Joo Joo Eyeballs

Two customers one cup Am I the only one who looks at this and snickers? Not only is it stupid politics and annoying extra work for baristas, but it’s also an exhortation to simultaneous orgasm.

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153 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    also? That’s all it ever was.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    Cum together.

    Right now.

    Over me.

    Beyond politics, I just assumed it was a call for egalitarian sex.

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    it’s also an exhortation to simultaneous orgasm.

    Don’t need no damn corporation telling me what to do with my 30 seconds.

  4. 4
    JenJen says:

    I rather enjoyed Gawker’s approach to this:

    D.C. Area Starbucks Employees: Please Draw Dicks On Your Customers’ Cups

    As many of you know, your CEO Howard Schultz, believes that “the national debt” is a “tremendously important, time-sensitive issue.” He encourages you to learn more about the “impending crisis” from the corporate-funded, CEO-friendly group Fix the Debt, which advocates for lower corporate tax rates and cuts to social services but refuses to take a stand on raising taxes on the rich.

    Schultz has asked you to write “Come Together” on coffee cups, because he is under the impression that the reason the debt hasn’t been “fixed” to his satisfaction is mutual intractability on the part of the United States’ two major political parties, and not that one of those parties is composed largely of incoherent millennialist right-wing paranoiacs.

    But rather than be bystanders to your boss’ naïve vision of political process, you have an opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to use your company’s scale for good.

    This week through December 28, I ask Starbucks employees in the Washington D.C. area to draw dicks on customers’ cups.

    It’s a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about! Imagine the power of your partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing crude drawings of a penis and balls, one cup at a time.

  5. 5
    kc says:

    If I bought Starbucks coffee, I’d write a response to the CEO on that cardboard thingie and mail it to his dumb ass.

  6. 6
    LT says:

    Wow. It’s like it’s 1978 again. (And I’m 15.)

    EDIT : Is that really the first time you thought of that?

  7. 7
    shortstop says:

    Well, it’s 2:30 central…the president and congressional leaders are coming together as we speak. I am guessing the quality of orgasm differs among the various parties involved.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @LT: If you are 15 you need to get the fuck off this blog.

  9. 9
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Got to be a joker he just do as he please

    Probably not the most useless gesture ever, but it’s up there.

  10. 10
    different-church-lady says:

    Am I the only one who looks at this and snickers?

    Of course I snicker at it: it’s a Starbucks cup.

    Oh, wait, you meant the handwritten inscription?

  11. 11
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Wasn’t there a Byrds or Hollies lyric that used ‘come together’? I’d swear there was but I’m drawing a blank. C’mon lazyweb. Help me out here.

  12. 12
    different-church-lady says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Probably not the most useless gesture ever, but it’s up there.

    It’s not the uselessness so much as it is the annoyingly deadly blend of uselessness, earnestness, and pretension.

  13. 13
    Napoleon says:

    @JenJen:

    Hey, that is a great idea!

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Try Highway Kind by Lyle:

    My days they are the highway kind
    They only come to leave
    But the leaving I don’t mind
    It’s the coming that I crave
    Pour the sun upon the ground
    Stand to throw a shadow
    Watch it grow into the night
    And fill the spinning sky

  15. 15
    Derelict says:

    Having the Starbucks employees do their master’s bidding to help push the discussion in the direction of lower taxes for those who don’t need the money should be the foundation for the coming revolution.

    Alas, it won’t be. And the barristas will dutifully scrawl whatever the boss askes them to. Because they and everyone else should be grateful that they are allowed to exist, much less have a demeaning job.

  16. 16
    Napoleon says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Wasn’t there a Byrds or Hollies lyric that used ‘come together’?

    You thinking of that Youngblood’s song?

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    @shortstop: Something like this?

  18. 18
    zmulls says:

    What if they repunctuated a little?

    Come. Together!

  19. 19
    LT says:

    @Raven: THAT is fucking hilarious. “Oh, okay, scary internet person! I go now from this blog in humble compliance!”

    Jesus, what a wanker.

    P.S. “It’s like it’s 1978 again. (And I’m 15.)”

  20. 20
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    He bag production, he got walrus gumboot
    He got Ono sideboard, he one spinal cracker

    It’s also quite annoying when Corporate directives demand that every Mgr and clerk at retail greet every customer with a broad smile of sincerity.

  21. 21

    That’s what I love about Balloon-Juicers; by the time I get to the place to post my come-back, all the good ones are taken.

    Apple Corps should sue the shit out of Starbucks.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    The Starbucks cup is designed for cats and dogs. I know this because my son’s cat is visiting for ten days. The cat lived here for awhile but as a visitor he has decided not to get along. Maybe the cup should just say no hissing permitted or can’t we all just coexist. f.ck it. I’m boycotting Starbucks cuz their new motto doesn’t work.

  23. 23
    Woodrowfan says:

    toe-jam football. WORST COFFEE FLAVOR EVAH!!!

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    @JPL: That’s what happens when you stuff a cat into a cup.

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    @Napoleon:

    C’mon people now,
    Smile on your brother
    Ev’rybody get together
    Try and love one another right now

  26. 26
    Joel says:

    Starbucks has its merits, including health benefits, tuition reimbursement, matching retirement contributions. A person can actually make a career working in retail there, unlike most of its competitors. They are a vastly superior employer compared to just about everyone outside of Costco. And their coffee is pretty good, too. At the very least, it’s reliable.

    Howard Schultz did a pretty good job steering the company out of the abyss when he came back. But he’s still a pompous, tone-deaf douchebag, and this is just the latest example.

  27. 27
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Napoleon:

    You thinking of that Youngblood’s song?

    Yes. The Youngbloods. “Get Together”. Almost, but not quite.

  28. 28
    kideni says:

    My husband works at Starbucks, and he thinks Schultz’s underlying panic is that the price of milk will go up substantially if they don’t come to some sort of agreement. Fortunately, since we’re nowhere near DC, he hasn’t had to write insipid things on coffee cups (and his handwriting is pretty awful, so it wouldn’t have enhanced anyone’s coffee-buying or -drinking experience), but he was glad Schultz only called for this to happen for a couple of days, since otherwise suck-up district managers and store managers around the country would probably start making all of their baristas do it.

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @LT: then you can stay

  30. 30
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Raven:

    Their best was Darkness, Darkness, but when I saw them they were sloppydrunk, and made the stage hands turn on the lights so they could see us, and we didn’t want to be seen…

  31. 31
    Raven says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: you’re quicker than that.

    The Cycle keeps showing the Granholm speech from the convention, she was high as the cost of living!

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    it’s also an exhortation to simultaneous orgasm

    My mind must be in the gutter because that’s the very first thing I thought when I first heard of this stupid Starbucks campaign.

  33. 33
    Raven says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): “Darkness, Darkness” is a song written by Jesse Colin Young[1] in 1969 which has been covered by many artists. It initially appeared on The Youngbloods album Elephant Mountain. During the Vietnam War it was considered an “anthem” to the soldiers for it described what they felt while in the jungles.[

    oh yea

  34. 34
    kindness says:

    Makes me happy I’m a Peet’s drinker.

  35. 35
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Raven:

    I always thought CCR’s Graveyard Train was the Anthem….

  36. 36
    LT says:

    @Raven: Well alright then.

  37. 37
    Raven says:

    Darkness, darkness, be my blanket,

    Cover me with the endless night,

    Take away, take away the pain of knowing

    Fill the emptiness of right now,

    Emptiness of right now now now

    Emptiness of right….

    Oh yeah Oh yeah

  38. 38
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I avoid Starbuck’s coffee unless there’s no alternative. I’ll give them credit for consistency, cleanliness, politeness, efficiency and selection. But the main product is just too bitter for my taste. And overpriced.

  39. 39
    Woodrowfan says:

    I thought “Young Blood” was by the Coasters and covered by Bad Company..

  40. 40
    Raven says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): No other song than “We Gotta Get Outta Place” ever.

  41. 41
    mouse tolliver says:

    Naked Kony 2012 guy extends his thanks to Howard Schultz for making him seem slightly more credible.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Try their blonde roast. It’s not as bitter.

  43. 43
    Cassidy says:

    Well, at least everyone doesn’t suck.

  44. 44
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Violet:

    Try their blonde roast. It’s not as bitter.

    Thanks. I will. I’ll usually opt for Starbucks if I’m somewhere unfamiliar and the consistency of the product is important. Coffee in Mexico can range from typical middle-American to rocket fuel, but Starbuck’s is always Starbuck’s.

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @kideni:

    Schultz’s underlying panic is that the price of milk will go up substantially if they don’t come to some sort of agreement

    Well, it’s true that’s likely to happen, however, since Shultz has been politically active for ages, I think we should take it at face value as a genuine political act. It’s not like the price of milk is going to have a massive impact on Starbucks business, unlike a LOT of other businesses in the US.

  46. 46
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    it’s also an exhortation to simultaneous orgasm

    And what do you have against simultaneous orgasm, may I ask? I mean, it’s a bit tricky to pull off, but it’s quite enjoyable it happens.

    Seriously, though, I really don’t understand the backlash. Maybe it is dumb, but people are acting like it’s personally offensive.

  47. 47
    mk3872 says:

    More like Toe-Jam Football than Joo-Joo Eyeball if you ask me.

    But then again, 1+1+1=3, so who really cares.

    “War is over, if you want it” would be better anyway.

  48. 48
    Cassidy says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    but people are acting like it’s personally offensive.

    Personally, I find the “both sides do it” schtick offensive.

  49. 49
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @👽 Martin:

    It’s not like the price of milk is going to have a massive impact on Starbucks business

    Yes and no. Milk appears to be their most costly ingredient. But labor is their largest overall cost. Also consider the payroll accounting hassles for a company with that many employees if the tax rates change a couple of times in a month.

  50. 50
    Raven says:

    ‘course Fortunate Son with Fogerty and the Dead ain’t bad.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Yep. It’s the McDonald’s of coffee. At least you know what you’re going to get. I got to Starbucks when I’m in a hurry–like I’m at Target and they have one–or at the airport if that’s the coffee that’s near the gate or whatever.

    I know the blonde roast is less bitter because my local supermarket has a Starbucks in it and they were doing a taste test on their blonde roasts. This was several months ago. Apparently lighter roasts are trendy at the moment.

    I have talked with a local coffee roaster where I live and they said that a lot of dark roasts are actually burned. They do lighter roasts on a lot of their beans and I love their coffee. Their dark isn’t quite as bitter, but the guy explained that they stop short of burning their coffee beans, whereas a lot of roasters burn it. That’s why it can be so bitter.

    So ask for a blonde roast at Starbucks (that’s what they call it) or at least a lighter roast and see if you might like that better.

  52. 52
    gbear says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Free had a song called ‘Come Together In The Morning’ on their final album.

  53. 53
    Skippy-san says:

    And simultaneous orgasms are bad why?

  54. 54
    Cermet says:

    @Joel: Than all I can say is, amerika needs more “tone-deaf douchebag’s” like this CEO – at least he provides for his workers. I can live with his other issues as long as he provides like that for the workers.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Seriously, though, I really don’t understand the backlash. Maybe it is dumb, but people are acting like it’s personally offensive.

    Because a company that is in business to provide customers coffee is using their customers’ coffee cups to prod someone–politicians? customers? passers-by?–to “come together”. The stated purpose of the “come together” is to do something about the debt. Therefore, Starbucks is roping their customers into making a political statement they may or may not agree with. Their customers are paying to make that statement–apparently on behalf of the Starbucks CEO.

    Starbucks needs to stick with coffee. And stop making their customers be mini-billboards for the CEO’s opinion.

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    @Cermet: Oh boy, here it comes. . .

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @Skippy-san: Becuz SLUT SHAMING!! Or something.

  58. 58
    jp7505a says:

    Ezra Klein over on wonkbook has a good piece on this. The short version is as long as the story is ‘everyone is to blame’ then the GOP can continue to sabotage the system until they get what they want without incurring the bulk of the blame. After all every one is to blame.

  59. 59
    👽 Martin says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    But labor is their largest overall cost. Also consider the payroll accounting hassles for a company with that many employees if the tax rates change a couple of times in a month.

    But my point is that’s true for all labor-intensive businesses. Walmart has 1M employees – 8x as many as Starbucks. They have far more incentive to do a campaign. And there are a ton of businesses that are going to get killed if the price of milk hits $6 or $7/gal. Starbucks may need to raise the price of certain drinks, but most of theirs won’t be affected. If you’re a dairy processor – cheese, ice cream, butter – you’re fucked. If the price of milk was a motivating factor to launch a political campaign, you’d see Baskin Robbins at the front of the line, not Starbucks.

  60. 60
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Huh. Obama demanding an upperdown vote on the <$250k tax cuts.

  61. 61
    Jebediah says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Wasn’t there a Byrds or Hollies lyric that used ‘come together’?

    By way of not answering your question, I believe Black Flag did. I think the song was “Slip It In.”

  62. 62
    Raven says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: So you wanna give a source or just blabber?

  63. 63
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Raven:

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....html?hp=t1

    Obama will reiterate the outlines of an offer he made last week and will ask for Republican support, sources said. If they won’t back the plan, Obama will ask Republican leaders to lay out an alternative proposal that can pass Congress. If Republicans reject that idea, the president will demand an up-or-down vote on the Democratic plan in both chambers, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

    At the meeting, Obama is expected to make what the White House considers a scaled-back offer — one to raise taxes on income over $250,000, extend jobless benefits, delay automatic defense and domestic cuts and patch the alternative minimum tax, sources say. Raising taxes at that level is a nonstarter for Republicans, who want far more in spending cuts.

  64. 64
    👽 Martin says:

    @Violet:

    The stated purpose of the “come together” is to do something about the debt. Therefore, Starbucks is roping their customers into making a political statement they may or may not agree with. Their customers are paying to make that statement–apparently on behalf of the Starbucks CEO.

    No, do something about government gridlock. But Shultz isn’t opining on what – it’s not a positional message, but an awareness one. Taking offense to this campaign is akin to taking offense to a campaign to remind people to wear their seat belts. Starbucks isn’t taking any position on spending or taxes or Democrats or Republicans – just that legislative gridlock hurts everybody. By all appearances it’s a desperately non-partisan campaign, though with an implied leftward slant since even most Republicans blame the GOP for the gridlock. It’s political, but not partisan.

    Now, you can object to your contribution to their profits being used for something other than lining Shultz’s pockets, but that’s a bit of an odd position to take. Honestly, I can’t even find an angle to pretend to be offended by this.

  65. 65
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Just how much do I have to tip my barista to get one that says “KILL THE RICH” instead?

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin: Starbucks sells a lot more milk than coffee.

  67. 67

    Honestly, this doesn’t bother me. I know it got a lot of snickers all over the blogosphere but it seems to me the only “people” Congress listens to these days is corporations anyway, so it’s fine by me if one of them wants to tell Congress to get its shit together.

    Frankly I didn’t get why people thought it was so awful in the first place. Companies are always telling Washington what to do regarding corporate tax rates and healthcare and oversight and regulations. I’m actually happy that one wants to tell Washington to put the petty partisanship aside and work shit out.

    But maybe it’s just me.

    Sigh.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Oltrol says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Ask them.

    Gangnam style.

  70. 70
    SatanicPanic says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: As corporations go, they’re not all THAT bad, so I have no moral issue with buying their product. But it sucks, so I generally don’t.

  71. 71
    Joel says:

    @Cermet: I’m with you on this. Schultz’s vanity amuses me more than anything else. But his company mostly does right where it counts.

  72. 72
    MattR says:

    @👽 Martin: That may be true taken on its own, but the Starbucks CEO’s blog post that announced this idea also encouraged people to visit the web site of “Fix the Debt” which is a corporate driven group (including Pete Peterson) pushing a solution that would involve cutting entitlements and not raising taxes. (EDIT: That is what he wants everyone to “come together” and agree on.) Here is Krugman’s take on the group.

    @Southern Beale:

    I’m actually happy that one wants to tell Washington to put the petty partisanship aside and work shit out.

    The problem is that they don’t actually want that. They want to perpetuate the notion that the problems in Washington are being caused by both parties refusing to work together (rather than admit that one side has been refusing to budge in any way). They want the public to put pressure on Democrats for not caving to Republicans demands.

  73. 73
    Persia says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I’ve heard their coffee is kind of subpar. I like iced tea (theirs is excellent) and I’m fond of the cake pops.

    I thought they were basically doing this as a joke, you know, ‘hee, hee, we’re going to gently nudge people by writing on their cups!’ I am baffled they were apparently 100% sincere.

  74. 74
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    The best ordinary brewed coffee I’ve had was roasted on a back porch with a popcorn popper and a hurricane lantern chimney. Cooled and de-chaffed with an electric fan and a strainer. Wait 12 hours for the flavor to develop, grind in a burr grinder and brew in a Melitta drip filter. Plain $5/lb green Guatemalan beans turned into pure heaven. Now I get the freshest-roasted beans I can get and it makes a huge difference. Luckily we have several competitive local roasters so prices for fresh roasted are not too bad.
    I gather that home roasting has turned into a DIY fad like everything else. I totally understand why. It’s cheap, easy and tastes great.

  75. 75
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Southern Beale: In the realm of making employees do embarassing shit, this is mild. Sure “come together” is glib and unrealistic, but it’s not a sentiment that most people disagree with.

  76. 76
    Bago says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: And that’s the value they provide consistency. You see the name and you know what you’re getting. People often dismiss branding as corporate speak, but it really ,tater when someone is making a decision. They aren’t going to be a fully rational consumer and research each service provider thoroughly because its just a cup of coffee. The heuristic attached to the brand makes the decision easy.

  77. 77
    Suzanne says:

    but it’s also an exhortation to simultaneous orgasm.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    However, the average dude in a Starbucks looks like he wouldn’t be able to get a porn star to come. No thank you.

  78. 78
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Frankly I didn’t get why people thought it was so awful in the first place. Companies are always telling Washington what to do regarding corporate tax rates and healthcare and oversight and regulations. I’m actually happy that one wants to tell Washington to put the petty partisanship aside and work shit out.

    It think it is the High Broderism that is offensive. Dems have already thrown out plenty of attempts at compromise, including floating trial balloons involving some truly offensive stuff that is giving the netroots a collective coronary (yes, yes, I know, days ending in -y, etc.) while the GOP are taking absurdly right wing positions that could at best be used as a starting point for compromises which will move well to the left, and telling Boehner to shove them up his Orange Maoist Ass because they don’t go far enough.

    Complaining about a lack of compromise here is about as honest a position as bemoaning the terrible lack of German-Soviet cooperation on the evening of June 21st, 1941, and the Starbucks CEO is playing at being Lord Haw Haw.

  79. 79
    Raven says:

    @Suzanne: So, is it easy or difficult to do so?

  80. 80
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Bago:

    I feel the same way about McDonald’s. They’re a high quality restaurant in the classic business sense that they consistently meet their quality goals. Wherever you go, a McDonald’s is a McDonald’s. I don’t happen to like their food, but at least you know you won’t be surprised.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’m actually happy that one wants to tell Washington to put the petty partisanship aside and work shit out.

    Then if they’re talking to Obama, they’re talking to the wrong party.

    This debacle belongs, exclusively, to the Rethugs, and the whining babies that are the teatards.

    I wish Obama actually had a plan for FEMA concentration camps ready to go, because that’s what the teatards need…to be sent to bed without their supper, for about six months.

  82. 82
    Raven says:

    Sheila Jackson is pumpin the Starbuck deal. Hahahaha.

  83. 83
    kindness says:

    @Suzanne:

    the average dude in a Starbucks looks like he wouldn’t be able to get a porn star to come.

    or at least fake it.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    As others have said, the backlash is because the Starbucks CEO seems to be coming down on the side of slashing Social Security and Medicare by allying himself with Pete Petersen, a guy who has dedicated his life to killing entitlements.

    If he had left out the endorsement of Petersen’s website, I doubt there would be as much pushback.

  85. 85
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Raven:

    Graveyard Train seemed a dark refrain from Fogarty’s Tour.

    For the graveyard, thirty boxes made of bone.
    For the graveyard, thirty boxes made of bone.
    Mister undertaker, take this coffin from my home.

    Of course it’s not the same without the haunting mouthharp solo

    In the midnight, hear me cryin’ out her name.
    In the midnight, hear me cryin’ out her name.
    I’m standin’ on the railroad, waitin’ for the graveyard train.

    On the highway, thirty people turned to stone.
    On the highway, thirty people turned to stone.
    Oh, take me to the station, ’cause I’m number thirty-one.

  86. 86
    danimal says:

    I’m pro-simultaneous orgasm (Come Together), but ambivalent about the time (Right Now) and the place (Over Me).

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: I was wondering that as well. I can see either being true. You know, both sides do it.

  88. 88
    Oltrol says:

    @Suzanne:

    Employee, or patron?

  89. 89
    Raven says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): Always dug CCR, never thought of that as a Nam song but, then, I was high as the cost of living.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @danimal: Too bukkake for you? Quite understandable.

  91. 91
    Suzanne says:

    @Oltrol: Both, really. God.

  92. 92

    @MattR:

    They want the public to put pressure on Democrats for not caving to Republicans demands.

    That’s what Starbucks wants? We know this how?

    Honestly, I know we all hate corporate behemoths, but Starbucks is the least offensive of the bunch. It annoys me when liberals try to compare them to ExxonMobil. I’m as offended by faux corporate responsibility as the next person, I hate greenwashing and corporate image scrubbing but puh-leeeze the hoo-ha reminds me of when everyone told me I was supposed to boycott Whole Foods because of the CEO wrote an op-ed people disagreed with on healthcare reform.

    I just don’t get it. But whatever.

  93. 93
    Oltrol says:

    @Suzanne:

    You are a delight!

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    allying himself with Pete Petersen, a guy who has dedicated his life to killing entitlements.

    Pete Petersen, an entitled asshole, is unwilling to share.

    He and his immediate family would be ideal candidates for a dose of the Ceausescu treatment.

  95. 95
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): Does anyone remember Blockbuster video? You’d go in, talking to whomever you were with, and employees had no choice but to yell “hello!” and interrupt you, because some corporate butthead had decided they had to Greet The Customer, whether or not the customer wanted to be greeted.

    Has anyone ever worked at the level where these stupid policies are developed? I have always wondered why they are so consistently inane. It seems like their market research would let them know how annoying this stuff is.

  96. 96
    MikeJ says:

    @Suzanne: During the dotcom era I dated a lot of girls that worked at starbucks[1], and they always seemed quite capable in that area.

    [1] spending 18 hours a day hacking meant baristas were among the few people you got to meet.

  97. 97
    danimal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, you know, “Holds you in his arms, you can feel his disease…”

  98. 98
    Raven says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Fucking Home Depot is nuts. They won’t leave you alone.

  99. 99
    Raven says:

    Obama up at 5:45.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: You forgot the humble brag tag.

  101. 101
    MattR says:

    @Southern Beale: Because he is pushing the “Fix the Debt” group which is another Pete Peterson funded group designed to screw the poor while maintaining low tax rates for the rich.

    (EDIT: Or what Mnemosyne (iPhone) said)

  102. 102
    Suzanne says:

    @MikeJ: Entirely possible. Note I complained about “the average dude”. Most of the men in there have all the sexual allure of kittens who can’t find their mommies.

  103. 103
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Has anyone ever worked at the level where these stupid policies are developed?

    Pretty sure it was the Greeter at Wal-Mart.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: It worked for Hugh Grant throughout the 90s.*

    *Okay, there was the whole hooker arrest thing, so maybe you are right.

  105. 105
    Scuffletuffle says:

    @Raven: Amen to that…and I’m sorry, but I have to!

  106. 106
    Suzanne says:

    @Raven: There’s one Lowe’s I won’t step a toe in anymore because the employees are so fucking eager to help me that they have followed me around the store before. Like, fo’ realz, FUCK OFF.

    A friend of mine and I were discussing drug use recently’ and she told me how much she used to love taking Ecstasy at raves. I told her that that sounded like the worst thing in the world to me….hugging STRANGERS and it being socially acceptable for them to RUB ME. GOD. I can seriously think of nothing worse short of prison’ and the difference there is only one of degree, I suppose.

  107. 107
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Raven:
    I was higher than you can throw a ball. My outfit had two songs; Neil Young’s “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” and Spirit’s “Nature’s Way”.

    The former was for after and the latter was for during.

  108. 108
    Roger Moore says:

    @Raven:

    Fucking Home Depot is nuts. They won’t leave you alone.

    This must be a different Home Depot from the one I’m familiar with. The one I go to seems to have the attitude that they should ignore their non-contractor customers in the hopes they’ll go away.

  109. 109
    Raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I had a particular acid soaked sunrise with Ice playing, never has left me.

    The first Spirit was one of the about 5 LP’s I had in the Nam. Ever hear of JK and Company?

  110. 110
    Raven says:

    @Roger Moore: All that bullshit “Contractor” parking. I just fucking dare someone to say something to me when I park there.

  111. 111
    batgirl says:

    @Raven:

    Try Highway Kind by Lyle:

    Lyle may have sung Highway Kind but the writer of the song is the inimitable Townes Van Zandt.

  112. 112
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Does anyone remember Blockbuster video? You’d go in, talking to whomever you were with, and employees had no choice but to yell “hello!” and interrupt you, because some corporate butthead had decided they had to Greet The Customer, whether or not the customer wanted to be greeted.

    That’s interesting. I was never a Blockbuster customer. But our local video chain does the same thing. It’s weird to have a busy person abruptly stop what they’re doing and holler a hasty greeting at you. As though I’d rent more DVDs if they acknowledged me when I walked in.

    But I love the local video joint. They’ll take the time to make GOOD recommendations and warn us if the new film we’re about to rent actually sucks. Priceless.

  113. 113
    Raven says:

    @batgirl: yup, Step Inside This House is all covers.

  114. 114
    Raven says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I think it’s also and anti-theft strategy in retail joints. They let you know the KNOW you are there. Quick Trip is huge on that.

  115. 115
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Has anyone ever worked at the level where these stupid policies are developed?

    I’ve seen this up close, both involving an inexperienced and/or massively stupid manager.

    (1) said manager reads a trendy theory of X in a book or magazine article on management techniques or at a seminar or workshop given by consultants (a genre of con-artistry unto itself) and decides that theory X must be applied in our company immediately without any adaptation, even if theory X came from a completely different industry. Any attempt to modify theory X to local conditions instantly brands you as a malcontent and loser working against the future success of the company.

    (2) A single incident happened which caused said manager some degree of personal awkwardness or embarassment in interacting with a customer while they just happened to be on the floor, even if the situation in question is extraordinarily rare and/or taken completely out of context and/or the real reason why the interaction went bad is that the manager knows as much about the mechanics of helping the customer as your average 2nd-day trainee.

    We [meaning I] looked like idiots. DO NOT EVER let that happen AGAIN!”. Those are the last words you hear just before idiotic policy Y is announced as written in stone and any employee who fails in implementing policy Y will be fired posthaste. Okey-dokey Captain, don’t you worry, we hear you loud and clear! Absolutely NO iceberg sightings after 9pm from now on, because we don’t want to disturb the after-dinner brandy sniffing in the 1st class lounge!

  116. 116
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Suzanne: I’m with you. Huggy people drive me nuts. If you’re not my mom and you are not sharing my bed, kindly keep your hands to yourself. I don’t even lIke being forced to shake hands in church, especially since I always seem to end up behind or in front of the person who has been coughing and sneezing into his hand all through the service.

  117. 117
    JPL says:

    @Roger Moore: The store manager of HD saw me so often, he made me a paint contractor so I could get a discount. Since I painted inside and outside, it saved me a lot of money.

  118. 118
    hitchhiker says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    It’s also quite annoying when Corporate directives demand that every Mgr and clerk at retail greet every customer with a broad smile of sincerity.

    I did an 18-month tour as a part time barista for the health insurance after my husband broke his neck . . . excellent insurance, worth many thousands to us when we desperately needed it.

    I would hopelessly tell myself this can’t be my life now whenever my 20-year-old shift supervisor (I was 50) reminded me repeatedly to smile at the customers.

    I’ve never been able to smile on command. How do people do that?

  119. 119
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    There is a lot of inbreeding in the Corporate world. They hear an interesting buzz word or a tantalizing acronym, and VOILA, it is immediately picked up by the radar, and dispensed as acceptable jargon. If you want to be noticed, use those behavioral signals.

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I say go ahead and ask, then see what it costs you.

    Alternatively, you could get a cup at starbucks and write KILL THE RICH on the cup, take a picture and send it to the good folks at the maddow blog, because they would likely post it on their blog. Hell, Betty Cracker could come up with a great graphic of KILL THE RICH on a starbucks cup.

  121. 121
    Citizen_X says:

    @danimal:

    I’m pro-simultaneous orgasm (Come Together), but ambivalent about the time (Right Now) and the place (Over Me).

    That can be fixed in committee.

  122. 122
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Starbucks has its merits, including health benefits, tuition reimbursement, matching retirement contributions. A person can actually make a career working in retail there, unlike most of its competitors. They are a vastly superior employer compared to just about everyone outside of Costco.

    @Joel: hahahahahaha. FUCKING HORSESHIT. I worked there. Second worst job of my life. They are the worst run company that exists, so far as I can tell, and these benefits you cite don’t actually exist save for the health benefits, which cost half your fucking paycheck and only kick in if you work over twenty hours a week. By coincidence you are assigned 19.5 hours per week.

    If minimum wage is your idea of a great career, then Starbucks is for you. Apply today.

  123. 123
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @hitchhiker:

    whenever my 20-year-old shift supervisor

    That makes it all worthwhile…:)

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: Thank you! I had no idea.

  125. 125
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @hitchhiker:

    I worked in two high-end department stores. Greeting people becomes a habit that’s hard to break. Even years later I’ll walk through a store shopping and reflexively make eye contact with/nod at/say hi to random people on instinct. Retail sales reprogrammed my brain.

  126. 126
    Oltrol says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    It used to be called “Manners”.

  127. 127
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suzanne: It was like that last time I was at Harry & David’s. The 4 or 5 employees must have come up to me over a dozen times. It was really annoying and I told the woman at the register on my way out. It was crazy.

  128. 128
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Oltrol:

    It used to be called “Manners”.

    Well yes, but people expect to be left alone when they’re shopping. I get asked a lot ‘Do you work here?’. Not any more, thank Dog.

  129. 129
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: I gave my old MacBook Pro to my niece over the holiday. We went through my iTunes to see what music she wanted to keep and what we should delete.

    When she said to delete Spirit, I said that might be a deal-breaker for the gift of the computer. :-)

  130. 130
    Oltrol says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Really? Maybe at the Grocery store.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    hitchhiker says:

    @Oltrol:

    It used to be called “Manners”.

    Nah. Making friendly eye contact and saying hello or nodding to acknowledge someone’s existence is good manners.

    Greeting every stranger with a big fake smile because they’re walking around in a store where you work, or because they’re about to spend $4 on a beverage is not manners. It’s insulting their intelligence, because it implies that they’ll find a forced smile evidence that you personally are ever-so-glad to see them.

  133. 133
    Suzanne says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Word.

    Although one of m favorite things I did during this election year was go over to cars that had Romney/Ryan or Sheriff Joe bumper stickers and cough all over their door handles. With any luck, I gave someone Ebola. Yes, I am childish.

    As for the excessive greeting of customers while working retail, yes, it is irritating. However, I used to be a picture framer, and customers would have questions but often feel too intimidated to ask. (Why, I have no idea. It’s just glass and wood.) Greeting some of them seemed to give them the permission they needed to ask for advice. I sort of expect it in boutiques and specialty stores, but find it annoying as all fuck in big box stores.

  134. 134
    Raven says:

    We went to Felix’s on Mobile Bay for lunch over Thanksgiving. They get your last name when you are seated and they were awful with their Mr this and Mrs that (my bride kept her maiden name) over and over. Total hard sell on drinks and appetizers. The we got the food, it was great and reasonable. I have no idea why they need to do that.

  135. 135
    Raven says:

    @WaterGirl: The acid trip I cited was on the meadow at Allerton.

  136. 136
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    They hear an interesting buzz word or a tantalizing acronym, and VOILA, it is immediately picked up by the radar, and dispensed as acceptable jargon. If you want to be noticed, use those behavioral signals.

    Yes, there is an immense amount of trendy fad and fashion mongering. But also plenty of just garden variety abject stupidity. I was once sitting in on a meeting between high level management and web content managers when 2 contradictory policies were announced in consecutive sentences. The first policy was that all newly introduced products had to be represented by full content and proudly displayed to our customers for shopping on our ecommerce site within 24 hours of the manufacturer’s product rollout. The second policy was that we were not in the business of processing backorders and that nothing should ever be displayed to a customer unless we already had inventory in stock to back it up.

    Okey-dokey Captain!

  137. 137
    Joel says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: A childhood friend, who washed out in high school, managed to put himself together a few years back. He’s now making a decent life for himself as a store manager. Exciting work? Probably not, but it beats the shit out of his alternatives.

    An administrator where I work avoided getting laid off (due to funding cuts) by agreeing to work part time. That decision caused her to lose her benefits, so she works the other part of her time with Starbucks, pulling health and dental there. She seems pretty okay with that arrangement. Beats the alternatives.

  138. 138
    Joel says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: A childhood friend, who washed out in high school, managed to put himself together a few years back. He’s now making a decent life for himself as a store manager. Exciting work? Probably not, but it beats the shit out of his alternatives.

    An administrator where I work avoided getting laid off (due to funding cuts) by agreeing to work part time. That decision caused her to lose her benefits, so she works the other part of her time with Starbucks, pulling health and dental there. She seems pretty okay with that arrangement.

  139. 139
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    some corporate butthead had decided they had to Greet The Customer

    It’s partly a security thing. A clerk can get a sense of what’s up with the customer, what the vibe is. Eye contact can often communicate a lot about another person’s mental state and intentions. On the other end, the customer walking in who is wondering what they can walk out with is reminded someone is paying attention.

  140. 140
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Heh. My Co. often had meetings with new bizness software to make our lives easier.

    Project 21 they called themselves, and they relied on us to work out the bugs, the hard way.

    Once after a training session, one of the geeks passed out a questionaire to evaluate the Field’s perspective on the worth of the training and support. I raised my hand and asked;

    “Can we wait until we see how it really works” Daggers…..

  141. 141
    Elizabelle says:

    If Starbucks wants Congress to “come together” (snicker, snicker) they should actually write on the cups:

    Stop Gerrymandering

    So that congresscritters will be more representative of their sane constituents. Don’t give them such safe districts that they can pull these stunts and not do their job.

    Of course, it’s a lot more letters, and takes further explanation.

  142. 142
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @johnny aquitard: That actually makes sense. Who’d a thunk it?

  143. 143
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: Did you go to Allerton when you were back last year?

  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    If it’s all about orgasms, then I can get next to that.

    Otherwise, I don’t much care about this gesture, empty or not. If Starbucks were throwing money at the GOP and exhorting them to continue doing the obstruction dance, then it might be worth commenting about. If they were requiring their employees to send bon mots to the Tea Party, then I might be upset.

    So, I might have a little snicker with my Grande Decaf, but otherwise I’ll reserve Maxwell’s Silver Hammer for a more worthy target.

  145. 145
    kideni says:

    @Joel: Exactly. My husband worked for Borders, and when they went bankrupt, he landed at Starbucks. The benefits there are actually cheaper and more comprehensive than he’d had at Borders, which takes a bit of the sting out of the fact that he makes half of what he used to. Also, at least in the district he’s in, they don’t seem to pull the not-quite-enough-hours bs on part timers. It’s not a perfect company, but it sounds like it’s significantly better than it was before they reorganized four years ago or so. I still prefer coffee elsewhere, but I like that I can go to the doctor again. Howard Schultz lives in a bubble, but at least he’s not a Galtian.

  146. 146
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Who’d a thunk it?

    Not me either. I was given that explanation as to why I had to greet people when I worked retail hell back in the day. And based on my own experiences I had with people I greeted, they were right.

    Also, it fits in with selling things to people. There too you need to get a sense of what’s going inside their head.

    And yes, it can be annoying as hell when the greeter is tired and/or uninterested in actually greeting people, or you get followed around constantly and pestered every 5 minutes with ‘can I help you?’.

    It’s hard genuinely greeting people. Working with the GP and keeping it real and the communication open is hard work.

    edit: GP = general public

  147. 147
    Sad_Dem says:

    Maybe next Starbucks can ask its employees to get my name right. (It’s not Saddam, Sadden, Shalom, Shady, or Shazzam.)

  148. 148
    mainmati says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: It’s the Beatles “Come Together”

    Here’s the second stanza:
    He wear no shoeshine
    He got toe jam football
    He got monkey finger
    He shoot Coca Cola
    He say I know you, you know me
    One thing I can tell you is
    You got to be free
    Come together,
    right now
    Over me

  149. 149
    Darkrose says:

    @Cassidy: That’s really awesome.

  150. 150
    mclaren says:

    I’m only surprised the owners of the Beatles’ song rights haven’t sued them for copyright infringement of song lyrics.

  151. 151
    mclaren says:

    @different-church-lady:

    It’s not the uselessness so much as it is the annoyingly deadly blend of uselessness, earnestness, and pretension.

    Perfectly summarizes at least half of the posts on Balloon Juice.

  152. 152
    Darkrose says:

    @kideni: A former friend worked at Starbucks for a while, and she did have the “not enough hours” problem. From what she described, it totally depends on your manager; there’s no corporate policy that prevents a manager from deciding they don’t like you so they won’t give you enough hours. So it’s more like the dangling carrot that can be snatched away at any moment on the whim of your bosses, while the company gets to bask in the kudos of being “a good place to work” for dangling the carrot at all.

    To me, offering health insurance should be the absolute bare minimum that a company should be expected to provide. You don’t get a cookie and an A+ for doing the bare minimum; you get a C and try harder next time.

  153. 153
    Applejinx says:

    I’m pleased that the shit sandwich is (in at least some places, and some ways) mostly bread with comparatively little shit by corporate standards. It didn’t sit well with me, this ‘do right wing propaganda’ business.

    I believe the ‘milk prices’ thing driving the behavior. The guy must be really panicking. He’s looking at the corporate version of the personal finance death spiral- you know, the kind of thing where lots of companies are checking your credit rating and doing automatic withdrawals, and something hits you financially so you aren’t on top of stuff, and then you miss a bill, and it tanks your credit rating, so you don’t get a desired job, so you fail to pay other bills and the bank sees your credit changed and readjusts your mortgage punitively, etc etc in a feedback loop. It’s not that milk alone would obliterate Starbucks, it’s that it would set in motion a chain of events that have a lot to do with stock price and so on. I’m thinking he believes the stock price will tank if milk prices go up, and that will produce other undesirable consequences.

    We go pretty insane when threatened in certain ways. I’m not good with mystery threats. Hell, you could argue that if the guy’s big fear is stock price tanking, lobbying desperately for corporate tax cuts is a pretty direct and relevant desire for him to have.

    Too bad it’s part of the decline of fucking Western Civilization. There are things more important than Starbucks’ stock price, so in the end I have no sympathy. Fuck him.

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