Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Starbucks sociology

Maybe I should go back to school or get a government grant to study random sociological things that I'm curious about.

Today I'm curious about the cultural impact of milkbars around the world. Now that Starbucks is pretty much global, how does regional culture effect how we cooperate at the milkbar. (BTW - a milkbar is the station where you put in your cream, sugar and whatever else you add to your coffee.)

For instance, not surprisingly, Canadian milkbars seem pretty cooperative. We'll step aside for one another, pass the cream, and be pretty deferential. While American milkbars can be more competitive and a little more aggressive. The occasional elbow gets thrown.

I've also noticed that sometimes you can get into milkbar harmony, and both party's moves can be coordinated and choreographed. I wonder if that's what Brazilian milkbars are like. Akin to how they play soccer.

So, I'd like to get some Canadian government grant to study this. Then I'll travel around the world to document milkbar behaviour. The final study will have great importance for the world and could have a major effect on how people work with one another. Perhaps the bells of peace will ring across the land.

Here's a random milkbar photo from the Starbucks across the street from my office. This shows some nice collaboration:

3 comments:

RN said...

Thats not cooperation. She's stealing stuff out of his bag.

Brett T. T. Macfarlane said...

This is all really just a scheme to write a business book and become a high priced speaker on the corporate empowerment seminar tour.

Milking Cooperation
By Stefan Hawes
How seemingly random acts at your Starbucks milkbar are actually a window into the subconscious coordination of all society. This seminar will tell you how to apply the decoded lessons Dr. Hawes has translated into paradigm shifting global business practices guaranteed to unlock greater cooperation and collaboration amongst your team.

Stefan said...

Damn, B-Mac. That's brilliant. If I play my cards right I might get invited onto your next pfsk panel.