Starbucks Needs Better Homophobia Radar


starbucksRemember the time we found out that there were Domino's Pizza employees sticking mozzarella cheese up their noses before sprinkling it atop our beloved pies? And the world got pissed at Domino's at large instead of just their snot-nosed employees? Well, Starbucks is about to get in similar trouble. Except this time the cheese is a "long, homophobic rant."

Missy Alison was minding her own, just trying to get her caffeine fix when she witnessed three Starbucks em baristas unleashing all anti-gay hell on a homosexual employee named Jeffrey. They started out telling him they weren't interested in his "lifestyle or politics," "his future didn't look good," and "how he'll thank them someday." And it only got worse after Jeffrey went to the bathroom to cry.

According to Alison, the three women went on and on about Jeffrey and how they're sick of hearing about who he's dating, what he's doing, etc. None of their conversation had to do with Jeffrey's performance as an employee, it was all about his being gay.

The world -- or, at least, those who agree with me that this is wrong and inexcusable -- is about to get mad at Starbucks, right? I mean, Starbucks is the company they all worked at; Starbucks is the name that will grab everybody's attention. But let's not forget that Starbucks is also known for being a LGBT-friendly work environment. All Starbucks -- every one I've ever been in at least -- do not display this type of behavior. What Starbucks should be held accountable for is bad business and poor training.

When I worked at a Baskin Robbins in high school -- with all of my friends -- I made a vow to myself. If I were ever to own or manage a service-type business, I would pop in unannounced all the time. Why? Because we were drinking beers in the freezer and generally being irresponsible. If you want your business run a certain way, you should make sure it's being run that way. Now, I'm sure Starbucks didn't think they were hiring three rampant homophobes when they interviewed these women -- it's an odd thing to come up in a meeting -- but maybe they should make "we do not tolerate hate and discrimination of any kind" part of the handbook, or have a higher up dropping by unexpectedly often.

I do not hold Starbucks responsible for these women's behavior, but I hope that they maybe rethink their training or something -- because even when you think things are so obvious they don't need to be spelled out, there are always a couple idiots who need it.

What do you think of this homophobic rant? Should Starbucks be held responsible?


Image via action datsun/Flickr


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Jennifer K Hilsinger

This doesn't sound like homophobia, this sounds like, "Shut the hell up, already." I've worked with a few people who just go on, and on, and ON about themselves, partying, sex, how drunk they got, how drunk the guy/girl they were with got... and all you want to do is staple their lips together.  Most people find a way to walk away and ignore the sewage spilling from their co-worker's mouth, but if you work in a tiny space (like maybe a Starbucks?) there's nowhere to go.  I'm thinking these employees had just finally had enough and told their co-worker in a not-so-kind manner to knock it off.

Spike... SpikedMango

Wait, were they talking about him being gay or about him talking about what he does off the clock?

Because I'll be honest. I hated listening to coworkers go on and on about what they did over the weekend, who they did, what they had for breakfast two weeks ago, how their cat was doing, etc, etc... So I can understand telling him they were tired of hearing every detail of his life.

There's no reason to make someone cry or be rude about it, but I'm just a little confused as to what, exactly, they were griping to him about.

Spike... SpikedMango

And the workplace isn't somewhere to discuss politics or lifestyle choices, period. It sounds like they were relaying that they weren't intersted in hearing it.


Based off how this particular article was written, anyway.

bills... billsfan1104

Whatever. Like the other posters said, it doesnt sound like a homophobic rant. My coworkers are my friends, but they just dont invite their lives into a conversation, unless asked. If he is going on and on and on about his conquests, his parades, etc etc, maybe they were just tired of it. Some people are not as open as others and still think that homosexuality is wrong. Doesnt mean they hate homosexuals, just that they want to hear about their lifestyle. I bet if his coworkers went on and on about their church functions and he said the same type of rants, you would cheer him on.

zandh... zandhmom2

Omg, I worked with this one women who went on and on about her troubled love life so much that I ended up transfering to another department.  The sad part about it was that we were really good friends but I just couldn't take it anymore.  I don't mind a little chit chat at work but 8 hrs a day of someone yakking about their life is annoying. It doesn't sound to me like they were picking on him for being gay just tired of hearing all about his love life.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Sorry, I think you're reaching.  It doesn't sound like they went after Jeffrey because he's gay - it sounds like they went after him because he was annoying and relentless with his Big Big Gayness.  And I say that as someone who flat-out adores Big Big Gay men - but they can become a bit much with their drama, indignation and every-last-detail retelling of their latest escapade. I'm sorry those bitches made him cry, but I really doubt they did it out of hatred - just plain ole sick and tired.

And before someone jumps all over me for being intolerant - I can't stand endless drama, indignation and every-last-detail blah blah blah from heteros, either.

mcmom... mcmommy03

If you read Missy's original letter it was much more than Jeffrey talking about his outside of Starbuck's life. He was asked to resign unfairly IMHO.

ashjo85 ashjo85

A part-time employer can't "train" the homophobe out of someone. Get real.

Beths... Bethsunshine

Must you people turn EVERYTHING into a "You hate gays" rant? Maybe people don't want to hear every single detail of their co-workers private lives, gay or not. I know I certainly don't, and I don't share details of MY private life with every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes along. It's exhausting when someone feels the need to go on and on about their sex life, drama and every other thing, large and small that's going on in their lives. People have the right to tell other people to shut their trap when they don't want to hear them drone on anymore. Like billsfan said, I bet if the person was going on about their church or religion, and the same people told him to shut up, you'd be cheering.

I used to work with a bunch of people, a couple were gay and the rest were heterosexual, and for some reason, most of them felt compelled to share details of their sex lives with the rest of us. Sorry, I don't want to hear what you did in your bedroom last night. I also have a couple of friends who tend to yammer on about their constant drama and sometimes I just have to distance myself. A lot of drama is of people's own making and they don't want to do anything to fix it.

KiRyhn KiRyhn

The fact that a customer was able to even hear enough of this meeting, and make this conclusion are unacceptable. I did read both the blog, letter, & starbucks statement. I think the proof anyone would need that this way homophobic driven was the comment "he should be used to the comments, it's not like he came out yesterday", which to me implys that there have been comments made on his sexuality in the past.

Yes we have all had co workers who's mouths we would love to duct tape shut, but when it's because you don't agree with their lifestyle, not because you don't want to gossip, and actively choose to make that person quit because of their lifestyle, then it is a hostile work environment

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