Starbucks, Rock Star Of The Great Stupid!

A statement by virtue-signaling addict and Starbucks’s chief executive, Howard Schultz that the company is considering ending its open bathroom policy has provoked speculation in the conservative media and blogosphere that “The Great Stupid (my term, not theirs) is finally receding. Don’t count on it.

Before discussing Schultz’s sudden epiphany, let’s review, shall we? Ethics Alarms last visited this particularly deranged bit of progressive Kabuki four years ago under the heading, “The Tragedy Of The Commons Bites Starbucks (Good!).” I wrote in part,

Remember how Starbucks responded to being race-shamed when a Philadelphia store manager told two black men to either buy something or leave the store? It decreed that anyone could hang out at stores without having to be customers, and use the bathrooms too.  Any fool could predict that this policy would be disastrous….progressive! Compassionate! But disastrous. Now we learn:

A New York Post team investigated several Manhattan bathrooms and found that there wasn’t an open stall.

…A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged “cleaning,” which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug-using, incontinent vagrants.

“Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in,” an employee at one branch fumed.

“Rest Room closed,” declared signs at 399 Seventh Ave. (entrance on West 32nd Street) and at a branch at Pearl Street and Maiden Lane. At 252 W. 31st St., the road to relief was blocked by garbage cans. Furniture and boxes formed a barrier at 61 W. 56th St.

A rope and traffic cones barred the way at 38 Park Row. When a desperate visitor asked if the loo would reopen any time soon, a barista directed him to a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby.

Why would the bathrooms need “prolonged cleaning”? Perhaps the experience of the Seattle shops provides an explanation:

Several Starbucks workers in Seattle say that they’re encountering hypodermic needles on the job nearly every day and that they’ve had to take antiviral medications to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis.

Three employees at the coffee giant in northern Seattle told the local news station KIRO 7 that visitors would dispose of the needles in store restrooms, often in tampon-disposal boxes, and that workers would then come in contact with them while cleaning and were sometimes accidentally poked.

KIRO 7 said the three employees provided hospital, pharmacy, and insurance receipts showing that they took antiviral medications to protect against HIV and hepatitis after being poked by needles at work.

Providing extra safety training and prophylactic care for employees can be expensive. The extra costs could have been a contributing factor in a spate of recent layoffs.

Starbucks will lay off 350 corporate employees amid a broader effort to revamp its global operations even as the coffeehouse chain’s former top executive gears up for a 2020 presidential bid.

Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson announced the 5 percent reduction of Starbucks’ global workforce in a staff email on Tuesday, writing that the layoffs are “a result of work that has been eliminated, de-prioritized or shifting ways of working within the company.”

Ethics Alarms added, “Ignore the Tragedy of the Commons at your peril,” after noting that the story had “everything: justice, lessons in obvious consequences, ‘Get woke, go broke’ and so much more!” That was four years ago! The idiocy and guaranteed failure of this pandering scheme was immediately obvious to anyone whose brain wasn’t completely shot full of holes with wokism, and yet it took four years for reality to intrude on rainbow and lollipop fantasy. (Even “defund the police” revealed its invalidity more quickly.)

Back to CEO Schultz (not to be confused with “Hogan’s Heroes” clown Sgt. Schultz, whose catch-phrase was “I know nothing—Nothing!” Or maybe, come to think of it…): he admitted last week that a “growing mental health problem” was making it difficult for his company’s employees to manage its stores under the open bathrooms policies, and that he thought Starbucks might have to put policies in place that limit the number of non-customers who come into its stores. “We have to harden our stores and provide safety for our people,” Mr. Schultz said. “I don’t know if we can keep our bathrooms open.”

That’s funny. I do.

I did four years ago.

5 thoughts on “Starbucks, Rock Star Of The Great Stupid!

  1. Just like the “pay what you want to” restaurants, “$1000 free shoplifting” laws, “no cash bail, no prosecution”, etc., etc., (and maaaaybe “open borders”, ya think?), the left seems to have created uncountable examples of this type of idiocy. Some will be counted this November.

  2. What went wrong. As a kid in the ‘fifties and ‘sixties, I don’t remember ever having a problem accessing a public restroom. Sure, when we were on car trips, the restrooms in gas stations, sort of maintained by the mechanics-in-residence, could be not exactly sparkling, but restrooms were never locked and available for use by the customers of whatever establishment they were located in. Rarely were they locked. When did the populace begin consistently abusing the hospitality and consideration of businesses on such a massive scale?

    • In my experience, it’s dependent on location. In downtown billings, where the vagrants hang out, restaurants have to buzz you in to the bathroom. Elsewhere in Billings, they’re pretty much all open. For whatever reason, the abusers are concentrated in specific regions.

  3. A bit off topic, but here goes: My eldest daughter worked for a while at a Starbucks in the Boston area. She told me especially nasty customers sometimes were served with non-caffinated drinks. She didn’t say that she was one of those who did this . . . Yeah, unethical I know, but really funny!

  4. Even race shame has its limits. It’s one thing to open your bathrooms when the alternative might be an angry mob destroying the store altogether. It’s another when the angry mobs have receded, but the customers have not returned. I drink Starbucks coffee maybe three or four times a year at the most, if and when I drop by my local Barnes and Noble and I’m in the mood and as part of my yearly holiday treat when I visit NYC and photograph the store windows (this has not happened the last two Xmases). I do not like or need it so much that I need to enter their stores and risk encountering needles in the bathrooms or homeless people who smell like wharf rats. When you’re selling something that people don’t need and is easily available somewhere else, you really can’t afford to create a less than welcoming environment.

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