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How did the actual Starbucks bias training work?



A sign that alerts customers that Starbucks is closed on the afternoon of May 29th. (AP Photo / Paul Sancya)

I suspect that most people have just seen the parodies of Starbucks & # 39; Bias training.

RELATED: Starbucks Praised and Criticized

I wanted to see the real thing. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson starts by saying that the whole business of being "color blind" is nonsense.

"Growing up, this term is called color blind ̵

1; a described learning behavior in which one pretends that makes no sense at all," he says.

The theme should be "brave in color". This included watching a series of videos and writing down reactions. The reactions were private.

But there were other times when employees were expected to respond aloud and help lighten people up. There has been a discussion in which Starbucks board member Mellody Hobson, who is black, is dealing with bias experts about the absurdity of trying to pretend that you do not see a race.

"What about color blindness that creates a problem?" She asked.

"Our brains can not see different racial categories … we can not stop that," an expert replied. She explained that people want others to see her as her full self. For many, that includes their racial identity.

Starbucks commissioned a filmmaker to compile a video on the history of discrimination in America. The film contained a montage of African-Americans talking about what they think about before leaving home. In the middle, they show a white man how he has prepared for his day.

"When I leave my house, no matter where I go, I'm leaving my house …" he explains. He does not think about the hurdles he faces and whether he will be convicted or not.

This was followed by a black woman who made a seemingly simple request.

"The company I want to see is, I want to be able to go out of the house just as freely, feel like this white guy who says he does not worry when he comes out the door, I want the same one Expectation. "

The most memorable part to me, however, was a series of stories-audio only, not video-of Starbucks managers opening and sharing stories about incidents in their stores. And as you would notice, there is a reason why they did not want their faces shown. One story was called "The Tip Jar".

During the employee's story, he explains how he worked the registry when a group of "young black men" came in. Before he went to the counter, the clerk hid the tip jug.

"We had a few cases where people stole our tips and they looked like they were the kind of person who would do that," the clerk explains. They got up, paid, and when I gave them the bill, I was really embarrassed because they actually asked if we had a tip cup because they wanted to tip a dollar. "

You can find this together with the training booklet on the Starbucks Channel, but I'll admit the Daily Show version is funnier.


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