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Starbucks, & Spirituality

So, I got a job. Yay!

I started training at Starbucks this week. (And, because I'm telling the whole internet, I'll probably eventually get stalkers or something. Oh, well.) It's a good company, I'll say that. I'm actually impressed with their ethics (at least their professed ethics!) and values of being connected & committed to the communities they are part of. I mean, if I'm going to work for a corporation, it's nice to know they (at least pretend to) care about their employees and suppliers. And the planet.
On my first day of orientation, I was impressed at language they used to describe the ideal working environment. In one pamphlet, called "The Green Apron Book," five goals/values are listed:
  • Be Welcoming.
  • Be Genuine.
  • Be Knowledgeable.
  • Be Considerate.
  • Be Involved.
I really liked that. In fact, it almost sounded spiritual to me. It sounds like an excellent list of goals/values for a church. "Offer everyone a sense of belonging. Connect, discover, respond. Love what you do; share it with others. Take care of yourself, each other, and the environment."

In fact, when my supervisor read me the mission statement, I was struck by the ways in which they are endeavoring to be connected, at every level.

And don't we all want to be connected?

I've been reading a LOT of Madeleine L'Engle lately. I just finished "A Wind in the Door" today, and as usual, I was crying at the end. Her books have (re)highlighted this idea of connection. She puts forth the deeply spiritual idea that everything is intertwined--from galaxies to the smallest part of the molecules that make us up.

I love that.

Because, for all our instant communication technology (which I'm not knocking; I just had a conversation with my bro via text, and one with a very good friend via facebook), we aren't very connected to anything these days.

So. Maybe coffee is just coffee. Or, maybe, (not to sound like I've been drinking the espresso-flavored kool-aid) it's more than that. I'm looking for a way to keep a positive attitude about this job; I'm trying to find ways to integrate it into who I am. So that it's not just someplace I go and rush around at for eight hours so I can pay my bills. I don't want it to be something I endure...I want it to be part of who I am. I'm still figuring out how that might work.

But if Madeleine L'Engle is right (and I think she is...I hope she is...) then maybe making a good cup of coffee for someone and serving it to them with a smile is a way of fighting on the side of good.

That sounded dramatic. I mean, it's just coffee, right? Consumerism at it's finest?


Maybe not.

Maybe I'm just a little farandola who is finally learning how to Deepen.