Starbucks Barista Writes “Pig” On A Police Officer’s Drink.

The town of Keifer, Oklahoma is a small town located about 100 miles northeast of Oklahoma City and about 20 miles south of Tulsa. The town has a population of about 2000 people.

On Thanksgiving Day, a police officer from Keiffer was patrolling and decided that he would stop by a Starbucks in rearby Glenpool, just north of Keifer to purchase some hot chocolate for emergency dispatchers who were working that day with him.

As he received his order, he noticed that one of the cups identified the customer as “PIG.”

According to a Facebook post Thursday by Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O’Mara, when the officer received the order, the label on one of the cups — a venti hot chocolate — read “PIG.”

O’Mara contacted the Starbucks in Glenpool, Okla., to complain and was told the store would happily replace the beverage with a correct label — which was not the apology he had sought.

“The proverb ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me’ came to mind,” he wrote on Facebook, attaching a photo of the mislabeled cup.

“What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town,” O’Mara said, attributing the “derogatory” remark to a broader contempt for law enforcement.

(Let’s be honest here,….the officer was being compensated for his time at work, most likely at 2-3 times regular pay. The barista could have been “home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game,” as well instead of working serving people bad coffee and other overpriced drinks. The “woe is my employee for working” excuse cuts both ways in this case.)

However, writing “PIG” on a police officer’s drink is ridiculous. It’s inexcusable, wrong and no manner of sidestepping and spinning can make it right.

In addition, the store’s response of “we’ll reprint the label for you….” is almost as bad and shows a complete lack of understanding that the store’s employee deliberately insulted a paying customer who had done nothing but ordered 5 drinks.

Police Chief Mara went up the line to Starbucks’ Corporate headquarters who initially said the barista was suspended while they investigated.

During the investigation the barista claimed the label was a “joke” between them and a colleague.

Yeah…..real funny….insulting a paying customer.

The barista may not be laughing now.

The coffee company called the incident “absolutely unacceptable” and said it is “deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this.”

“The Starbucks partner who wrote this offensive word on a cup used poor judgement and is no longer a partner after this violation of company policy,” the statement read. “This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”

In a joint statement, Starbucks and Kiefer police said they’re using the incident “as an opportunity to leverage our shared platforms to promote greater civility.”

The company will meet with Kiefer police to discuss ways to work together, including by jointly hosting a Coffee with a Cop event at Starbucks for local law enforcement to meet with baristas and community members to discuss “the critical role dispatchers and police offers play in keeping our communities safe,” the joint statement said.

It may just be us, but we find Starbucks’ response to the police a little “underwhelming.”

Enter into the picture the company “Black Rifle Coffee Company.”

Black Rifle Coffee was founded by former members of the military. Forty percent of their employees are vets. From all accounts, they make good if not great coffee and in doing so, give back:

As Black Rifle Coffee Company continues to expand, the people leading the way refuse to lose sight of the core values that bring them all together. They are devoted to their Buy A Bag Give A Bag program, which partners with Operation Supply Drop and Soldiers Angels to ship a bag of coffee to deployed U.S. service members for every bag of coffee purchased. In addition to their growing library of irreverent videos, they have also added BRCC Presents, a more sober series that highlights individual veterans and veteran organizations in a documentary style that often leaves viewers inspired.

So while Starbucks was trying to dig itself out of a hole and organizing “gatherings,” Black Rifle Coffee posted this:

(In our somewhat warped minds, we hope that the “Coffee with a Cop” event has cops drinking Black Rifle Coffee from one of the Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mugs / tumblers. That would be great……but probably non-productive for the event. We can dream, can’t we?)

We don’t know why some barista thought that it would be funny to label a cop who was out in the cold and wanting to brighten the day of emergency dispatchers (who were away from their families as well) as a “pig.”

On a day that we were giving thanks for the blessings and people in our lives, we don’t see the humor in calling a cop who by all accounts had done nothing wrong other than want some daggone hot chocolate.

We aren’t trying to defame all baristas here. They work for low pay and tips. There are always going to be bad employees and good ones. The barista who wrote “pig” on the cup is not a good employee. (Arguably, the colleague that was joking with her and the supervisor aren’t much better, but that is a post for another day.)

We aren’t trying to say that all cops are great and we need to bow down and scream “we’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” There are good cops and bad cops.

It just strikes us as being wrong that on a day and in a season where we talk, preach and want peace on earth, and a better life for all, that someone would decide it was a good idea to be divisive like that. In a point where the cop and barista could have shared a “working on a holiday kind of sucks” moment, the barista jumped off the cliff and ultimately into the un-employed waters below.

We hope the officer gets his coffee (as well as the dispatchers) and people can learn from what happened here. There are always going to be people who can’t or won’t learn, but the rest of us can.

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