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Entry 9

Sali Davies

Entry 9 Continuing to look at the same feed of data, this comment particularly caught my eye:


I work in a bakery adjacent to a SB. Our employees buy their DEFENSIVENESS coffee and their employees buy our baked goods. We share the same regulars. And guess what? We rarely remember to those IDENTITY regulars by name first, buy by order or temperament. There are a lot of Ben’s and Judy’s, but only a few “crabby-bearded-guy- HUMOUR with scrubs-and-cheese-Danish”. Like a lot of service workers, I don’t define myself by occupation, but others seem to impose their own identities onto me without knowing me personally. ..


It’s easy to hear “Rory” as “George”.. and sometimes really entitles people are fun to torment

This is a prime example of individuals demonstrating defensive behaviour in regards to Starbucks. This theme is becoming increasingly relevant to the community. Particular comments such as “I don’t define myself by my occupation” and “service workers are people” are the main identifiers. This user doesn’t work at Starbucks but is extremely sympathetic and empathises with the baristas. In this example, the individual works in a bakery and is comparing her experiences with those of a Starbucks employee. Maybe she has had some difficult experiences working in the bakery? Maybe this may trigger a sense of frustration, but not towards Starbucks, towards rude customers? This defensive behaviour is a certain common theme within the community; however it is rarely the reason for the initial post.

Defensive users merely contribute to the online discussion and often contend with the original motivation behind the post. Though this post is not malicious, it is not attacking other members, it is relatively lighthearted. Unlike some of the other posts this user is not praising Starbucks, it merely shows understanding.


Here is another example of an individual sticking up for their beloved Starbucks employees, blaming the miss-spelling on background noise. Furthermore, 108 people then ‘liked’ this person’s comment, alluding that they also suppose what Chandra is saying. Again, Chandra herself did not contribute a photograph; she merely participated in the conversation. She is clearly an avid Starbucks fan and is a regular customer/employee as she knows what the abbreviation MCCF stands for and appears to be emotionally engaged with the brand. However, her comment has then been opposed by another individual who demonstrates a

clear divide in people perceptions and reasons behind the miss-spellings. In these four posts the motivations vary from defensiveness to frustration then back to defensiveness.

Following last week’s article: Woman gets upset after Starbucks writes "Vagina" instead of "Virginia" I have continued to follow the users comments to monitor any developments in changing themes and motivations. Here are some of the latest discussions…

Looks like they spelt the name as they heard it, phonetically. If the


American accent of the lady who ordered was quite thick, then they can be hard to understand, especially to non-native English


speakers. It was an unintentional mistake, instead of laughing it off and having a funny holiday story to tell (I know I would have if I got one), they are taking this way too seriously. Making a mountain out of a molehill. 4/30/13 6:01am I really hope you were being sarcastic, otherwise, try to spell an DEFENSIVE African name from hearing it alone. You expect the Chinese, whose

FRUSTRATED - AT first language doesn't even use American letters, to be able to spell an American name that even some Americans spell wrong? 4/30/13


9:56am "Every Starbucks experience for her has been coupled with fear and anticipation." Oh God, I cracked up right there. Seriously? She was so fearful and terrified that she continued to faithfully patronize the same place over and over? What a joke. While it'd certainly be


wrong to purposely make fun of someone's name (unless it's DEFENSIVE BUT something reeeeally dumb, like Joe :P), there's no indication that POSITIVE this was ever done on purpose, and being in a country like Hong Kong, I think it's fairly obvious that it wasn't intentional. Cut the people some slack, and maybe your sister can spell out her name for them, next time.

In contrast to the examples above, it appears that some community members are in disbelief that ‘Starbucks Names’ has caused such a ruckus! The motivations behind their posts are humorous as they can’t believe that others are taking it so seriously. This may be a cultural issue, causing a different sense of humour? In fact, yet again users are becoming frustrated that others can’t take it as a joke therefore they feel the need to contribute to the discussion to tell them to ‘be quiet’. Additionally to these articles, a user poster this image on a Reddit feed with the caption:

My name (Kinzi) is always spelled wrong as well, but this one from Starbucks wins the prize. Within four days, the post received over 400 comments. When filtering through my data, I came across this discussion between the original poster and a Satrbucks Barista. Similarly to previous posts. When conducting semiotic analysis on this image, the drink in in the centre of the

photograph and the name remains the focus. The font depicts the name written. It looks lazy. The capitals, the slant, the extended ‘y’. This is a common factor in the images within the culture. The name acts as a sign which provides meaning and potential motivations behind the post.

Entry 9