Starbucks learns the price of virtue-signaling, now must install needle disposal boxes in bathrooms 'open to all'
The expression "clueless liberal" now has an emblem: the Starbucks logo. The coffee chain has discovered what anyone who understands human nature could have predicted – as many of us did. When the chain announced last May that it was opening its bathrooms to non-customers and allowing them to stay in its stores as long as they want without paying for anything, it was utterly predictable that all sorts of troubled people with nowhere else to shoot up, turn tricks, or bathe would start using the restrooms of the virtue-signaling chain.
A quick refresher from our pages on the events that led the Seattle-based chain to makes its bathrooms into public restrooms. Colin Flaherty explained last May:
[W]hen a couple of black people a few weeks ago wanted to use the restroom at a Starbucks in Philadelphia without buying anything, and they refused three requests from employees to leave and three more requests from the cops to do the same, Starbucks took the only action open to it: give the black people lots of free stuff, then hold a racial sensitivity training session for 177,000 employees of Starbucks.
The indoctrination was accompanied by a change in policy, that its restrooms would be "open to all," as would its seating.
The indoctrination forced employees to deal with a whole set of new anxieties over handling the consequences of the edict from the top. Eileen F. Toplansky noted the stress this would be causing:
In essence, Starbucks is now insisting that its workers maintain a constant low grade of anxiety. As a result, they will surely hesitate to take action that could reduce risks. Hence, a dirty vagrant, a stoned out individual, or a visibly ill person will be able to sit in a Starbucks for as long as he wants. The workers have now been mandated to ignore their instincts concerning possible harmful consequences.
By cloaking this ill advised approach under the rubric of purported bias, Starbucks is demanding a diminution of the alarm bells with which Providence has endowed humans. Clearly, such a situation does not help the afflicted, who would be better served in a hospital or a shelter. Certainly, it does not help Starbucks's bottom line as customers take their business elsewhere. Ultimately, employees are now programmed to ignore problems, since nothing is to be viewed as particularly troublesome or disturbing in the barista utopia.
And, as our own Monica Showalter predicted right from the start of the virtue-signaling, on May 11:
For those of us who do buy Starbucks coffee, we know what this policy change means: an open invitation to the homeless to bring in hepatitis, trash, used syringes, solicitations for spare change, and all the other detritus of their uncured condition to Starbucks bathrooms. The fact that Starbucks will be the only business with such a policy means that all of the homeless will concentrate in these outlets. ...
So is Starbucks prepared to corral its baristas into double-duty, non-stop bathroom cleaning from those who choose to camp out on its grounds? And make coffee for customers at the same time?
The answer to that last question is yes. Those employees forced to clean up hazardous waste from the bathrooms are demanding change:
As of Wednesday, more than 3,700 people have signed a petition on Coworker.org calling for Starbucks to place needle-disposal boxes in high-risk bathrooms.
Perhaps cognizant of the immense liability it now faces, should an employee suffer a needle prick while emptying the trash and contract a hideous disease, the company quickly responded.
Starbucks is installing boxes for safe disposal of syringes in the bathrooms of certain locations, following workers' reports of discarded needles and sometimes concerning conditions.
While there are homeless people who are victims of circumstances beyond their control, there are also many who are drug-addicted, mentally impaired, or simply unable to handle personal responsibility. Starbucks employees who are tasked with cleaning the restrooms face additional risks beyond used needles, including cleaning excrement and urine from the floors, walls, and sinks – also a serious disease vector. And if they find this duty objectionable, why, the anti-bias training they received tells them they are racists.
I have to wonder if the company is experiencing staffing difficulties in the current tight labor market, owing to these new duties forced on them by the virtue-signaling. The financial performance of its stock has been OK, but the company two months ago laid off 350 workers, "primarily in the marketing, creative, product, technology and store-development segments."
I sincerely hope this is true:
Former Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, who led much of the company's rapid growth over the past three decades, is reportedly assembling a team to run against President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
I would welcome the opportunity for public discussion of the "open to all" policies. It does kind of remind me of the open border policies the Democrats are going to the wall to preserve.