Your two cents: ‘tone deaf’

Has it really been three years since my last Your Two Cents post? Time flies. Anyway, Sunday’s column on my favorite Starbucks closing — not my favorite coffeehouse, my favorite Starbucks — was my most popular all month based on online views, which I would not have expected.

Although I made a point of saying that the loss of mom-and-pop businesses will be felt more keenly, some people were unmoved and wondered why they should care that a single Starbucks closed (they may have only been reacting to the headline) or why I would waste space writing about a corporate business.

Here’s an email to that point, sender’s name excised:

May I ask why you chose to focus on corporate closings for your article detailing a recent Starbucks shuttering? While you acknowledged that mom and pop stores will also likely close, I feel you wasted your article space by focusing on large corporations that will more easily navigate the difficult economic period. Your article could have addressed the local businesses or coffee shops that need all the help they can get! Sanctuary Coffee is one such location that is non-profit dedicated to social change and great coffee!

May I suggest that you consider highlighting organizations that can actually use the money we spend as consumers? I have little sympathy for corporations like Starbucks losing a location in the sea of their other locations. My only concern is for the employees that are working there and if their jobs are still available to them at locations which I don’t believe you addressed in your article. What of them and the impact of the closure on their jobs? Your portrayal of being inconvenienced by the closure comes off as selfish and tone deaf to be honest.


(Sender’s name)

OK, I admit I’m sharing this email mostly because when she followed up “selfish and tone deaf” with “Kindly,” I let out a horselaugh. One might even wonder if the writer was tone deaf to her own email.

When I replied to her, politely, I cut and pasted the two paragraphs about the fate of the employees, said that I write about local businesses often and that I never expressed sympathy for Starbucks or said anyone should.

But I’ll throw it out there anyway: Who else thinks writing about a closed Starbucks that I frequented was a poor use of column space?

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