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Starbucks Baristas Allegedly Made Fun of Special Needs Customers


Rene Schwietzke/Flickr

Did Starbucks employees in Knoxville, Tenn., go all Mean Girls on two special needs customers? A report from Knoxville's WVLT quotes a customer who says she saw just that. Megan Kerr had stopped in for coffee with a friend when she says she noticed baristas mocking a fellow customer:

"They took videos and pictures on their phone while they were pretending to do work," she says. "The man wasn't very aware of his surroundings. I don't even think he noticed they were making fun of him."

But, Kerr says the woman he was with did notice.

"The girl was clutching her shoulders and rocking back and forth just kind of emotionally taken," says Kerr. "She got up and went to the bathroom and looked as if she was crying."

Kerr and her friend say they believe the couple has special needs and that they were mocked by store employees for the way they acted.

Kerr posted on Facebook about the situation and encouraged her friends to boycott the coffee chain; WVLT says her post has been shared more than 2,000 times so far. She's reportedly scheduled to meet with someone from Starbucks today to address concerns over what she saw.

The public generally doesn't take too kindly to those who make fun of people with special needs: A server in Houston was praised as a hero after he kicked out a diner who made rude comments about a kid with Down syndrome.