May 22, 2018

Starbucks in Japan

So inspiring! Beautiful!

Meanwhile, in the United States, Starbucks struggles to blend in. Via Reddit:
Starbucks on Monday emphasized in communications with The Wall Street Journal that employees have detailed instructions on what to do if someone is behaving in a disruptive manner. It said disruptive behaviors include smoking, drug or alcohol use, improper use of restrooms and sleeping.

The company's latest message shows the challenges companies face when they address socially sensitive policies in an era of social media when every corporate move can be immediately telegraphed. Some people tweeted and posted supportive comments about Starbucks's policy of inclusiveness, demonstrating the tightrope the company must walk in trying to cater to all customers....

Managers and baristas, Starbucks said, should first ask a fellow employee to verify that a certain behavior is disruptive and if it is, respectfully request that the customer stop. Starbucks says employees only should call 911 if a situation becomes unsafe.

Other examples of disruptive behavior include talking too loud, playing loud music and viewing inappropriate content. The company provided employees with examples of when they should call 911, which includes when a customer is using or selling drugs.
I can only gesture at the question whether differences between Japanese and American culture account for the differences in handling these 2 problems of one corporation interfacing with a culture. It is easier to blend in architecturally than socially and politically. Architecturally, you know what to look at: the surrounding buildings. You can observe concrete elements and attempt to copy them. But socially and politically, what do you do? You've been criticized in a sudden spate and you're suddenly sticking out because one incident hit media virally. Any solution brings new problems, leading to new incidents and, perhaps, the silent draining away of your old patrons.

84 comments:

tim in vermont said...

I think they should give anybody who can prove he qualifies for a Twitter account a seat on the board. That will fix their problems toot sweet.

tim in vermont said...

One thing I have noticed in my travels, if the Starbucks only has half and half as a creamer, there is a good chance you are in a red state, or at least a red county. If it has five types of “creamers’, three of which contain no animal proteins, you are in deep blue territory.

Ralph L said...

This one is different, too.

Ralph L said...

DeBlasio is decriminalizing pot smoking and public urination, so what can they do?

Do they still hose down sidewalks in big cities?

David Begley said...

Improper use of restrooms? What would that be? How would they know?

Could a man use the woman’s restroom?

Rob said...

I welcome the new network of public restrooms and comfortable places to relax and go on the internet. And the fact that they also sell beverages won’t be that much of a nuisance at all.

Amadeus 48 said...

I heard Howard Schultz speak at The Economic Club of Chicago several years ago. He told his story (kid from Brooklyn goes to Northern Michigan U on a football scholarship, goes to Europe and is swept away by the romance of it all, falls in love with the concept of the Italian caffe, and comes back to bring espresso to the masses). As he described his vision of an espresso cafe, I turned to the guy next to me and said, "He hasn't been in one of his own stores recently." Starbucks does a lot of things right, but it isn't a European espresso bar.

Good luck with the new policy. They better add "pestering other customers for handouts."

Curious George said...

"cater to all customers"

Starbucks doesn't understand that you need to buy something to be a customer. Because of that they will be a magnet for bums, panhandlers, and drug users. Good luck.

Gordon Scott said...

Japan can handle these issues because Japan is full of Japanese, with a dollop of Koreans. Japan does not allow immigration, not above a tiny few. What's more, in this monoculture, there is a set of rule of behavior that are deeply ingrained. If you aren't born there, you will never understand them, not beyond the surface.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I can only gesture at the question whether differences between Japanese and American culture account for the differences


Japan has few or no people who would abuse their hospitality in the manner we have seen here. When you have a homogeneous society, you can more readily have nice public things, unless it is a homogeneous society of scum.

Langford would say it more succinctly, but I hope to have avoided triggering you.

rhhardin said...

Use a twitter storm as an occasion to reassert common sense and indifference to idiots' opinions. Free advertising.

Gordon Scott said...

Curious George, Starbucks does understand. But they hope they can appease the mob (which in fact is tiny) long enough to get past this, and then the word will be passed to the managers to (carefully, carefully) start ejecting the bums again. And, just as in this case, the store staff will be blamed for implementing corporate policy.

Where I live, the police will not show up if you call to report shoplifters--and by shoplifters I mean people who fill up a duffel bag with expensive body wash and walk out the door. If you touch them, you'll likely be fired by the corporation. If you somehow get them to leave, they'll do damage to the store and merchandise on the way out, knowing the police don't care. And even if there's a policeman right there, and he makes an arrest, the county attorney won't prosecute.

Some poor barista or store clerk will get killed. But they deserve it for their white privilege, you know.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ralph L said...

Do they still hose down sidewalks in big cities?

Yes. With urine.

rhhardin said...

Let's Learn Japanese, on old Radio Japan feature, was filled with honorifics and useful phrases like where can I buy a camera.

MayBee said...

Japan is full of Japanese people, who wouldn't dream of being disruptive in a Starbucks.

As for the Kyoto Starbucks, I' guessing they went into an existing historic building. There are Starbucks in existing historic buildings in America, too. They fit in that way.

Finally- a defensive measure they've taken. I noticed the Starbucks in parts of downtown Chicago are redecorating to remove seating areas and have added more food and product displays. So perhaps they won't kick the homeless out, but they aren't providing a place to sit anymore, either.

James K said...

If only Tom Wolfe were still around to comment on Starbuacks's "social policy." First they decide to let anyone in regardless of whether they are buying anything, and now they have to issue these policies to deal with what they've created. It's like in "Radical Chic" when the Black Panthers are invited to a tea and cucumber sandwich party.

Jupiter said...

Can you say shithole?

MayBee said...

I used to go to a Starbucks in Woodland Hills, CA which had an outdoor seating area. The outdoor seating area was full of homeless people, which in itself wasn't a problem. But there were definite hygiene issues, which made consuming food and beverages unpleasant. So I stopped going to that Starbucks.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Starbucks says employees only should call 911 if a situation becomes unsafe.

Of course you should only call 911 for emergencies. The police have other numbers for non-emergency calls. Under what circumstances do they call the police for non-emergency situations?

Ryan said...

My girlfriend is Japanese. She said men in Japan would walk up to her, as a high school student, and offer the equivalent of $100 to buy the underwear off her body. We met at Starbucks, by the way.

Darrell said...

The first link doesn't work on Google Chrome.

Judge for yourself if it is beautiful (YouTube video of grand opening)

Here.

rehajm said...

Starbucks doesn't understand that you need to buy something to be a customer.

I was in London waiting for my wife to finish up a business meeting in Mayfair. It started to rain so I ducked into a Starbucks around the corner from her meeting and grabbed a cuppa. She ran very late and after about two hours of sitting there an employee came over and asked oh so nicely if she could get me anything? My first thought- how nice Starbucks has table service here!- was immediately followed by the realization her inquiry would translate to get the fuck out, deadbeat! back home in the states.

Caldwell P. Titcomb IV said...

Pro Tip: Rather than hiding entire copies of Playboy in Starbucks' paper-towel dispensers, save room by just hiding the "interviews".

Ryan said...

Starbucks was bad enough with the policy. Here in LA, public libraries now function as de facto homeless shelters. There are bedbug infestations and the smells are unbearable.

Darrell said...

The Kyoto building was infested with bees, so they preserved the bee hives behind plexiglass--sans bees, apparently.

Hipsters are impressed.

Ryan said...

Foreigners in Japan are given a free pass of sorts. You don't need to understand and obey all the social rules. They will dismiss your mistakes because you are just a stupid Gaijin. The downside is that if you ever try to learn the culture, they will never accept you as one of them.

MayBee said...

Thanks for the link, Darrell. So they incorporated parts of a historic building. They did follow the codes for being in a historic are. I would say the design is Japanese, but the idea of the building fitting in with the area of historic significance is something Starbucks does world-wide, even in America.

Ryan said...

I am conversant in Japanese. But my favorite thing in the US is to meet a Japanese girl but keep it a secret. I can listen into all her conversations. Eventually I will reveal the fact. American men who speak too much Japanese are kinda creepy anyway.

Ryan said...

My girlfriend is from a small town in Japan and her dad is a truck driver. They are not wealthy, but somehow sent their daughter to LA. She said a volcano erupted near where her grandparents live, and rhey received compeneation money from the government. So I'm getting laid becauae of a volcano. Thanks volcano!

R C Belaire said...

Re: tim in vermont : Here I am sitting in a Starbucks in deep blue Ann Arbor, with only half & half for coffee cream. Perhaps there's a disturbance in the Force?

Hagar said...

Managers and baristas, Starbucks said, should first ask a fellow employee to verify that a certain behavior is disruptive and if it is, respectfully request that the customer stop. Starbucks says employees only should call 911 if a situation becomes unsafe.

Exactly what happened at the Starbucks that caused this uproar. The police were called because the gentlemen of color were acting disruptively and arguing with the staff, and they were arrested for resisting and refusing to comply with the police request to move along.

Lucien said...

If your employees need to be told that someone sleeping in a Starbucks does not justify calling 911, then there’s your problem.

Original Mike said...

Kyoto is beautiful. Though, of course, it doesn’t all look like that.

Ryan said...

The ideal ratio of the length of the miniskirt, the exposed portion of thigh, and the over-knee part of the socks is often considered to be 4:1:2.5, with a tolerance of 25%. Japanese have studied this and even gave it a name: zettai ryouiki. It translates as absolute territory- the gap of skin between a miniskirt and thigh high socks.

Curious George said...

"Gordon Scott said...
Curious George, Starbucks does understand"

I know.

"MayBee said...
I used to go to a Starbucks in Woodland Hills, CA which had an outdoor seating area. The outdoor seating area was full of homeless people, which in itself wasn't a problem. But there were definite hygiene issues, which made consuming food and beverages unpleasant. So I stopped going to that Starbucks."

You're as bad as Starbucks. Homeless and hygiene issues go hand in hand. So homeless people is in itself a problem.

whitney said...

I have been drinking Starbucks coffee for years. Cafe Verona from the grocery store. Now, I am compelled to find a new favorite coffee because I am offended by their stupidity. They've just become insupportable

Ryan said...

Kyoto is fine. The temple of the golden pavilion is quite stunning. A young priest burned it down, but it was rebuilt. Yukio Mishima wrote a novel about it, from the perspective of the priest.

Chris N said...

I feel that Starbucks is validating my identity by validating the lives of the homeless. Selfish and greedy capitalists would exclude the poor among us. They would not see that clearly troubled man just wanting a chance to be human and part of the community again.

Now, there is more empathy and hope for a better tomorrow. It may.not be race, or class, or gender, but together we can trade fairly and live fairly.

Love wins. All lives matter.

I feel you feeling me feeling inclusive.

James K said...

Starbucks says employees only should call 911 if a situation becomes unsafe.


For example, if someone comes in wearing a MAGA cap.

mockturtle said...

Gordon Scott observes: Japan can handle these issues because Japan is full of Japanese, with a dollop of Koreans. Japan does not allow immigration, not above a tiny few. What's more, in this monoculture, there is a set of rule of behavior that are deeply ingrained. If you aren't born there, you will never understand them, not beyond the surface.

Yes. A visitor feels like the proverbial bull in a china shop, at least at first. One must become as Japanese as possible just to avoid collision. But the Japanese still observe the art of service. I fell in love with Kyoto but it would been hard, I suppose, to live there.

MadisonMan said...

Could a man use the woman’s restroom?

Starbucks bathrooms have no gender specification. At least the ones I've been in in the past couple years.

As a rule, I avoid Starbucks. Their coffee tastes burnt to me.

Rob said...

Why do I feel like half the commenters here are all Lazlo these days?

Rob said...

Not that that would be a bad thing, of course.

MayBee said...

So homeless people is in itself a problem.

Yes, homelessness is a huge problem in Los Angeles. And you are right that public hygiene is a problem, especially where there are large groups of homeless people living somewhere. But in this case, the homeless people usually had a coffee or a beverage, and so they had every right to be there.

mockturtle said...

Here in LA, public libraries now function as de facto homeless shelters.

Darrell, this was the case in Seattle as far back as I remember. And other cities, as well. It pays to pick up your books at a satellite location.

JAORE said...

first ask a fellow employee to verify that a certain behavior is disruptive and if it is, respectfully request that the customer stop. Starbucks says employees only should call 911 if a situation becomes unsafe....

Big gap here....
Barista: Sir, I hate to disturb you, but your loud talking is disturbing our other customers.
Loud Talker: OK, I WILL TONE IT DOWN.
(Five minutes later) Barista: Sir, you are still disturbing others with your loud talk.
LT: FINE. I UNDERSTAND! DO YOU KNOW I'M HISPANIC?(Barista scurries away and engages in hurried, worried communications with the other workers. Now they wait 30 minutes praying - in a nonsecular, non-judgemental way - for the problem to just GO AWAY!)
Barista: Sir. I hope I am not reflecting negatively on your proud, wonderful Hispanic heritage, of whatever flavor, but others continue to complain about the noise.
LT: I DON'T MEAN TO DISTURB ANYONE. QUIET IT IS.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Maybe Pajama Boy Barista will be sent over to show toxic near-masculinity. LT continues as before. Obnoxiously loud, but unfailingly polite. Then what?

mockturtle said...

As a rule, I avoid Starbucks. Their coffee tastes burnt to me.

Yes. The beans are over-roasted. I buy Peet's.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Yes. A visitor feels like the proverbial bull in a china shop, at least at first.

I first visited Japan with my three oldest daughters who were then 5, 3, and 1. We travelled as lightly as possible, and did our best to be out of the way, but still required a baby backpack for the youngest and a small stroller for the 3 year old. The Japanese were unfailingly polite, helpful, kind and admiring of my little redheads but I still was extremely aware of how much space we were taking up. I also felt enormous, at 5'3" and 130 pounds.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Darrell, this was the case in Seattle as far back as I remember. And other cities, as well. It pays to pick up your books at a satellite location.

Remember when they opened the new, "architecturally stunning," downtown library, back in the 90s? I was still in school and we toured it on a field trip. It was full of homeless people even then. And now we have free computers and internet and the courts finding that patrons have the right to view as much porn as they want on them. Wheeeeee ain't we got fun!

mockturtle said...

Misplaced, yes, I remember it well. We just can't have nice things, can we? I also remember when I had to stop shopping at Pike Place Market because of the aggressive panhandlers. And that was in the 80's.

Sebastian said...

"But socially and politically, what do you do?" You give in to prog pressure.

"You've been criticized in a sudden spate and you're suddenly sticking out" You've been criticized: why the passive voice? Suddenly sticking out: as a useful target for prog blackmail.

tim in vermont said...

Emptying the sanitariums was a great idea, BTW.

As for Ann Arbor Starbucks, Michigan went red, the wrong shade, so I am claiming that the indicator of a strong foundation of Midwestern values there held. When I go to a Starbucks, I usually see business types, not Hippies.

Best Starbucks? Glad you asked! Daytona, Florida right on the ocean.

Owen said...

JAORE: good sketch of how the game will be played. And it IS (often) a game, where a grievance-hustler will work the corporate policy until s/he identifies a weak point, and can go all outraged, with the concomitant uptick in Twittering and then a hasty offer from the offending company's PR/Legal group. "Just make it go away."
The employees at the specific store are cannon fodder. They are bound to screw up and their documentation of "what really happened" can never match the aggressive agenda-driven confabulations of their "customers."

Short SBUX.

MikeD said...

Any company that convince the consumer burnt coffee beans are tasty can do whatever it wants.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is as if the CEO and others "in charge" have never had a real job working with the public.

So, now instead of just being busy dealing with the regular run of the mill entitled, impatient, hipster assholes; the barely more than minimum wage workers are expected to be doing guard duty and policing the druggies, homeless and mentally ill, who have been invited to invade the premises. As if they have the TIME or desire to be the resident police. Not to mention, ok I will, that they are not expected to put themselves in actual danger.

The normal regular customers will be staying away in droves. The clueless executives will be scratching their heads wondering where the profits went. The shareholders (if they haven't already, which is MY recommendation) will be selling their stock.

Hey.....Starbucks. You are supposed to be a business, not running the Salvation Army soup kitchen or a halfway house for drug addicts.

Dunkin' Donuts is looking better all the time

Clyde said...

Having just watched the latest episode of Westworld yesterday, which was set in Shogun World, the architectural style looked familiar. Some of you might find this YouTube clip about the creation of the episode interesting:

BTS: Shogun World

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

"It said disruptive behaviors include smoking, drug or alcohol use, improper use of restrooms and sleeping... Other examples of disruptive behavior include talking too loud, playing loud music and viewing inappropriate content."

Same old RACISM at Starbucks. SMH!

AllenS said...

I'm having a large mug of Folgers Gourmet supreme (dark) coffee, with Land O Lakes Rich & Creamy half & half, and it's pretty dang tasty.

tim in vermont said...

Degustabus non disptarum, or something like that. I think Starbucks coffee is good. You run into a great cup of coffee once in a while, but for every day, it's fine.

The last great coffee I had was this spring in Westport, NY, made with that amazing Adirondack water that comes right out of the tap!, imagine using Saratoga water in your coffee maker, and made with precision and pride by the owner. Seriously about that water, it feels like a crime to use it to flush a toilet.

narayanan said...

Starbucks is model for Soros' Open Society

Easiest to rename homeless shelters/camps Starbucks

as Ellsworth Toohey might say "if you turn the whole world into shithole, no one will smell shitty"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Coffee: Costco San Francisco French Roast beans. Several pound (I think) bag $15.00. Opened bag is stored in the freezer. We grind the beans daily for our coffee. Made in our Cuisinart drip machine. Half & half or whipping cream....just a splash. Like AllenS. Tasty. Fresh. We take turns getting each other a cup of coffee until the pot is empty.

For $15.00 we get at least a months worth of our AM coffee. The nearest Starbucks from us is over 80 miles away. I've been to a Starbucks s few times with some work colleagues when I was on those broker/dealer away conferences. I wasn't impressed.

Michael McNeil said...

I have been asked to leave a coffee shop when they decided I wasn’t consuming enough of the proprietor’s product for the time spent there — but never had a Starbucks do so. The latter have always been super laid back in this regard, but then I haven’t tried to push my luck — beyond the rather remarkable extent that I found that they happily allowed.

Here’s what I used to do — after ceasing to patronize that other establishment — at Starbucks. (A few years back I didn’t have access to an office, so for couple of years I spent quite a bit of time at one of several possible Starbucks in the area: blue-blue Santa Cruz County, California, south of San Francisco.)

I don’t drink coffee, mind you. At the (non-Starbucks) place I used to frequent I’d buy a cup of tea every time — but at Starbucks I don’t like their tea, and so there I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing my own quality teabag (Twinings Earl Grey, $0.15 each), then marching (politely) up to the front counter and requesting of the barrista one (1) cup of hot water.

He or she, in turn, would (equally politely and with a smile) bring the piping-hot water — in, of course, a Starbucks cup complete with insulated holder. I’d then place a $1 bill into the tipjar, turn to the condiments table, steep my teabag, add sugar and (half-and-half) milk, then sit down at a nearby table and work on my laptop there for the next 3-4 hours. (About halfway through the session I’d ask for a refill of hot water and steep another cup of tea from my same teabag.) I did this maybe 100-200 times. Nobody ever said squat to me (or even just gave me the hairy eyeball) about it.

Not sure what would have happened though if I hadn’t left that daily tip in the tipjar….

exhelodrvr1 said...

Char Char,
""It said disruptive behaviors include smoking, drug or alcohol use, improper use of restrooms and sleeping... Other examples of disruptive behavior include talking too loud, playing loud music and viewing inappropriate content."

Same old RACISM at Starbucks. SMH!"

I agree - those are clearly racist dog whistles!

Rae said...

*sigs* *adds book about Japanese architecture to amazon list* *looks at pile of unread books*

mockturtle said...

Hey.....Starbucks. You are supposed to be a business, not running the Salvation Army soup kitchen or a halfway house for drug addicts., suggests DBQ.

Inch-->Mile

This new 'policy' cannot end well.

Anonymous said...

This is going to end very badly. How long does it take for a situation to go from "disruptive" to dangerous: a second; a fraction of a second? Starbucks is essentially welcoming people whose activities/lives are anti-social and forcing their employees to deal with that blanket policy on a case by case basis, and, as we keep saying, when you need them NOW the police are only 10 minutes away. I would certainly have serious second thoughts about working at Starbucks if I were a young woman (guys are supposed to be able to look out for themselves).

Ryan said...

Racial discord at your local Starbucks!

*George Soros rubbing his hands together and grinning*

Anonymous said...

@ Whitney Try Coffee AM for some great coffees at great prices and with quick delivery. Link.

Freeman Hunt said...

You have to get the Starbucks blonde roast instead of the Pike's Place. The blonde roast is good.

Freeman Hunt said...

Kyoto has strict codes so that buildings blend in. It's like Martha's Vineyard or Hilton Head Island here; stores must conform to a certain look.

Someone I know recently went to Kyoto. Absolutely gorgeous.

Freeman Hunt said...

I facilitate a Bible study at a local McDonald's one night a week. Because of the particular location, many homeless people and drug addicts come in and out and rest. I do not think the customers at the nearby Starbucks will stick around if the same crowd moves over there.

PM said...

In SF, Starbucks'll become a BART station w/o trains.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

"I do not think the customers at the nearby Starbucks will stick around if the same crowd moves over there"

Starbucks is betting on the idea that the vast majority of those willing to pay for their overpriced fancy coffees are virtue-signaling SJWs who are willing to put up with bad behavior as long as the bad actor has greater SJW entitlement than zyrself, and that their employees are going to keep giving service with a smile shift after shift despite the added abuse they're now supposed to take.

I have a feeling they will lose this bet, but still make money in civilized countries such as Japan.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

The thing about Starbucks is... McDonald's has better coffee. Lots better. That's a newish situation, but they decided it was something that could be important to them, and wasn't rocket-science their burger flippers couldn't handle and they developed the procedures. Maybe that doesn't apply for all the 9 word espresso drinks, but I don't understand going to SB for "coffee".

Vimax Medan said...

CHLOROFORM DI PAPUA
CHLOROPHYLL DI PAPUA
LIQUID DI PAPUA
TRIVAM DI PAPUA
SLEEPING BEAUTY DI PAPUA 
CHLOROFORM DI JAKARTA
CHLOROPHYLL DI JAKARTA
LIQUID DI JAKARTA
TRIVAM DI JAKARTA
SLEELPING BEAUTY DI JAKARTA

Original Mike said...

”Starbucks is betting on the idea that the vast majority of those willing to pay for their overpriced fancy coffees are virtue-signaling SJWs who are willing to put up with bad behavior ...”

More likely it will turn the light-bulb on for more than a few SJWs.

rehajm said...

imagine using Saratoga water in your coffee maker

Springs in Saratoga tend to be carbonated and rich with sulfur and the accompanying odor of rotten eggs.

NYC tap water regularly wins competitions for best tasting in the state.

tim in vermont said...

NYC tap water regularly wins competitions for best tasting in the state.

OK. Sure. Whatever makes you feel better, I am not saying the New York City water that they get from Upstate isn’t really good, but not every well in the Adirondacks spews sulphur and I doubt that NYC could win a competition against every well in the state, including those where the water is sterilized with UV, rather than chorine.

tim in vermont said...

The New York State Tap Water Taste Contest is a non-scientific, friendly competition intended to highlight the importance of taste and quality in drinking water.

The results were announced this week at the final round of the competition at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. More than 200 fairgoers put their taste buds to the test to select the winner from six water systems that won regional contests. The finalists competing in the championship round were:

· Western Region – City of Canandaigua
· Central Region – Village of Remsen (Statewide Runner Up)
· Northern Region – Village of Malone
· Capital Region – Town of Rotterdam (Statewide Winner) <<- Not far from Saratoga!
· Metropolitan Region – City of White Plains


rehajm said...

Capital Region – Town of Rotterdam (Statewide Winner) <<- Not far from Saratoga!

Sure, whatever makes you feel better. Niskayuna won some contest in 2017 for best tap water- even closer to Saratoga!

One more: Saratoga not exactly in the Adirondacks, either.

tim in vermont said...

I was talking about Westport, NY, which nobody knows where it is without Googling it, I brought up Saratoga because I was comparing the water to their bottled water, since people may have experience with that. Westport is in the Adirondack Park. Saratoga... what the fuck am I doing?!?!?! You should go there for The Travers this summer, it’s great fun.

I will leave it at this, if you want a truly great espresso, try the little cafe in Westport whose name I can’t remember. Don’t worry, it’s a tiny town, you will find it.

Earnest Prole said...

Homogenous societies operate entirely differently than heterogeneous societies.

wildswan said...

I can only say that Starbucks brand is damaged for me. I no longer imagine relaxing, drinking coffee and doing computer stuff; instead I imagine scenes with homeless people or non-scenes with baristas ignoring problems. As a result, as noted above, their coffee suddenly also became problematic; I don't want the associations. In Milwaukee there's plenty of other places with more comfortable chairs and better coffee. Nothing has happened here and I don't expect it either, this is Wisconsin - but this frog has jumped without the pot even getting warmer.

Freeman Hunt said...

A man at the McDonald's told me that he was the love child of Elvis and Rita Hayworth, descended from space. A guy at another local McDonald's told me that the Moon was a Death Star, like in Star Wars. Lots of space-themed conversations at McDonald's. Maybe the conversations at Starbucks could have another theme for balance.