Reality Bites Starbucks Fantasy

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 3:41 PM CST
Protesters smash the windows of a Starbucks store in central London.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Many Americans fantasized of tuning in, dropping out, and working at Starbucks, Mary Schmich writes in the Chicago Tribune, but that dream died with the economic slowdown. “Starbucks was the great American backup plan,” Schmich writes. “The emergency exit. The parachute,” fueled by the “promise of part-time employment, a pleasant workplace, health care and free coffee.”

“Simplicity. Security. A little style. That was the Starbucks dream,” Schmich writes. Of course, the realities of retail coffee-hawking aren’t so sweet: “You're not going to get rich, your hours are irregular and it's retail so people are grumpy and demanding,” one former barista said. But the point is moot. “The luster is off” the Starbucks illusion, Schmich writes. “Now a dreamer needs a backup to the backup fantasy.”