PODCAST: Starbucks and Its Unconscious Employees

On Monday, there was a looong article in the Chicago Tribune’s business section on Starbucks “unconscious bias” training (which, unless Starbucks’ employees are unconscious at work, should probably be called “subconscious-bias training,” but—to borrow from millennials—whatever).

For those sub-rock dwellers among us, some background: Last month, one young white barista in Philadelphia told a black Starbucks visitor—who bought nothing—that he couldn’t use the restroom as per policies in some Starbucks’ stores.  Subsequently, he and his friend—who also purchased nothing—were asked to leave and refused, after which the store manager called the police who arrested them. Calling the police seems an odd response since many people linger for hours doing work at Starbucks after buying one cup of overpriced coffee, but the response of the corporate office seems equally odd.


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