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Starbucks Under Commons to Stop Bullying Customers

Photo by Katherine Cocherl / The Daily Pennsylvanian

In an unprecedented policy change, Starbucks under commons has announced that they plan to stop bullying customers.

The change will be implemented beginning fall of 2019, but small changes will be made in the coming weeks to ease the transition. Beginning this week, Starbucks Under Commons will cease directly mocking you by name before you leave the cash register — a policy that had some customers feeling uncomfortable.

Further changes that will be implemented in the coming months include an end to public harassment when a customer misses the first call for their spinach and feta wrap and reduced passive aggressiveness when customers ask for milk in their iced coffees. 

A specific time table for the changes has not yet been rolled out, but manager Brian Porter says he is in no rush.

“I think consistency is really important when dealing with customers,” Porter reflected. “We have an incredibly devoted client base who expects a certain style of service when they walk down that institutional staircase into the café. We don’t want to scare them off by all of a sudden… I don’t know… assuming the best in them? Treating them with kindness? We’re trying to take things slow.”

Porter said the changes were prompted by orders from higher up and that if it were up to him, Starbucks Under Commons would keep its unique charm. 

“Differentiating ourselves is what keeps the customers coming back,” said Porter. “It’s easy to think that people come back because we accept dining dollars or have table space. But, if you take the time to get to know the customers here, you quickly realize it’s the experience that’s pulling people in. It’s the high of an honest interaction and the joy of having something to complain about. They really get off on that.”

One customer, Nursing Junior Kelly Zhang, said she was excited for what the future of the new café standards had to offer. “I learned in one of my Nursing classes that being actively made fun of for ordering a drink with two flavors of syrup can be a real detriment to a person’s mental health. This policy change was probably the right move for campus.”

“Maybe now I’ll be able to use my reusable mug without feeling deep shame about who I am as a person.”