When you invite a junkie into your house, you can’t have nice stuff

It’s just the rule. Every generation learns it in their own way.

For a while they think that their new drug of choice is better/safer/not as destructive as those stupid junkies of previous generations, but it always ends up with you wondering where your re-sellable stuff like records, CDs, iPods, Bose headphones, etc. disappeared.

The latest group of people to learn this lesson the hard way is that purveyor of sugary warm milkshakes for adults, Starbucks. They are having to install needle disposal bins in their bathrooms.

Apparently, this is a brilliant idea, because “inclusion”.

An alternative explanation is that this happened;

In April 2018, 2 men entered a Starbucks in Philadelphia, and sat at a table without placing an order. After a while, thy were asked to either buy something or leave. They refused both of those options, the police were called and, as they still wouldn’t buy something or leave, were arrested for trespassing.

Oh, additional fact; their skin colour wasn’t white.

Boom! Racism!

Cue viral social media outrage, protests, boycotts, hand-wringing and accusations of systemic “isms” everywhere in the hot beverage retail industry.

I’ve yet to find an interview with either of the gentleman concerned where they are asked, “so why didn’t you just buy a filter coffee for $1.85 and avoid the inevitable unpleasantness that any reasonable person could have anticipated?”. If any reader of this can find one, please add a link in the comments.

Whether or not there is systemic racism in the Starbucks’ corporate culture is not a particularly interesting question, mainly because it seems so unlikely; black people have money and drink coffee too, as long as they follow the basic rules of polite society in their stores, Starbucks would be foolish to do anything which might discourage their business.

No, the fun is to be had in the response by Starbucks to the hashtag campaigns and the consequences of their response.

Frightened witless, the management sent every staff member on a re-education course and changed the policy about using their stores without needing to make a purchase.

Here’s the list of things they hoped people wouldn’t do in response;

• No using drugs. Drug deals and use are one of the few things that employees are told to respond to with a 911 call, The Wall Street Journal reports. Employees are now encouraged to call 911 only if a situation presents immediate danger to employees or customers. So, presumably Starbucks’s stores are now the equivalent of a sovereign state with USA laws selectively applied.

• No breaking the law, including stealing or indecent exposure. Or else what?

• No drinking.

• No watching porn.

• No smoking.

• No napping.

• No talking too loudly or playing loud music.

• No disrupting others in hygiene maintenance, by doing things such as cutting nails.

• No obscenity or unwanted sexual advances.

• No panhandling or solicitation.

I quite like the “no talking too loudly” one. Having just suffered 3 hours on a train in Europe in a carriage with a millennial American who was FaceTiming his girlfriend, I’m wondering whether there’s a different definition of “talking too loudly” in the USA to other countries? Oh, and is there a competition to see how many times the word “like” can be shoe-horned into a bloody sentence?

I digress.

In a surprise to absolutely nobody, all of those “do not” rules were broken, particularly the one about not using the bathroom to shoot up, but the employees were too shit scared to call the police for fear of having a Twitter mob piling on and their piss weak management firing them.

Bill’s Opinion

Don’t invite junkies into your place, even if it means the Twitter outrage mob inflicting a severe case of hashtagging.

Also, if you’re the management of a large corporation being subjected to a bullying campaign that’s not based on fact, hold your damn nerve as they will find another target and will still want to buy your stuff next week.

12 Replies to “When you invite a junkie into your house, you can’t have nice stuff”

    1. Hmm, maybe. Or perhaps it’s given them more capacity as people who dislike sharing space with junkies just grab a takeout?

      1. When you have a junkie in your house, you can’t invite good people to visit. Junkies are extraordinary talented at pickpocketing and other forms of abstraction, while in full view. Once Starbucks becomes known as an opium den, smart people will stay away anyway.

        1. Smart people didn’t go to Starbucks in the first place. The coffee is just terrible. The slip they sell at McCafé is on a par and half the price.
          It’s interesting how few Starbucks there are in Australia. I think I’ve seen 4 in total across all the cities I’ve visited, usually right next to the top tourist site in each city.

          1. Starbucks had zillions of shops in Australia, went bust in a spectacular fashion 10 years or more ago.
            This link from 2008 is probably the most stupid analysis of why Starbucks failed in Oz – but it is the only contemporary account I can easily find.

            This one from last year at least has some (very broad) statistics to support “thuh feelz”

            Both articles may have a good point about how to not roll out a franchise or chain in a new country – but the problems of Starbucks ran much deeper than a stupid & superficial “Ozzis are sooooo incredibly cultured & knowledgeable about thuh coffiedrink that we shore chased them dumb yankee starbucks all the way back to the states, haw haw haw…..”

          2. Ah, that’s interesting (even if the narrator sounds like he/she is 12).

            As you infer, I do wonder how much of the reason for failure was Starbucks’ strategy or simply that they had just expanded rapidly just prior to everything going pop in 2008?

            Sure, Australians are known for their discerning taste and gastronomic subtlety but they also drink VB and eat meat pies. They also have a tendency to grab everything from imported from the USA very enthusiastically.

            The balance of probability says it was a timing issue.

  1. Please don’t judge Americans by the ones you come across in your country. We send out our worst. Especially if they’re young and most especially if they’re in Australia.

        1. Groan.

          They have T shirts for sale with the Aussie road sign design and the words, “no kangaroos in Austria”.

          I wondered who buys them. Now I know…..

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