Scenes From a Starbucks

Starbucks is one of America’s growing cadre of “woke” companies. Now that one need not be a customer to hang out in a Starbucks store, the inevitable consequences are beginning to appear. These observations were penned by a friend of mine:

When I quit smoking, coffee replaced cigarettes and I’ve been frequenting a Starbucks in downtown Minneapolis twice a day since November, 2017. One day in March 2018, I couldn’t. The branch, like every other one nationwide, had closed so staff could be trained in some sort of ‘social justice’ thing after some guys were kicked out of a Starbucks in Philadelphia for not buying anything. Starbucks’ response was to make their branches ‘safe spaces’ for anyone, whether they had bought anything or not.

At that point, Starbucks stopped being a chain of coffee shops and turned into a network of public urinals and flop houses with a coffee bar attached.

You might not have seen this in some of the suburban branches. But the branch I go to downtown quickly filled up with non-paying”customers” who would get their complimentary water – in a planet-suffocating plastic cup with plastic straw, no less – and make themselves at home. Often, around half the seating in this branch was taken up by people with these complimentary drinks, charging their phones, with their baggage spread out around them.

Many of these people were perfectly pleasant. But many of them were not. I saw arguments. I saw fights. I saw paying customers pestered for money. I saw people helping themselves to food without paying. I saw people breaking out a speaker and blaring their music out, whether anyone else wanted to hear it or not. I saw groups of people disappearing into the bathroom together. I saw another guy’s butt.

I’ve done a few “nametag and hairnet” jobs in my time, so I felt sorry for the staff, who have never been anything less than thoroughly professional and courteous. Here they were, without the wages or training to do so, having to act as counselors to people with drug and mental health issues, all so some millionaire CEO somewhere could feel #woke. They thought they were going to be working at a trendy coffee shop, they ended up in the Double Deuce from the movie Road House instead.

This winter, the situation got so bad that the management had to act. Half of the branch’s seats – the comfortable ones by the window – were removed. A security camera was installed, with the goings on at the back of the store by the bathroom being broadcast on a big screen. A private security guard was brought in to expel the more brazen offenders. “All Are Welcome” ceases to apply when people actually take you up on it.

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