Monday, January 16, 2012

Thoughts on joining the Green Empire, & how God is Awesome

I know this is one of my longer posts, but in order to avoid telling this story countless more times than I have energy for, I have decided to just write it all down here, for everyone to read. 

Back in July, my boyfriend James told me to quit my job at Jamba.  I didn't listen to him.
He asked me again in October, but I said it would be okay and I stayed.
By December he was practically begging me to give my two-weeks notice, but apparently I am one of the most stubborn girlfriends around, or maybe I just don't know how to help myself.

I guess having a stressed out, worn down, anxiety-ridden girlfriend who constantly needs cheering up isn't that fun.  Who would've known?

Truth is, I had been feeling pulled in that direction (to leave my job) since July as well, but had been extremely reluctant to trust God in this area of my life.  This job, since being promoted to manager, had been my first "big girl" job, and had allowed me to become financially stable and independent.  I was in no way prepared to give up that security.  So instead I sat around and complained to anyone and everyone that would listen or sympathize.

This May would mark three years with Jamba Juice, and while I am thankful for the opportunities and experiences that have grown me and helped me gain perspective, it has been painful and arduous for the past year and I feel as if I have been run into the ground.  My Christmas Eve shift was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Whether it was overbooking my already-busy schedule, becoming burned out on Jamba's overzealous new platforms, or just any of the numerous disagreements I've had with my boss (along with feelings of being extremely under-appreciated/devalued), I have been SO ready to get out of there for quite some time now.

Maybe I should have listened to James and given my notice back in the summer, but truth is, I was scared.  I'm still scared, but realizing that I don't need to be.  I was scared to quit without something else lined up, I  was scared to put my foot down when I noticed shady deviations from Jamba protocol, and I was scared to stand up for myself and for what was right.  I realize I might be fighting a life-long battle against people pleasing, but as far as Jamba is concerned, I'm finally OUT!
I put in my two-weeks notice on January 1st; how's that for a New Year's Resolution?!  It was honestly one of the biggest feelings of relief I have ever felt.

Before taking the leap I prayed day and night, up and down, that I wasn't making a mistake.  One of our pastors, Tim Springer, gave a very convicting sermon about Jeremiah 29 (on THE SAME MORNING that I submitted my notice), teaching on being content with knowing that God's will sometimes involves suffering and doing things that we don't want to do.  He gave the example of being stuck working graveyard shifts at a job that he didn't like, for much longer than he ever expected, but realizing it was God's plan for him to stay there.  I was unsure and confused about what God wanted of me and I was a wreck.  But I kept praying.

I remember driving to work on my first shift after submitting my notice; I was crying all alone in my car, thinking, "what the heck have I done?" I prayed something along the lines of, "God, I'm scared.  I'm so so scared that I've made a mistake, or that I am going to be unemployed forever--or at least for a long, long time--and that I won't be able to get married or move out or even feed myself for much longer. Please guide me; if this is your will, please validate this decision.  I'm so scared."

I kept my composure as many coworkers, family members, and friends asked me what I possibly had in store that was better for me than a managerial position, and admittedly I lied a few times.  I said I had small jobs that could probably get me by for a few months, and I continued to push the fact that I am almost graduated and that I am just going to truly focus on school.  (That is not a lie by any means, but it definitely wasn't my hope.)  But on the inside I was freaking out, and all I could do was keep praying...

In what can only be described as something purely divine, my prayers were heard and answered in a way I could have never arranged on my own.  Before I even had a day off to begin my job hunt, I was offered a job at Starbucks (and if you know me well enough, you will know I have dreamt of this job for years and have been applying ever since I was of age to work there--I LOVE STARBUCKS).  The Starbucks manager walked into Jamba and offered me a job, on the spot--something she says she has never done in her life.

The praying continued and the nervousness increased.  I guess you're thinking I'm crazy... someone offers you a new job after you just quit your old job, you should be ecstatic, right?  Well I wasn't.  I was excited to have a front to hide behind, but I was extremely nervous that this would take me out of the frying pan and into the fryer, or something like that.  James and I began to pray that things with Starbucks would only continue to develop if it was truly what God had planned for me, and that if nothing transpired it would be because there were other things in the works that I needed to be patient and wait for.

Today has been filled with an enormous amount of prayer and support from friends and family, for which I cannot even begin to express my thankfulness.

I interviewed at Starbucks in Belmont Shore at 1:00pm and by 5:00pm the manager was calling to offer me the job, which I happily accepted.  (The praying didn't stop there, and it will surely be continuing as I enter this new chapter of life.)  As I worked my second-to-last closing shift tonight, I couldn't help but float around with a fat grin on my face knowing that all my worrying and fear was in vain, just like Philippians 4:6 says it will be.

My first day at Starbucks will be on February 6th, giving me three solid weeks to recuperate and heal this sprained ankle/tendon that I have been nursing since Christmas.  The manager seems great, and the thing that I [already] love most about her is that she truly cares about the well-being of her employees and wants them to be happy and able to give 100% (hence the time off to recuperate and transition); no working when you are sick!  The benefits are extremely appealing, and the coffee-shop atmosphere makes my heart want to discount-double-check.  (Did I just make a football reference?)  Oh what a nice, refreshing change this will be.. :]

I don't know if Starbucks will be the fulfillment of Bucket List #17 (Work at a Job I Love), or if it will be just another marker on the journey I call Life, but I am looking forward to it.  Immensely.  Partially because it allows me to escape Jamba, but also because of all the novelty it contains, and for the learning experiences I'm sure will come.  Please join me in praying for this transition, or just check back here for updates.  :]

To close, God is good (so good), all the time.  Don't be like me; trust in Him the first time and save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.

PS- If you have never shared a Starbucks experience with me, something is wrong with our relationship.
Me and Starbs, we go way back.

Tommy and I (last week), observing the transition back into white cups.

My hoard of Red Cups, perhaps unhealthy/unsanitary.

My excitement over the return of Red Cups this year.

Making new friends via Starbucks Coffee Dates.  I'm notorious for these.

Starbucks as midterm-season pick-me-up, and secret weapon of doting boyfriend.

Starbucks On-the-Go: a must for any extended car ride!

Exploring Starbucks in other cities--always exciting.  Above, Melissa and Me taking shelter from the cold San Fran winds.

Starbucks to get you going in the morning at work -- Deb and I welcoming the new face of Starbucks (e.g. Garamond Font and new Green Sleeves).

Starbucks in the Summer.

And last but not least, falling in love with a Starbucks Barista when you are 15-and-a-half years old, beginning an unhealthy and expensive addiction to coffee drinks and coffee shops, only to drain all of the babysitting money I ever saved, and end up with no love to show for it!

I bet Jesus would've drank Starbucks.


  1. i am so so excited for you - this is a PERFECT example that God provides, and is definitely a comfort to hear in the midst of all this uncertainty.

    thank you for your friendship...i feel like this is just another BIG thing we've gone through together, and we're constantly growing in friendship, in faith, and in life.

    p.s. have i mentioned how advantageous it is to me that one of my best friends now WORKS at starbucks?! PTL! ;]

  2. Wow!! God had a plan all awesome to see it play out!!

    Good luck at the new job girl! You will do great!