Working from home Starbucks - isn't it ironic?

Posted On: Monday - May 18th 2020 7:53PM MST
In Topics: 
  General Stupidity  Music  Big-Biz Stupidity

Peak Stupidity has not had a very good relationship with the Starbucks coffee chain over the years. The recent, well almost 2 years ago now, brew-haha about treehugging nonsense about straws was covered here in Grasping at Straws (see also Part 2). Then there was that whole racial angle, in which the big chain caved to political correctness and threw their employees under the latte machine, noted in Starbucks - fake coupons and raising hell and Nationwide 10,000-Store Barista-Based Synchronized Struggle Session a Success!*. That was 2 years ago - man, stupidity flies!

Not much of that is personal, however, or a function of the individuals in the local branch in or to which I've been lately. Well, LATELY, as in during this Kung Flu Panic-fest, for a while we'd hang out in that general area with our own concoctions, as they've been closed.

That's what this post is (finally) about. A friend of mine had spent many hours of most days for years inside a few of the Starbucks locations near him to do his entrepreneurial type work. He'd purchase coffee, of course, as his being a white guy meant he was perfectly evictable, and was very used to these locations as his offices. He'd even met people who had helped some with the business he was involved in at Starbucks.

After getting a "real job", if I may, one in which the normal rules of going to work and spending the whole day there applied, my friend did have to get used to the old-fashioned office/business setting. He must have missed the more free-wheeling schedule he'd had, and the environment at Starbucks after all those years spent there.

Now comes the Kung Flu. Which businesses were to be shuttered and which weren't was based on the whim of State and local officials. The key word was "essential". Liquor stores - essential (apparently, as they're open), barber shops - not. Big business retail seems to be more essential than small business per ... someone's telling the Governor what the hell he'd better do? Manufacturing, or what's left of it, was not left alone either.

The manufacturing business that my friend works for was told to half-way shutter, letting only a few people stay and work at the facility - so semi-essential? The rest were sent home to work from there. Here comes the ironic part: My friend had missed working from his spot(s) at Starbucks, where he could relax when he wanted to, chat up some girls occasionally, step outside, work at his own hours, etc. Were this work-from-home order done at a time when the Starbucks were open, it'd be a dream come true! They don't care that he's at his very house, but just that he's getting the work done.

But, nooooo... the Starbucks are closed too, so he had to work from his home, which he was not at all used to. He can do some of the above at home, but it's, understandably, not at all the same for him. Will the Starbucks coffee shops open up before he gets called back in to work from the office? It's gonna be close. Man, you can't win for losin'.

Isn't it ironic? Yeah, what kind of songwriter was that Alanis Morrisette, anyway:

"It's rain on your wedding day." That's not irony, you dumb broad, that's Global Climate DisruptionTM!

"It's a black fly in your Chardonnay." What the heck other flies would you expect? That's the normal color of flies, and that's what they do. Enjoy your Chardonnay - it's still better than snails in the food.

"A traffic jam when you're already late." That's not ironic. You should have left earlier, before the traffic. There's an app for that.

"A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break." Uhh, that was probably there before your cigarette break. It was telling you to find a different place to take your cigarette break. Most of us would have gotten that, rather than chalking it up to this "irony" thing.

"It's the good advice that you just didn't take." Like, when the guy told you to look up "irony" in the dictionary before you wrote this song?

Well, that post ended up on a tangent! What are you gonna' do? I'd always wanted to fisk that song. To make up for this behavior, I'd wanted to feature a better song by Miss Morrisette. I had memories of a lot of good songs by her from her time in the mid-1990s. I can't find ANYTHING that I like, at this point.

Instead of a Debbie Downer like that, let's just feature another good band of many out of Athens, Georgia (from the 1970s through 1990s). It's The B-52s with Love Shack from 1989, a half decade before Alanis Morrisette. It's from their album Cosmic Thing. Miss Kate Pierson can really belt out the melody. The guy singer of this "new wave" band seemed to be the Southern version of David Byrne, purposefully (I hope!) acting like a weirdo. There'd have to be a huge overlap on a Venn diagram of Talking Heads and B-52s fans.

* The result of that cave-in to PC is documented in a much-more-recent post called Being a Millennial.

[UPDATED 05/19: ]
What? The Talking Heads are from NY City, so they are, I suppose, American. You still don't need a visa to travel to NY City, so yes, the post has been corrected. Thank you, commenter Ganderson. Also, just in, I can't do arithmetic. The Starbucks struggle session was 2 years back, not 3. Thank you, commenter Hail.

Monday - May 25th 2020 10:07AM MST
PS: Thank you Mr. Hail. I just went to your site and looked at that window signage. (Sorry you can't put anything in here. You know how we are!)

We were there yesterday. I was very glad one wasn't REQUIRED to use the app to order a hot chocolate, as that was not agonna work for me. As it was, it was an extremely sweet hot chocolate, so thanks to whomever in there (probably a hottie that nobody can even see right now).

Since there weren't real places to sit, we sat on a wide window ledge against the store window, while others did their attempt at social distancing 2 feet in front of us. Less than 1/2 the people had masks on. Nobody gave us bad looks or trouble for being in the middle of the whole social distance arrows and stickers thing.

I just don't think many people besides Starbucks Corporate and the like are taking this seriously anymore, though even they are probably just doing their normal corporate ass-kissing to big Gov and the world of PC. For the general population where I live, Peak Panic is behind us.
Monday - May 25th 2020 9:43AM MST
You may be interested in this, re Starbucks.

I snapped a picture of the new Starbucks Corona Commandments (apparently issued May 18, the same day as your post here). A photo, transcription to text, and brief comments on how they relate to the Corona-as-Religion argument:
Friday - May 22nd 2020 11:20AM MST
PS: Ice cream is my biggest vice, food-wise, especially coffee flavored!
Friday - May 22nd 2020 9:17AM MST
PS Re moderating caffeine consumption. I once had actual withdrawal symptoms when I decided that I needed to reduce consumption. I was working in a office and the office wench (I was going to say “girl”, but I knew that would be offensive) always kept a pot going. Fortunately, I do have the discipline to ration myself. I, too, like hot chocolate, but I’m also trying to keep my weight down.
Thursday - May 21st 2020 11:36PM MST
PS: Robert, thanks again for the interesting anecdote. "Those were different times .. you understand."

It'd have been ironic(?) if your government-installation guard had been a smoker himself. See, now there's some lyrics Alanis could have used. You just have to fit them into the melody, like Joni Mitchell used to try to do.

Per, some show on MTV or VH1 years ago featuring an interview with David Byrne, The lyrics to "Burning Down the House" were supposed to say "Foam Rubber, USA", where he ended up singing the title's words. It was just about the rhythm, proving out PS old old post that lyrics don't matter much in the making of a good song.
Thursday - May 21st 2020 11:30PM MST
PS: Mr. Blanc, I'm not a coffee drinker at all (been having hot chocolate to be sociable when friends wanted to meet there. That started, unfortunately, right after that Leftist PC stuff out of corporate Starbucks. It's hard to boycott them all, but this really has to do with the alternative local place being one of even more leftism by the owners.

I don't mean I never have tried coffee, and I like the flavor in ice cream, BTW. I hope your issue stays minor. Keeping off the caffeine is pretty easy once you've gotten off it. (I have an occasional Coke on a long driving trip or something.)
Thursday - May 21st 2020 1:07AM MST
PS: Another rambling comment with no real point.

Back in the day, when I was still cool, I was something of a Talking Heads fan (and a geek). But half of this was because a girl, (underage, but she could drink most of the guys under the table --- there is something arousing in sending the High School Girl up to buy the next pitcher of Beer) whose pants I wanted to be, was a serious fan. In between boyfriends, she would call me up, "Would you like to see 'Stop Making Sense'?" Well, the deal was:
1: I was NOT her boyfriend
2: She paid for gas, parking, her ticket, and beer or a very fat joint.

In reality, 'Burning Down the House' was the only song that impressed me. And that was in a remixed version from a friend that seriously amplified the drums. I have always had fun beating my ...; well, I have always liked the sound of drums. (And bagpipes.)

But the Tom Tom Club. Now they rocked. "Wordy Rappinghood" or "Under the Boardwalk".

Although I am a sexist pig, Tina Weymouth and Jah Wobble are my two favorite Bassists.

P.S. More rambling:
"A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break."
One Gummint installation I had to visit a few time, had erected a smoking shelter when they had banned smoking inside. But, the shelter was too close to the doors, so they had a big 'No Smoking' sign there. I was told by a man with a (presumably) fully-automatic rifle, that I had to stand in the rain, if I wanted to smoke. Since he was already standing in the rain, I bore no resentment against him.
Wednesday - May 20th 2020 11:09AM MST
PS Starbucks. The coffee isn’t great. Coffee should be bitter, but there’s supposed to be some flavor underlying the bitterness. The regular coffees are too strong for Mme B, and their “blonde” is too watery even for her. It’s another megacorporation that has driven out local business. And, as you point out, there’s the Leftist political rubbish. Things are in a bad way when you can’t get a cup of mud without being finger-wagged about white supremacy. I am a consumer of hot caffeinated beverages, although I have to moderate my intake due to what I hope is a minor cardiac issue. There are times when you need a caffeine hit and Starbucks is the only option. So I’m not boycotting Starbucks. But it’s always only when there’s no alternative.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 5:52PM MST
PS: Mr. Ganderson, I didn't catch your recent comment right after I put mine in. I never got to see the Talking Heads, and back in their time I just saw them as weirdos that only real geeks liked. However, it's their rhythms that I like. That Tina Weymouth rocked on bass, and they had some great beats.

I watched the concert movie "Stop Making Sense" on a trip one time, and it is great on a big screen with good sound. David Byrne in his extra-large sized suit - don't know what to make of it.

Oh, I almost forgot: I'm pretty sure the video to "Once in a Lifetime" was my introduction to the world of music videos. Yes, Mr. Byrne comes across pretty weird in that one too.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 5:04PM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, I believe my friend told me that these Starbucks were (at least through a week or two back) closed completely where he lived. As you say, it's hard to get power outside. One bum who I wrote about in a post called "Being a Millennial" - here:" - was trying to get power from a couple of outside outlets, but they weren't connected.

On the toilets: It's been a real problem for lots of people, I bet. We don't have any public toilets, per se, but businesses don't mind people stepping in to use them, especially for young kids. Now, we have been having to make sure we all take care of things before leaving the house. I mean the kids can make monsters on walls behind rows of bushes at the park, but I try to avoid that because "PERVERT!"

You bring up many good points on how this LOCKDOWN could negatively affect people, and there are many more. As far as the water fountains go, most families have their kids toting their water bottles all over the place now. It ain't the world I grew up in. "Get a drink when you get home. What's the problem?" Also most parents would probably be worried about their kids getting the Kung Flu off the water fountain... and VD, of course!
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 5:01PM MST
PS. Mr Hail- the heatstroke would still be coded as corona-Chan .
Mr. moderator. I really wanted to like the talking heads in the late 70s, and then I went to see them, at the Tyrone Guthrie theater in Minneapolis, the very place my friend , where I saw the Grateful Dead for the first time in the Fall of 1970. I just didn’t get it. I didn’t think they could play their instruments. There are some head songs that I like, but they were never fun, like say Elvis C or the Ramones.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 7:01AM MST
PS: Fixed that too, Mr. Hail. I will reply to your next comment later on - as I wrote Mr. Ganderson, I gotta do something (more?) constructive.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 6:59AM MST
It sounds like the Starbucks you are referring to is closed entirely (Corona Closure), as in doors shut and no one getting in.

What happened to "take-out only"?

I have noticed some people, who I assume lean anti-Panic, in fair weather getting their products from a Starbucks-like still-open-under-strict-rules entity and sitting outside at tables, unmolested.

The problem there for people who want to do work: No outlets to plug in devices. Unless your work is pen and paper, you can't last long even under those conditions. This still beats the problem of closed public toilets (under lock and key with Corona Caution Skull-and-Crossbones signs hung up on the doors) and turn off all public drinking fountains.

(The thought occurred to me a few days ago in exactly those circumstances: What if, under a heat wave, more people came down with heat stroke and dehydration due to the Corona juntas' turning off public drinking fountains, than were hospitalized that day for COVID? Not likely for most in most situations, but the same is true for COVID.)
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 6:55AM MST
PS: Ahh, crap, why did I think they weren't American, Mr. Ganderson. Oh, I know why - they are from NY City. I rest my case.

No, I like that band a lot, so I'll change my post now. Thanks for any and all corrections. Got to get to work myself... thanks for the reminder ... NOT.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 6:49AM MST
"[The Starbucks Struggle Session campaign] was 3 years ago - man, stupidity flies!"

It was two years ago, wasn't it? Did I miss a year somewhere in there?

Maybe it was a slip in the space-time continuum. No wonder 2020 feels so much like the Twilight Zone.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 5:59AM MST
PS- while I'm in work avoidance mode...

OK- David Byrne- not eligible to be President, but...

Went back and read your foodie post- whenever I get into an argument about immigration I ban the words restaurant, cuisine, etc. Although bringing Hans and Fritz over to start a place called "Das Schnitzel Haus" would be OK. I'm guessing that sauerbraten does not grab the foodies the way a jicama-based tortilla from some obscure Peruvian village would.
And, while I'm at it, my immigration policy would be hockey players and their hot WAGS. That's it.
Tuesday - May 19th 2020 5:40AM MST
PS Correction time!

Isn’t David Byrne the American version of David Byrne?

In the Northwoods, from ME to WA, and presumably including Quebec, there is a type of fly known as the black fly- not quite a murder hornet, but vicious in its own way. June is prime season for these critters

You’re right about the song, although I have a soft spot for Alanis, as she’s married to a former pupil of mine. And... a lot of people use the term ironIc as a synonym for “Something I don’t care for”.

On another note ( and Mr. Moderator you are going to regret my impending retirement!) Governor “Tall Deval” “Charlie Parker” Charlie Baker announced his plan to end the lockdown- apparently a 20 year process that will result in no small business remaining in the commonwealth. I look forward to endless evenings lingering over the tables at Applebees, or McDonalds, and sipping out of my paper straw at Starbucks.
My favorite part of the plan is that I can now get a haircut, but not a manicure; and no OUTDOOR sports. Golf’ s open, with ridiculous restrictions- have to stay in your car until 15 minutes before your tee time, no practice green, nor driving range, (why?) as well as those stupid foam things around the cup- OH AND DON’T TOUCH THE FLAGSTICK!. Some Karen called to pro to complain that players weren’t wearing masks. Presumably rinks are still closed, so no hockey for me. I can’t make it to the protest at Tall Deval’s house in Swampscott, but I hope they get a crowd.
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