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Dori: Starbucks caused discarded needle problem with political correctness

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Remember when Starbucks made the announcement that anyone who wanted to could sit in Starbucks as long as they wanted without buying anything? This was Starbucks’ politically correct response to all of the backlash they received when two African-American men were asked to leave a Philadelphia Starbucks and subsequently arrested after using the restroom without buying anything.

I predicted this would have dire consequences for the company. I said, “We know where all the drug vagrants will go now when they want to get away from the elements. They will just go into the nearest Starbucks.”

I told you so.

RELATED: Backpack full of needles found across street from Ballard school

Several different Starbucks locations in the Seattle area are installing safe needle deposit boxes in their bathrooms after 4,000 employees signed a petition on coworker.org begging for the change.

Exposure to HIV/AIDS, Hep C, Hep B, etc. is a risk in Seattle where there is a heroin/hep c crisis [sic]. There is no vaccine for Hep C, and Starbucks refuses to comment when employees mention this risk. Employees risk getting poked, and DO get poked, even when following ‘protocol’ of using gloves and tongs to dispose of used needles left in bathrooms, tampon disposal boxes, and diaper changing stations.

What a special brand of evil that is — that some of the drug vagrants leave used needles on baby diaper changing stations. Besides the nightmare of waiting on test results to see if they have life-altering diseases, the employees went on to talk about the tremendous financial costs of having to get treatment after being pricked by a needle.

It costs almost two thousand dollars just for one round of after-exposure shots, not including other tests, shots, medications, etc. Employees have to pay out-of-pocket for this before being reimbursed until Starbucks’s company insurance kicks in. Many baristas cannot afford that, instead resorting to loans and credit cards.

They say they have to dispose of hypodermic needles left behind by drug users every single day at Seattle Starbucks locations. They just want to do their job and go home, and they have to risk contracting a deadly disease on a daily basis.

This is as predictable as could be. You take a policy that says anyone can come and hang out without buying anything, and combine it with a region that has the drug vagrancy crisis that we have — of course it is going to put employees at risk. But this is the time we are in. The overreaction by Starbucks to the incident in Philadelphia now puts their own employees in danger.

This is a complete failure of our local politicians, who have made us a huge destination for vagrants.

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