Coerced courtesy in your pricey coffee?

Starbucks Double Shot. Bring on the day.” – Company slogan.

J U X T A P O S E  C O U R T E S Y  A N D  B U S I N E S S  S E N S E

Today May 29, 2018 is the day when coffee business mogul Starbucks Coffee will be informing its employees the basics of a business 101 course: customers are important and that personal paranoia should be left in the employee locker room.

For a measly few hours this afternoon all of the companies employees will be sitting in a room with Human Resource instructors who  will inform them somewhat candidly that you cannot always judge a book by its cover and that a lack of common sense can jeopardize your business plans and bottom line.

Starbucks’ target market is often described as affluent or high income (around $90,000). That’s why every affluent neighborhood has a Starbucks not far away.

However, numerous Starbucks cafes are surrounded by middle-income neighborhoods where people don’t have such high incomes. Why? Because these people also have discretionary income and are willing to spend it on premium coffee drinks.

They may not splurge on other things as often as the higher income customers, but they enjoy treating themselves to their favorite coffee and, sometimes, a breakfast sandwich, snack or dessert to go with it.

In a nutshell if you appear to not be the type of customer Starbuck’s employees cater to than any suspicious activity on your part will be reason enough for alarmed employees to call the police for a hand to escort you immediately off the premises.

A video of two black men being arrested from a Starbucks in Philadelphia went viral after witnesses say they did not do anything wrong.

The video shows two black men being escorted out of the Starbucks in handcuffs.

Melissa DePino, who posted the video to Twitter, claims the two were waiting for a friend and that the police were called because they did not order anything.

“The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing,” DePino wrote.

Let’s hope that the HR department will be able to enlighten the companies’ employees to be a bit more patient with potential customers.

Not everyone might be the firm’s cup of tea but that is no reason to panic and call in reinforcements to incite tense situations. – gc



  1. In America these days it may be said that we’re a nation divided. Too many see differences and a lot are more paranoid than ever before. The color card is one of those divides. I think the world has been trying to solve that one since Cain and Abel (if you’re a bible reader) or at least for a very long time.

    Your post reminded me of an incident that happened to me personally once a long time ago. Nothing to do with the color card, but the event does echo that ‘judging books by their covers’ theme.

    It was New Year’s Day and hubby and I went to a box chain store that sold appliances. We were going to get a new TV. Hubby, a truck driver, always dressed very casually, and he sported a full face beard and mustache, and mostly looked down at the heels. I didn’t have to work and so I too was dressed in some rather shabby clothes, as I had been doing some housework.

    Hubby had $1,000 in his pocket, in cash, to buy the TV. Not ONE salesclerk would help us. They pretended we were invisible, or just walked off rapidly in the other direction when we approached. Finally, disgusted, hubby buttonholed one of them and asked to see the manager.

    A nervous guy came over and hubby showed him the money. Said “We were here to buy a TV, but apparently nobody wants to SELL us one. Your loss.” and walked out the door, to cries of distress from the manager, who saw a hefty commission on it’s way out the door.

    Taught ME never EVER to judge others by how they look or dress or the color of their skin. That’s stupidity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is amazing that managers are often nervous types of guys who dread the thought of dealing with mistreated customers.

      I am glad you and your hubby did what you did and impressed the fact on the manager that it was his financial loss that his staff had jeopardized.


    • That reminds me of the film Pretty Woman. I loved it when Julia Roberts went back to the ‘posh shop’ to show them what they’d missed out on!

      Leaving skin colour aside, rightly or wrongly, it’s human nature to judge on first appearances, and unfortunately we all do it, though that’s the first time I’ve heard of someone not being served in an electrical store because they weren’t dressed smartly enough!

      So from one woman to another, just between us and I won’t tell anyone… What on earth were you wearing? !! 😀


  2. I understand that even now in the 21st century, there are some states in the USA where racism is rife and black people are not welcome. Was this one of those states?

    What ever happened to simply asking the potential customers “Can I help you?” Why on earth would you call the police? Do coffee shops regularly get robbed? Would they have done the same if the two people in question had been white? What is with the police, why did they arrest them?


  3. If it was a big chain like Wal-mart, it wouldn’t faze them a bit.

    My granddaughter worked at Starbucks and loved it.

    One day a woman came in with an old cup and asked for a free refill. The clerks weren’t allowed to do that and offered the discount even though it was not from the same day or store. The woman said ok.

    My GD filled her request. The lady accepted the cup and instead of paying, threw the hot coffee in my g.daughter’s face. Luckily she did not suffer any scars from the event.

    Discrimination is prevalent and not much has changed from living in TX in the sixties, no matter where you are.


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