough to cover his expenses, especially not health care insurance. The solution: he found a $27,000 a year job working as a school custodian. The new salary fills the gap and provides additional benefits.

My secret fantasy involves working at Starbucks. I'm quite serious and in the last few months, I have even walked into a Starbucks in South Beach and requested a job application. The deal-breaker: I don't really have an extra 20 hours a week, especially since I have enrolled in graduate school.

But here's why I would like to work in Starbucks:

"Partners that work full time or part time (20 hours or more per week) may participate in a variety of programs, and make choices based on individual needs and interests."--Starbucks employee benefits

1)Health Plan: Employees that work only 20 hours a week qualify for health insurance. Forget earning a minimum wage. I would actually pay Starbucks a minimum wage if they would let me into their health plan. The health care package includes:

"Healthcare Benefits: (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision)"-- Starbucks employee benefits

2) Access to interesting people: A shot of java-drinking people would really jump start my fiction career. It would be fun just to watch, observe and take notes on the different people and conversations that I would encounter at Starbucks. Great people watching!

3) Retirement benefits: In addition to saving my Starbucks part-time paychecks in a retirement account. I would also qualify for some retirement benefits at Starbucks.

4) Additional, non-compete income: As a freelance writer, I work a zillion different jobs: I have taught, tutored, written articles, hammered out news releases, fine tuned radio copy, reviewed books and even stood on my head.

It would be great to have an additional source of income that did not fry my brain and serving coffee fits that bill. I speak from experience. I have been a waitress and I have worked at Rizzoli bookstore in Manhattan and I loved it. Smile, take money, smile. Okay: it's not always easy, but it's way easier than other brain-draining employment efforts.

5) Free bag of coffee: All Starbucks employees get a free bag of coffee each week. That would save me at least $8 a week. We buy Eight O'Clock Coffee beans, which are great and cheap. But for free, I would drink Starbucks.

6) Coffee training program. Listen to this: "Coffee Education – A course focusing on the Starbucks passion for coffee and understanding our core product." Starbucks employee benefits There are other training programs available through the company. Here's a sample:

Business and Communication – The Starbucks Support Center (SSC) offers a variety of classes ranging from basic computer skills to conflict resolution, to management training.

7) Future Career Path: One of my former neighbors began working at Starbucks as a teenager. She even made a coffee for me at a Starbucks in downtown Miami. Ten years later, she has an important Starbucks management post in South Florida and raves about the company. Maybe if I don't get to be a college professor when I grow up, I can be a Starbucks Manager. Here's the company's description of its leadership training program:

Learning to Lead – A three level program for baristas to develop leadership skills. The program also includes store operational and effective management practice training.

8) Interesting Staff: The paid cast is pretty diverse at Starbucks. With my wild, long and graying braids, I would fit right in. The company obviously does more than pay lip service to diversity in hiring and training.

9.Free New York Times: I always see copies of the NYT (and other newspapers) at Starbucks. My fantasy: during cleanup after the shop closes each day, I could recycle a NYT copy and read it at my home.

10) Starbucks has a book club: With a book due to be published in May, I could hope and pray that Starbucks would put me on their book club menu. My book is called The Frugal Duchess of South Beach and it should be out in May. Publisher: DPL Press. I'll have more details later.

Here's a quick summary of Starbucks menu of employee benefits:

Depending on job and personal situation, a partner’s
total pay package may include:

Progressive Compensation Package
Healthcare Benefits (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision)
Retirement Savings Plan
Stock Options and Discount Stock Purchase Plan
Income Protection Plan
(Life and Disability Coverage)
Management Bonus Plan
Adoption Assistance Plan
Domestic partner benefits
Referral programs and support resources for child and eldercare
Discounted Starbucks merchandise
And of course, all
partners get a pound of coffee each week.

Meanwhile, it's never to late to save, but there are a few helpful tips for those of us playing catch-up. While visiting my parents, I found a copy of AARP magazine which had some great tips for late-starters in the savings game. Basically, the article (from the Sept./Oct 2007 edition) featured several individuals (ages 50-60) who had not saved too much in the past. I'm writing a series of posts based on the strategies featured in the magazine.

Here's Part 1 of this series.Top Tip: No more recreational shopping at the mall!
Part 2: Tapping a Side Business for Savings: Late Bloomers... Top Tip: Develop a small business for extra income.



The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store

Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues
Frugal Comic Book Connection


SageRave said...

You are actually going to retire?

Even though I just got my Social Security statement I am not counting on ever being "employment free", and I have actually been putting money aside. I think the best I ca hope for is working from home most of the time.

Starbucks sounds interesting though. Right now I work with special needs students on a part time basis while working toward freelance writing. Starbucks sounds alot safre!

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hey Sage Rave:

Thanks so much for the comment!

And ooooh noooo. I don't plan to retire. I like working too much and I don't have nearly enough money saved.

But I would like to have more money saved so that I can be pickier about the work I accept.

Also I would like to do more literary writing, which pays Nada.
So I'll need a nest egg to finance my literary life fantasies.

Starbucks sounds really good to me also and I'm 100 percent serious.

Thanks so much for your comment and good luck with working with the special needs students.

Take Care!

G said...

The Health Care Crisis in America has spawned articles such as this one which remarks on the ten reasons why we would work at Starbuck's; the most important reason being the great health care for only working there 20 hours a week. This is great information to know because this is what society has been reduced to. The programs we have implemented for the elderly are just not there for us when we need them. That is why we must take a stance now before it is too late. We have to be pro-active about entering our senior years before we are too enabled to do so. One way I found to do this is to go to the AARP site: I found this site to be very helpful in disseminating valuable information about health care. It has a video and email ID’s to use in order to address the growing problem. Most importantly, there is a petition there we should all sign in order to make our voices heard. I know because I’m working to support this with AARP.

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hi G:

Thanks so much for the information and the comment.

You are so right. And it's not just the AARP crowd.

I have several upper middle class 20-something or early 30s friends who do not have healthcare.

One mother I know faces difficult choices: car payment, house payment and food vs. insurance for her family.

I once met a 20-something techie who worked at a company, but could not afford to pay his portion of the health care tab, so he opted out of the plan in order to take care of other bills.

Thanks so much for your feedback! It means a lot.

LongBeachBabe said...

I loved this post! I've been facing some work troubles as of late, and actually applied to Starbucks online a few weeks ago when I was going through one of my "career change" moments. They haven't called me though. Depending on what happens at a meeting tommorrow to determine where we are supposed to land at my current employer, maybe it would be worth walking in there in person and applying. There's one located in the downstairs of my current office building in fact........

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Long Beach Babe:

I hope your meeting goes well tomorrow.

Thanks so much for your comment. I totally relate to the career change moments.

Even though I have a full plate, I'm really tempted to also apply. I still have the application...
Take care and Thanks so much for stopping by!

Please drop me an email: to let me know how the job situation is going.

Debby Banning said...

I worked for the school board and there were ladies there that worked 40 hours a week just so that they can get health insurance for their family. Some even had to write the school board a check each pay period. What a joke!

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...


Public school systems typically have great benefits: Health and pension plans.

My parents worked for the Philadelphia School system.

I understand why someone would pay to be included in a school board health plan. Wow!

Thanks for your comment. Take Care!

NeedANap2 said...

I came over from Mom Advice ( My husband did work at Starbucks. Not only do you get a pound of coffee a week (or 2 half pounds or a package of tea), you get most drinks free while working (or to go when you get off a shift). You also get a discount when you're not working. You're also on the "inside" on store markdowns. You can definitely score a leftover paper! I would score the healthplan at 2.5 out of 4 stars, but the amount to pay per pay period is wonderful! Yes, you can have health, vision, and dental. Just like any health insurance these days, you have to keep up with the explanation of benefits and make sure they're paying correctly! :)

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hey Needanap2:

First thanks so much for visiting from Mom Advice. I've already thanked Amy for the mention. (I love her blog!)

And Needanap2: Thanks for the inside report about your husband's work experience at Starbucks. That's great information.

Please stop by again. You have added a lot to the discussion.
Take care!

Drew said...

This is a really helpful post to me. Just last week i was at work and got scouted by a Starbucks manager, i'm so excited! I start tomorrow! Anyone know any details about this "transfer" available after working for Starbucks three months????