"Uncomfortable" Starbucks Employees Respond To Becoming "World's Biggest Public Toilet"

Starbucks employees are bristling after being forced to sit through an entire day of training on racial bias on Tuesday, following an April incident in which a Philadelphia manager called the police on a pair of black men who were sitting in the store without having purchased anything, which sparked a nationwide protest and culminated with Starbucks becoming "America's largest public toilet."

In order to atone for the now-fired manager's poor judgement, Starbucks rolled out a new "inclusiveness" policy - shuttering 8,000 locations for a day of "Color Brave" training which included several documentary videos, notebooks for employees to record their "private thoughts," and a 68-page employee guidebook which teaches employees about topics such as institutional racism and the history of prejudice. 

According to the WSJ, "they also listened to a series of audio recordings of Starbucks employees describing interactions they have had with customers in which their own biases became apparent."

The whole thing made many employees, especially African Americans, highly uncomfortable.

"I don’t think Starbucks realized how uncomfortable it would be for people of color to have to watch these videos and talk about this," said biracial shift supervisor Jamie Prater to the Journal, adding "But sometimes we need to be uncomfortable."

"Cordell Lewis, manager of the Ferguson, Mo., Starbucks, was among the employees who said the training seemed to make some African-Americans uncomfortable. He said he could see employees’ shoulders tighten as they leaned forward in their chairs."

The company's new inclusiveness training also warned employees not to accidentally mistake scruffy looking husbands for homeless men.

In one, an employee recalled seeing a scruffy-looking man approach a woman in line and hold out his hand to her, after which the woman got money out of her purse. The employee said she went up to the man and told him panhandling isn’t allowed in the store. The woman informed her the man was her husband.

As we noted yesterday, Starbucks rolled back a key provision in their new "inclusiveness" policy which would allow vagrants to use the coffee chain as a homeless shelter. 

On occasion, the circumstances of a customer’s disruptive behavior may make it necessary to prohibit that customer from returning to our stores.

And while the "inclusiveness" training taught employees about institutional racism and not to discriminate against the homeless, others - predictably - felt Starbucks wasn't inclusive enough.

Mr. Lewis, who is biracial, also said the emphasis on relations between black and white people left some employees feeling excluded, something he raised with company leaders. “I have trans partners and Philippine partners, and they were like, ‘What about me?’”

Yet other employees were turned off by the whole thing.

One black barista in Connecticut told The Journal "it's just to save face. It doesn't mean anything." Another barista from Ohio who is white said that he found the training "wishy-washy," and that "I went in with an open mind. I was hoping we'd go through scenarios of how customers might feel in certain scenario and how to make them not feel that way." 

Still, some white employees found the training eye-opening.

Krystie Ward, a barista in Patchogue, N.Y., said Tuesday’s training was enlightening, particularly a short documentary produced for Starbucks by filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr. that detailed the history of access to public spaces for African-Americans. It featured a black man describing how he is often followed around stores by employees who suspect he is going to steal something. He said he has to be aware of the way he acts every time he leaves his house, like making sure to keep his hands visible in certain places.

“That was really powerful to me, because I couldn’t imagine living my life like that,” said Ward, who is white.

* * *

Starbucks said there will be continuing education around diversity and bias, but the company hasn’t shared details of what that will entail. in doing so, it risks alienating the silent majority of employees who are already on the fence about the company's virtue signalling policies:

“The baristas are already doing five or 10 things, including taking out the garbage and cleaning the bathrooms,” said Prater. “We’re already struggling to provide the bare minimum of customer service, so when you throw in this, how do we even do this? This is a lot.”


Dr.Strangelove Fri, 06/01/2018 - 18:08 Permalink

I will be heading to Starbucks to order a Grande Latte, and I will have them write my Pseudonym (Trump) on the cup.

Then I will head to the bathroom, and I may accidentally drop the cup in the sink.

My Bad!


FireBrander bamawatson Fri, 06/01/2018 - 18:17 Permalink

SB's inside local stores (grocery, etc.); never seen a black employee at any of them.

Racism in hiring? 

Blacks not applying?

SB's should not be 100% white employees...25% min black/hispanic..execs need to step up and get this done...ONE IN 4 WORKERS SHOULD NOT BE WHITE!

Anyone ever seen SB advertising aimed at blacks? More racism at the top level!



In reply to by bamawatson

philipat Liosnagcat Fri, 06/01/2018 - 19:35 Permalink

Can I just get a cup of coffee without the virtue signalling, political correctness and "progressive" politics, please? Oh, and since I am overpaying for a poor quality cup of coffee, can I sit in a comfortable environment that I am paying a premium for without the homeless shelter around me? You might find that folks like me are the backbone of your business. Thanks in advance.

In reply to by Liosnagcat

Beam Me Up Scotty MANvsMACHINE Fri, 06/01/2018 - 20:08 Permalink

" SB's should not be 100% white employees...25% min black/hispanic..execs need to step up and get this done...ONE IN 4 WORKERS SHOULD NOT BE WHITE! "

Ever go to a hospital?  Are female nurses on staff proportionate to males---exactly the same as the female to male ratio of the population?  NO.  There are still more female nurses than male nurses.  Just because every job in the land doesn't exactly conform to the proportionate population density, doesn't mean there is racism.

The NHL is mostly white.  The NBA and NFL are mostly black.  Is that because the NHL is racist?  OR because blacks would rather play football or basketball, than hockey??

In reply to by MANvsMACHINE

Lore bigkahuna Sun, 06/03/2018 - 02:08 Permalink

Starbucks is a mystery to me. I don't understand what some people see in it. The ambience is uninviting. The coffee tastes burnt. The menu is overpriced. The logo is based on a woman spreading her legs. The seating is uncomfortable. The lighting is glaring and nerve-wracking. The atmosphere reminds me of a Sears cosmetics department: institutional and pretentious. Typical clientele are frail young men and overweight middle-aged women.

I'd rather go to a local independent café any day. It's more comfortable and 'real.'  Moreover, the food is good, reasonably-priced, and made in-house.

"Social Justice" strikes me as strategically inflammatory: "Political Correctness" weaponized. Many SJWs seem to have chips on their shoulders, apparently covering for shortcomings. The more they flog their narrative, the more it fosters alienation and affirms the critical value judgement it's supposedly intended to undermine.

In reply to by bigkahuna

Trogdor Lore Sun, 06/03/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

"Social Justice" strikes me as strategically inflammatory: "Political Correctness" weaponized."

It IS strategic.  What you are seeing is classic Communism.  "Political Correctness" is a Communist concept with the end goal of destroying the culture - and it's succeeding to a large extent.  Why do you think the (Communist) media gives this insanity so much exposure/air time? 

This is a classic example of one of the myriad ways that Communism erodes and eventually destroys the host culture.  My friends who escaped from Communist countries all see it - but Americans are so fucking head-up-ass I have to wonder if the nation can pull out of the death-spiral....

In reply to by Lore

SoDamnMad Beam Me Up Scotty Sat, 06/02/2018 - 02:31 Permalink

The NHL is mostly white because blacks don't want to be slammed into the boards and not be allowed to sue for some dumb ass legal reason. The also feel that jumping up after being checked and not being able to sucker punch an opponent is racist because you would have to sit in the penalty box in front of everyone and be shamed while your team plays one short.

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty