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Starbuck - talk of the town

At the 125th Street Starbucks, Simon quickly noticed a couple of irregularities, such as the hoop earrings belonging to one barista (“She shouldn’t be allowed to wear those”) and the lack of any ambient music or CDs for purchase. (Simon has obtained a copy of the employees’ manual, and is contemplating applying for a summer job.) The store was busy and cramped—too cramped, he thought—and lacked the usual niceties like upholstered furniture. The dinginess struck him as more than coincidence. “It’s a classic American story,” he said. “African-Americans get less of everything.”

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/060109ta_talk_mcgrath
Permalink  
January 3rd, 2006
I don't get this sentence:
"and the lack of any ambient music or CDs for purchase. (Simon has obtained a copy of the employees’ manual, and is contemplating applying for a summer job.)"

I'm also interested in the idea that someone who is writing a book about Starbucks never talks to patrons there. I understand the "don't talk" convention, but wouldn't he get a lot more out of visits if he engaged the usual patrons?

Finally, with respect to the quality of the establishment - aren't Starbucks franchises?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 3rd, 2006
No, Starbucks are not franchises.
Permalink scrappy 
January 3rd, 2006
I guess the employee manual states they should have music playing and for sale.

I don't think they are franchises, which is why they are free to put one every 90 feet. Canabalizing existing stores ticks off franchise owners, but if it is all going to a single HQ then as long as we sell more coffee, we don't much care which shop sells it.

Precious little about the substance of the book.
Permalink  
January 3rd, 2006
What the hell is Temple University and why does their professor of history use "like" all the time?

Like, weird.
Permalink Flasher T 
January 4th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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