Back on March of 2015 I wrote Starbucks: The Beans of Idiocy. On that occasion, the CEO of Starbucks, one Howard Schultz, buying into Eric Holder’s racialist hectoring that Americans were cowards because they aren’t obsessed with racial problems that didn’t exist until he and Barack Obama stirred them up, was encouraging his “baristas” to write pithy little slogans about race on the cups they dispensed to their customers. I noted:
Schultz decided that Starbuck’s customers would like nothing more, while waiting in line for grotesquely overpriced coffee dispensed by one if its pretentiously named ‘baristas ‘(wouldn’t something like ‘Grand Dragoon With Buttons’ be more fun?), than to be lectured about race by those ‘baristas,’ the effect of this to somehow improve the race relations about which non-black Americans are such cowards. Schultz also suggested his baristas write ‘race together’ and similarly stirring phrases on coffee cups, though one might imagine the overall effect would be thereby somewhat muted, though one could wrap their fingers over the words and obtain warm, if not exactly fuzzy, feelings.
What is it, gentle readers, about working in a coffee shop that imbues those employed there with superior intelligence and morality? Is it the grotesquely over-priced beverages? Is it the unwarranted arrogance and smug pretension? Or is it toxic fumes from the various substances that make the beverages so insanely expensive that grossly impair any sense of humility, humanity, and human kindness? Kyla Hart of North Carolina wants to know, via the local Fox station:
On a day when lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Washington are asking Americans to unite, a loyal Starbucks customer says she was targeted for supporting Donald Trump. Starbucks said they are making sure this incident won’t happen again.
‘I don’t know what politics has to do with getting a cup of coffee,’ Kayla Hart said.
Considering what I know about Starbucks, I somehow doubt they’re terribly concerned with the idea that aggressively and cruelly progressive politics don’t mix well with coffee. But just for the sake of this article, what horribly provocative, racist, anti-LGBQWERTY, anti-immigrant, anti-anti-fascist sort of thing did Hart do?
Hart walked in to Starbucks on East Boulevard in Dilworth on Wednesday morning, wearing a Donald Trump t-shirt. Instead of being greeted with a smile, Kayla said the cashier laughed and her order was labeled with a political message, mocking her support for the president.
‘They shouted out build a wall and shoved a drink at me and then all the barisatas in the back started cracking up laughing,’ said Hart.
The commotion caught the attention of nearby customers.
‘I just walked out because everyone was staring,’ Hart said.
Hmmm. Notice the subtle message stuck to Hart’s drink. One wonders what sort of T-shirt logo or message is safe for Starbucks wear? After all T-shirts are essentially mobile billboards these days. I don’t wear t-shirts with messages or logos, for the most part, because I prefer to maintain a low profile, but I’m in the minority. Absent people wearing shirts emblazoned with obscenities, I could care less what they write on their shirts (not that I care much about that; it merely tends to define their lack of character). Apparently not so for the enlightened employees of Starbucks.
Hart e-mailed Starbucks’ customer service, and the local Fox station did as well.
FOX 46 Charlotte also reached out to Starbucks to get results. The station received the following response:
‘We failed to meet this customer’s expectations of us, and we have apologized and are working directly with her to make it right. This experience is not consistent with our standards or the welcoming and respectful experience we aim to provide every customer who visit our stores. We have spoken with our store partners about this situation and are using this as a coaching opportunity for the future,’ Starbucks said in a statement.
No, you cruel and sanctimonious twerps. You established the expectations of innumerable customers, people who now expect to be treated with haughty disdain by people who lack common decency and basic, first grade manners. “A coaching opportunity.” I’ll bet. Probably something like “don’t be so obvious next time.”
Again, back in 2015, I wrote:
A conservative that built a successful company selling a product like coffee would understand certain principles:
1) Customers are there for two primary reasons: to buy coffee, and to a much lesser degree, to hang out and drink coffee and browse the Internet and be part of the ambience.
2) Customers do not see the employees serving them coffee, people they will see for only a few minutes at a time every now and then, as parent figures, ministers or counselors. In fact, most would be angered and insulted if such employees tried to behave in that way.
3) Customers are there to complete a brief business transaction. They get a product that pleases them at a price they’re willing to pay, delivered in a pleasant atmosphere by polite and efficient employees.
4) Upsetting this economic balance ticks people off, sends them elsewhere, and hurts the bottom line.
And what of Mr. Schultz? I’m only guessing here, gentle readers, but I suspect that he thinks himself superior to his customers, at least some of them. He thinks himself and perhaps even his “baristas” to have an elite, evolved social conscience, and such people have an obligation to do more than just sell heated, liquefied beans; they have an obligation to educate the less evolved. Perhaps Mr. Schultz even thinks his employees really want to do that, and no doubt, some do.
While Mr. Schultz likely understands #1, he goes badly wrong beginning at #2. He–and most of his baristas–probably don’t see themselves as the parents, ministers or counselors of their customers. But they almost certainly think themselves more moral and socially conscious. They actually think that by harrying people, whose only desire is a cup of coffee, about race, they’re making a better world. Perhaps they only want to feel better about themselves.
Mr. Schultz apparently is not aware that there are competitors out there, people who also sell coffee, and who have no interest in implying that the coffee buying public are racists. Of perhaps he is aware of this, but thinks no right-thinking–actually, left-thinking–person could possibly be annoyed by such insinuations, and they surely would never go anywhere else for coffee. This is where Mr. Schultz trips over #4–and the bottom line–as well.
In the meantime, Hart–and all Americans that believe in the rule of law, the Constitution, civilized political debate and manners–have a decision to make:
“Hart said she is still waiting to hear from the Starbucks district manager before making a decision if she will return to the coffee shop.”
Even were I a coffee drinker, I wouldn’t be wasting a moment on such an easy decision. To whatever degree Starbucks’ corporate office cares about the bottom line, they’ll make conciliatory noises toward Hart and the local media, but their corporate culture, reinforced by the kinds of people they hire to serve the public, is glaringly obvious. They don’t stand with America.