Porteño Corner: Starbuck’s Barista, Bárbara Ramos

Share on:

Bárbara Ramos
Student/Starbucks Barista
Age: 19
Palermo Viejo





Q: You said you are a student. What are you studying?

I’m studying to become a math teacher.

• How did you decide you wanted to become a math teacher?

Since I was young numbers fascinated me. I was able to solve the problems pretty easily and helped other kids with theirs.

I really became interested when one professor I had in school took the time to explain to me very in-depth about how you can use mathematics to explain so many things and I became fascinated with this whole new world.

One thing that people who like math have in common is that they are kind of crazy. People ask me why I want to learn about things like Chaos Theory if I’m never going to use it, but I find it very interesting.

• Sometimes people say men are more naturally apt at math, while women do better in subjects that deal with the right side of the brain. What do you think?

In my university class there are an equal number of men and women. From my point of view, I think perhaps women are more capable in math!

• You grew up in Palermo Viejo, what do you think about all the changes there in the last few years?

Well one thing that is better is that the plaza in front of my house is safer now, at night it’s all nice and neat. Unfortunately they have taken out a lot of the color and character as well – there used to be more trees, grass and playground areas and now the plazas are more cement and just… gray. Also they keep inventing new names – Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Soho — that is one thing that seriously drives me insane!

• You work at Starbucks coffee house. Is there a difference working for a (north) American company?

One thing that I enjoy is that they are very respectful of your time and that gives me time to study. It’s also less competitive between the employees than other jobs I’ve had; we work together. I really like it. I want to keep working here.

• How about the pay? Is it better than other places?

Well it starts at AR$8.75 an hour but after six months it goes up to AR$10.

• So the average drink costs at Starbucks costs more than an hour’s wage for you…?

Well, yes, but the product quality is high and a lot of the items we use are imported, so blame it on our president because it’s so costly to import products.

• What did you think of the Bicentenary celebrations going on?

Well I’m a bit patriotic but with the president (Cristina Kirchner) we have now I wasn’t that inspired to celebrate. I just wanted to stay home.

• Are you a Peronist?

Well from what I know about Peronism I appreciate it, but the Kichners aren’t really Peronists. They lie and say they’re going to do things for the people and just end up doing things for themselves. They received money from the United States to clean up the River Plate for example, but the river is as dirty as ever.

• What do you think of gay marriage now that it is going to be legalized?

I think they should stop prohibiting it. It doesn’t affect the world negatively. There are more important things to worry about.