Thursday, January 2, 2014

Espresso yourself in a Venti way - Put a little love in your heart



Not your average Joe's or cup of Joe? 




So "Latte" me explain…...

I went to Starbucks last week to get a cup of coffee, It wasn't my normal location. I was a stranger at this location and apparently I wasn't the only one. As I approached I saw a homeless man standing by the tables away from the door. I watched for about five minutes before I got out of the car and  I noticed that he wasn't bothering the customers coming in or out.  In fact, a few people approached him seemingly out of concern for his well being.  When I went inside I flashed him a  smile and I got one in return.

When it was my turn to order I asked the Barista about the homeless man outside. She rolled her eyes took a deep breath in and as she let it out she looked annoyed.  In a frustrated tone she said "He's been there since I came in at 4 a.m. this morning. Don't worry I called the police and he will be removed shortly." I was taken aback and let her know that the reason I was asking was because I wanted to buy him a sandwich. Her response in the same annoyed tone, "Please don't do that.  It will only encourage him to come back." I was at a loss for words and I stepped away from the counter, my blood boiling. 

I asked the person I was with if the comment was heartless or if I was being too emotional.  I was told I wasn't, so I asked to speak with the manager.  When she came over I was surprised to see that the person who made the comment was actually the manager. When she asked what she could help me with I told her that her comment bothered me a lot. Her reply was as nonchalant as they come, "I'm sorry.  I'm just telling it like it is." I told her that might be what she believes, but it was still surprising to hear something like that from someone who works for such a philanthropic company. 

A gentleman came up to me and asked me what happened, so I shared the story with him. The man told me not to be upset because while I was talking to the manager other people had brought the man food and supplies.  He, too, was surprised to hear what she'd said, and he shared a story about his wife. a number of years back she had been down on her luck and had been homeless herself.  He said that we can't ignore people in need, and that we need to help them rather than walk away.  

There was such empathy in his eyes and his voice and as we walked out he asked the man if he could use $10. The man seemed surprised by this gesture and he smiled and said "Thanks man!" I told the stranger that he was a wonderful man, and he told me that we should all be kind to mankind. 

As I sit here and reflect on the story, I'm curious to know what you would have done.  I recognize that the manager has an obligation to protect their employees and customers, but does it need to be done by dehumanizing a person in need?  Please let me know your thoughts.
















52 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm Sad To Say Society Has Changed For The Worse Of Course Yes I Would Of Done The Same As YoYou I STILL Have A Heart & Help People ALL The Time Not ALWAYS With MONEY Because I'm A Bit Strapped Myself Family Of 5 & Very Little Income But My Blog & Couponing Gets Me ALOT OF FREE Or Next To FREE Stuff So I'm Constantly Donating & Supplying My 3 Kids Schools With Food Etc. For Parties, Fund Raisers Etc. & Also Donate To My Local Soup Kitchen & Church So I Try To Help Others In Need That Way. :)

Mommy 2 J.A.M. said...

@ Lisa Its so nice to know you would have stopped and done something. It doesn't always have to be giving money; I am in the same boat. I can give some supplies and my time with local charities as well. It was more of the comment that the barista made that I shouldn't feed this person because it would encourage him to come back, like he was a stray dog and not a human. I have to agree with your above statement, when did we become so immune? Thanks for commenting

MikiHope said...

I certainly would have written to corporate and complained about that manager! The homeless person was not bothering anyone nor was he actually asking for anything----This just made me glad that I don't frequent Starbucks very often! Something similar happened to me at a Dunkin Donuts about a month ago--I was waiting for my items when a guy came in in a wheelchair-he ordered then realized he was .85 short--I was about to offer the .85 and actually did but the server said not to worry about it to him--I left her the extra .85 as a tip!

GossipMoms said...

That just stupidity on the manager part, Knowing me I would have said some very nasty to that manager, If you are willing to help people that are homeless or even down & out, I dont see nothing wrong with that, Excuse my language But That B**ch would have got some words from me

Lindsay@CrunchySavings said...

How sad. I would have cancelled my order and wrote to corporate....

Masshole Mommy said...

Awww, that is really sad. Thankfully some other people had hearts and brought him some food, but you should write to the corporate HQ just to let them know what happened. I bet they will do something about it.

(Terry) My Journey With Candida said...

When I see a homeless person, I try to help them by giving them something to eat also. We also give to the mens shelter in our neighboring town.

Bianca @ The Pierogie Mama said...

I've worked at many coffee shops during college. I usually did the closing shift and we'd always have tons of left over soup or pastries at the end of the day. We were encouraged to take some home, after all it was just going to get tossed. I used to bring cups of soup for a few of the homeless people on my drive home. I'm not sharing to sound philantropic, but there are definitely ways of helping homeless people without feeling like you might just be 'funding' some kind of problem. Food is food. Especially warm food on a freezing night.

Nikki said...

I think the manager has a horrible attitude. If the man wasn't causing any harm to patrons, what was her problem with him? Besides, if he was outside, he was on public property, so why would she think she has a right to remove him. I'm glad you said something and stood up the rest of humanity who actually has a human side.

Theresa said...

So sad that some people look at someone as down on their luck as lesser of a person. I also would have cancelled my order, then contacted corporate about the manager's statements. Good for you for sticking up for the man!

Have Kids Will Coupon said...

Wow, some can be so cruel. Kudos to you for being a great person!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. You did the right thing and I would have done the same. Some people just don't care anymore.

New follower here, hope you can follow back my blog. Thanks in advance.

amanda ripsam said...

There was no need to have police called in. what would the cop do when they showed up ? I mean really. We were living with friends technically homeless. you could never tell unless you asked. I say never judge a book by it's cover you never know their story and to be as heartless as calling the cops I mean a homeless shelter could have been a better phone call some people a job at starbucks' don't pay much so that person was just a few pay checks away from being in the same spot we all are in reality and none of us like to think what would happen if we lost our job and had to look for work. There's so many people that are homeless the reason we stayed with friend is because the shelters were full or we too would have been on the street. I'm very greatful hubby is working now and we have our own place but unless you hit rock bottom before or gotten close there's no understanding of how to help or what you would or could have done. I used to live in Toronto Canada where there were ton's of homeless people on the street's of down town Toronto we just pass them buy if there's change in our pocket or food we have we can give it to them but that don't help get them off the street that don't help change politics,

Joanna Sormunen said...

I think you are right. People are dehumanizing the homeless and becoming less humans themselves in the process. Giving things to homeless is a difficult thing because you might feed into alcholism or drugaddiction. But at the same time there are people that really need the money.
I prefer to give food or things but on the other hand I think that no matter how the person I give the money or things to, uses what I give, I grow and develop as a person because I have given and cared about other person and not just ignored them.

Coolmoms Cooltips said...

I am at a loss for words on the lack of compassion of the store. Specially this time of year, and like you said by employees of such a philanthropic company

Ellen said...

I would have felt the same as you. More people need to reach out and help.

Shauna Torres said...

I would have been just as upset by her comment... wow, I am actually speechless. There is a homeless man who 'lives' around the shopping center near where we live and I always carry an extra bottle water and package of crackers for him. You never know their story...

Jen B said...

I think that these people should be helped and not shunned. There is a saying about having to walk a mile in someone else's shoes....

becca said...

oh my what a heartfelt story i don't understand some people and how cruel they can be but i love your generosity and willingness to help

Mrs. Sergeant said...

Wow. I can't believe that the manager would say something like that. You did a great job at standing up for that gentleman and your generosity warmed my heart. Thank you for being you, please don't ever stop.

Mel Cole said...

You did a great job. God bless you for helping that homeless man. I would give him a sandwich also so he can stock it in his fridge to wherever he might stay that night.

Alecia @ ChickenScratch NY said...

I wouldn't have involved the manager/worker at all. You don't know of she had a history with him. My husband used to work at a restaurant with a resident 'homeless man'. He used to come in and tell my husband how his bills and food were paid by the government and he used the money he made to pay for porn and cable. I don; think it's anymore fair to judge her than it is to judge him

Ronnie E. said...

I understand her position, but you were the bigger person here for sure. There are so many homeless people in my city and it breaks my heart every time.. especially the children. :(

Mimi said...

So sad, sometimes all you can do is the right thing and you did it.

Jennifer Williams said...

She could have responded a bit kinder and explained herself. She does have a responsibility to all patrons of the store though. You sat in your car for a while to make sure it was safe - how many did not have the time to do that and just drove away? I have seen too many in our area that stand on the streets asking for money and then you catch them getting into their BMW to drive away. We also have an issue where I live that prevents me from taking my son to our library because there are so many that hang out there and do cause issues it is not safe for us to go. I understand you were trying to do a good thing, but there are always reasons that might not be known for a response. I used to take a homeless man to lunch every day when I was working so I am understand wanting to help.

Mommy's Heart said...

I am very touched with the story. I have a couple of experiences with less fortunate people and I have always tried to help them anyway I could. You did a great thing. So is that other gentle man.. Thanks for sharing this..-Vinma

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

I was sat on Facebook yesterday when a story popped up on my feed about Suspended Coffees I thought it was such a lovely idea - people go into coffee shops buy themselves a drink and one or more suspended coffees' which someone whos homeless or short on money can then go and claim later on. You've just reminded me with this story to check the website and see if any of my local cafes do it as I would love to do it when I have some extra pennies - you never know when you might be down on luck.

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

They should be sensitive as their image is on the line too. That was really pretty sad how the manager acted and all that - I understand him but.. maybe it could have been handled differently. Idk...

Tess said...

Ive seen it too many times as a wedding photographer. once, when we were getting ready to take photos outside, there was a guy sleeping on the bench where the snobby bride wanted photos taken. She clicked her tongue and demanded that the cops be called to make this man go away. I felt so bad for the guy!

Amy Desrosiers said...

I think that apparently she is very misguided in life. Sometimes God sends Angels from heaven to see how we will react. Will we give to the poor? Or will we turn a blind eye?/That so called manager makes me sick inside. I have such compassion for people who are homeless. You never know a person's story. It is our job to help these people in any way we can. I think you had the right idea!

QueenB said...

A lot of what is so wrong with our world stems from attitudes like the manager had. That man- he's not "just a homeless guy" He's someone's father, son, brother, uncle, nephew... he's a person. Maybe he's ill. Maybe he's down on his luck. He's still a person. :(

Shannah @ Just Us Four said...

What an awful situation. I understand that the manager felt that she had to ask the person to leave but there are far better ways to do it.

Diane N said...

So sad that the manager acted the way she did. She knows nothing about the man or the situations that he might have faced that landed him in his current position of being homeless.

LaTrice R. said...

Great story...I was once told that God congress in many disguises. You will be blessed!

Pam said...

It is a sad situation all the way around. The important thing is that people reached out to this man and extended their kindness.

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

I would have done exactly the same thing that you did. We often have homeless people around restaurants here in NYC and my husband and I always offer to buy them something to eat. It's about having some good karma and that store manager knows nothing about that.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

There's a lot of aggressive panhandling in my community and it's very unnerving, so I can see it from the perspective of the manager as well if it's affecting customers or business. Most places don't allow loitering to avoid things like that. That being said, I'm absolutely for helping people who need help: homeless, sheltered, hungry, what have you...I just prefer to do it through organizations not directly with a stranger on the street. Homeless or not, I'm wary of ANYONE I don't know who's approaching me or asking me something. Basically, I'm saying that was a snapshot of a larger picture which nobody really knows...so I try to see each side.

Annie said...

That was a horrible thing to say. He wasn't there terrorizing anyone so why have him taken away by the police? I would put yourself in his shoes & see how you'd like to be treated. People need to treat others like how they'd like to be treated...

marielle said...

I do believe you shouldn't judge someone without first walking a mile in their shoes. You just NEVER know what they could be going through. That being said, I do give money out when people ask for it on the street. I did before but not in years. Not saying that people shouldn't but If I can do something it would be to give them something to eat. or refer them to places (maybe they don't know about them) where they can get help. I just dont like the idea of giving money. I once got asked for food when i went to McDonald. They guy looked jumpy and was mumbling to himself. and he asked if i could buy him something to eat. and I did. then i was stupid and asked what he wanted to eat and he bought the most expensive meal there lol

Janeane Davis said...

It is cruel to be mean to homeles people. We have no idea why they become homeless or how long they have been in that condition. It is important to have compassion.

Tina said...

I have often been "accosted" by people looking for money. It does not bother me. Most of the time I have no cash anyways. I understand that having someone outside your business asking all your customers for money is not a good thing....however, it seems that this man was not doing that. He may have been there in the hopes that someone would help him out, but he was not bothering the customers, so there is no reason he should even be asked to leave. I believe in looking for the best in people, not the worst. You had every right to be shocked by this managers attitude!

Lisa said...

I'm glad to see you stepped up and helped.

Cheap Is The *New* Classy said...

I think that people here so many stories of people who abuse the system that they are desensitized when they see a person with a real need. It's sad that the manager is so jaded. I feel sorry for her.

Ashley Gill said...

Starbucks Corporate needs to know about this. They do not have any franchisees, as everyone is a partner inside the company. I would have purchased the sandwich anyway. The manager clearly needs a lesson in humility.

The Frugal Greenish Mama said...

This is hard because I know that as a manager previously of another store, it does encourage them to come back and it is bad for business but as a human with empathy, if I were homeless and given food, wouldn't I go back there? It is sad that the world has come to this point!

Virginia Higgins said...

I've volunteered at a food pantry for several years and have seen my share of stories. I hate that some people are so condescending toward those in need. And to think it happened at Starbucks, a company that routinely donates it's left over baked goods to help those in need... It's a shame.

BabsProjects said...

You did a great thing. The manager may have felt she was doing the right thing too as she must have not wanted to encourage others in front of her business. Having said that, she could have explained it to you better and with a nicer attitude.

Katherine Bartlett said...

My husband is always buying food for homeless people

Farrah AFM said...

That's too bad.. I help collect donations for our local homeless shelter, so I know how much this is needed. It's too bad she has that attitude, especially in this day and age.

Farrah AFM said...

That's too bad.. I help collect donations for our local homeless shelter, so I know how much this is needed. It's too bad she has that attitude, especially in this day and age.

debdenny said...

What a wonderful way to share kindness. Sorry the manager was so closed minded.

Danielle @ We Have It All said...

I think that I would have felt the same way as you and I probably would have done the same thing. So glad you were kind to him.

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