Last year, I spent hundreds of dollars buying coffee from Starbucks. In an effort to budget better in ’17, I invested in a Keurig. In less than a month, I think it’s safe to say I’ve already balanced out the ~$150 I spent on both the machine and all the little K-Cups! However, there’s been some hype on Twitter (it’s always interesting to check out what’s trending to see what everyone’s obsessed about each morning) about boycotting Starbucks because they want to employ refugees (I believe it’s exactly 10,000). Starbucks recently announced they were going to give jobs to refugees throughout the 75 countries in which they do business. #BoycottStarbucks?
Okay okay, wait. People are upset about this?
Right, well, I think I see why. We have a group of people who don’t want them admitted into the United States, and it wasn’t just Trump’s presidency that brought about that sentiment. Now we have one of the leading coffeeshop chains saying they’re going to hire them, just because they’re refugees. I like it. I think it’s bold and well, these folks need jobs, right? Isn’t the age-old conservative issue with immigration (illegal and legal) something like, “Don’t come to this country if you aren’t going to work and contribute?”
Look, not to throw my brother under the bus, but he’s been out of the Marines for more than a year and refuses to get a normal job (he currently works at this relatively decent Italian place downtown as a bus boy). He could have other jobs, with more consistent income and stability, but he stays there. I guess what I’m saying is that I know so many people who are American that don’t want these service jobs. Why not?
We shame that. Or a lot of people do. I mean, I don’t; a job’s a job. But we have this mentality: you’re flipping burgers at a McDonald’s- you’re probably one of those kids we warned about this; if you don’t work hard in school, you’ll be making my BigMacs for the rest of your life! We have this stupid system in places that says you need a degree to get a good job or live a happy life then we make college nearly impossible to afford (a lot of people feel this way, but they also underestimate what a community college offers in terms of affordability and flexibility). I mean besides the way people look down at others in those jobs (and most of the people who judge are, well, not in my generation, ahem), the pay sucks. Trust me. I worked at at least four or five in the last eight years.
And speaking of college education, we’re over-emphasizing the importance of it. Did you know that at the tail-end of 2016, the US Department of Labor reported that there were 5.5 million jobs left unfilled? I mean, it’s interesting to see trends in unemployment. Let’s also look at the trends in unfilled positions for jobs. A lot of these don’t require a college degree. An associate’s might help, but certificates in a lot of those fields in addition to a high school diploma are more than enough.
We simply aren’t promoting those things, though.
I digress, as I usually do.
So what’s the problem? They wanna hire refugees… who are… possibly… terrorists? How many baristas have you met that look like they might go blow up a post office? (For me none, that was rhetorical question, anyway).
Look, I gotta side with Starbucks on this one. I may not drink their coffee but as a private business, they can employ whoever the hell they want as long as they aren’t discriminating (at least in the US) by race or gender… If a refugee qualifies and can legally work for them (keep in mind, 74 of those countries are not the United States), then by all means, they can hire them. I think it’s a kind gesture. Those folks won’t make a better life in a new country by just moving there. They’ll need work, too.
So was this announcement by Starbucks for political gain? I think it’s smart advertising. You have a group of people who probably love your coffee who also probably disagree with Trump’s ban on all sorts of immigration/refugee stuff…
Anyway. #BoycottStarbucks? Nah. I stopped going there when a medium-sized coffee costs over $3.00. #SaveMoneyWithKeurig
God, if you guys actually start reading my rants, maybe Keurig will pay me for advertising them so consistently.
Featured image credit: The Odyssey Online