The customer shouted negatively

Ben Hunte, former LGBTQXYZ correspondent for the BBC, talks to the former Starbucks worker who screamed at a customer to GET OUT because she “misgendered” him.

Exclusive: Luna Spain lost her manager’s job after an interaction with a customer was covered by right-wing media. She told VICE News she is being treated as a criminal despite being the victim of transphobia.

Define “transphobia.”

Luna Spain said the customer called her and another trans colleague “trannies” and shouted negatively about gender in the packed Starbucks store. 

What does “shouted negatively about gender” mean?

After two years as a manager, Spain said she was fired without even having a meeting with her bosses at work. 

Police have told us they are investigating the incident, which took place in April, as a potential transphobic hate crime, and Spain said she was considering legal action against the customers as well as her former employer. 

Why aren’t the police investigating the incident as a potential misogynist hate crime? Maybe they are, but if so Ben Hunte didn’t see fit to mention it. He’s not the most reliable journalist I’ve ever read.

It’s also interesting that Hunte seems to agree with the fired starbucky that being “negative” about trans ideology is a good and justifiable reason to shout at a customer to GET OUT!!!, including when the customer is at a physical disadvantage compared to the shouting starbucky. I differ with Hunte on this pointe.

Spain, 28, said that her name, address and contact details were published online after the video went viral, and that “transphobes have started knocking” at her home and her family’s homes. 

Not in the reporting I saw they weren’t.

Footage taken at the Starbucks in Southampton, in southern England, showed Spain arguing with a woman, identified as Vanessa Thomas, while a man, understood to be the woman’s partner Mark Andrews, filmed the incident. 

So Ben Hunte sees fit to publish the customer’s name? I take it he’s hoping people will knock on her door?

The video also features Spain asking the customer to leave the store while clapping in her face, and calling her “Karen.” The video ends with Spain walking up to the man filming the incident and apparently knocking the phone out of his hand. 

Yes, so how is Spain the victim here?

But in an interview, Spain told VICE News that the video only showed the end of the incident, and was not reflective of what really happened.

“The viral video doesn’t show the customer calling us trannies and going on a rant about gender. It doesn’t show how it started with her screaming about why we don’t accept cash, and demanding that we do. The internet’s been filled with lies,” she said.

That’s his case? It’s pathetic. Maybe she was a rude customer, maybe she was a rude and demanding customer. That’s certainly possible. Such customers do exist. But is it Starbucks policy for employees to respond to rudeness with orders to GET OUT and name-calling and face-clapping? I doubt it. I think the policy in customer-facing jobs is generally to be as calm and non-confrontational as possible with angry and/or rude customers, to de-escalate as far as possible, complete the transaction, and move on.

“I’m the victim of a transphobic hate crime, but I’m being treated like a criminal,” Spain said – visibly shaken.

Oh fuck off. Take your pity party somewhere else. He towered over her, so no, I don’t believe he’s “visibly shaken” a week later. Visibly in a misogynist rage, yes, but shaken, no.

“The woman in the video was rude and abusive all the way through us trying to serve her,” she said. “She was furious about not being able to pay cash, but it’s quite a common reaction from some older customers in our store, so I was ready with a response. But she just wouldn’t accept it.”

So he called her a Karen and screamed in her face and told her to GET OUT, GET OUT.

Nope. Not acceptable.

Spain said the customer started “losing her mind after she deliberately misgendered my colleague standing next to me and I corrected her pronouns,” adding that “it was deliberate and spiteful, not a mistake like she seems to be claiming online.”

Surely it is not part of Bozo’s job description that he needs to “correct” what pronouns customers use to refer to other employees. Especially when what he means by “correct” is the opposite of ordinary usage. Starbucks customers don’t need to be educated on the magic gender specialty pronouns of the baristas. They’re there to buy a caffeinated drink, not get the exciting details of the identity of the guy who hands out the chocolate peanut butter toffee espresso.

“She said, ‘what is it with you trannies and all this gender stuff’ and ‘with you trannies it’s always all about gender’ – I cut her off and told her she’s not getting served. I asked her to come to the till and get a refund. But instead, she started getting louder and louder. She was calling me ‘a man’ as much as she could, and calling my colleague who is a trans man ‘a woman’ in front of a full store of customers and colleagues.”

I don’t care. Nobody cares. Give her her drink and shut up. Move on with your day.

Asked why she grabbed the customer’s partner’s phone, Spain said: “I wanted the video to be deleted. I didn’t want to be online and shamed like so many other trans people have been. When I didn’t get it, I grabbed the other customer by the bag and escorted her out of the store, then immediately closed the door – which unfortunately cracked the glass.”

Hahahahahaha how unfortunate – and nothing to do with how he closed the door of course.

Asked what is happening next with the incident, Spain told VICE News she has reported the female customer to the police. Spain said, “she very clearly committed a hate crime against me – and my colleague – just for being trans.”

Did she clap her hands in his face?

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