"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

May 20, 2018

LOOK OUT, STARBUCKS!

Starbucks announced they will allow people to loiter and use the restrooms in their 8,000 cafes throughout the U.S. to prevent discrimination and cut down on lawsuits.

Good for Starbucks, but they’ll probably learn they should have stopped at bathroom access.  I hope they realize this decision will also open their doors to America's Untouchables: our Homeless population (which now includes me). Stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, in safety and without paying a dime?

Will Starbucks customers mind (us) schlepping in with garbage bags full of belongings rather than an I-pad? Hanging out in the best spots with fellow homies, since word travels at lightning speed when free services are available?

Trust me, I know of which I speak. This campground is very close to increasingly upscale, touristy Ashland, which has been trying to bus out their homeless for years, so now, no surprise, they’re squatting in places like this. The Honor System  allows 14 overnight stays every 30 days so I see people bouncing from here to other campgrounds all the time. It’ll be the same for Starbucks. Thank goodness enforcement is not my responsibility because I’m a sucker for sob stories.

What I’m NOT crazy about is cleaning up after people who slip in to use the free showers in particular. Yesterday I opened one (individual) shower room and was greeted with a face full of fine powder. The floor looked strange, like some cleaner had been used (not by me…I’m not really Camp Host material) but what struck me was the horrific odor I detected while trying to figure out what was wrong. Made me sick and I started imagining symptoms.

I thought maybe it was my imagination since I’ve been out-of-sorts of late as you know, but put up a yellow Closed sign just in case.  I asked the Rangers to check and determine whether I’m crazy or something’s rotten in Denmark.

You can’t imagine my relief when two Rangers agreed with my assessment, but no, it wasn’t sinister like Anthrax.  It was a combination of Comet on the floor (we’ve got Ranger Assistants now) and some noxious drug.

“People can come in here, lock the door, and do whatever they want, including smoking or cooking up something.” They shrugged their shoulders and promised the combination locks are coming; but I didn’t sign up for this.

So where do car-borne campers hang out on those two in-between days per month? It used to be Walmart, but now it'll be Starbucks, at least during the day. Will Starbucks implement a time limit for their open door policy? 

Once paying customers of all races begin to complain about their new companions and take their business elsewhere, will Starbucks starts trying to kick the homeless out of their cafes? 

If I was a SMART WOMAN I’d be the first to try out my theory. Camp out in a Starbucks, eating my Vienna Sausages and drinking something in a brown wrapper until I’m asked to leave. Then I’ll scream bloody murder, accuse them (rightly) of discrimination based on Economic Position and Property, and hopefully receive a large enough settlement to buy another RV and maybe a piece of land for myself.


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