General Question

canidmajor's avatar

Is it courageous or foolish to stay in a non-essential location if you don’t feel safe?

Asked by canidmajor (15995points) July 8th, 2019

If you are a patron at a chain fast food outlet (Starbucks, Pizza Hut, etc) does it make more sense to leave if you don’t feel safe because of other patrons, or to draw attention to yourself by complaining to the counter person (who is, very likely, a young, minimum wage worker)?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

I GTFO if I don’t feel safe. There are plenty of ways to be courageous (e.g. trying to help others), but tempting fate isn’t one of them.

chyna's avatar

I think it makes more sense for me, as one person, to leave instead of asking others to leave because I’m the one that is uncomfortable.
But, apparently, everyone is concerned only about themselves and what can be done for ME.

janbb's avatar

Is there a backsotry to this question?

LostInParadise's avatar

My immediate inclination would be to leave. If it happens a few times at the same place, I would ask to speak to the manager about provided that no dangerous person is around at the time.

janbb's avatar

Oh and yes, I would leave.

zenvelo's avatar

@janbb Yes, there is a back story. A Starbucks customer complained to staff that they felt unsafe with half a dozen police officers taking a break at the Starbucks. An employee asked the policemen to leave for that reason.IMHO, the discomfited person should have just left.

And, similarly, if I were in a restaurant where someone was open carrying, I would immediately get and leave, even without paying the check, while calling the police to let them know there was an armed threat.

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb, yes, @zenvelo got it right. This is not the first time people have been asked to leave Starbucks because a customer felt uncomfortable or unsafe. Personally, I doubt that anyone who actually feels unsafe would call attention to themselves by potentially escalating the circumstance.

janbb's avatar

Got it. Yes, that is ridiculous IMHO.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Hope that discomforted person got a ticket on the way home.

kritiper's avatar

Courageous. It would be foolish if you KNEW you weren’t safe.

janbb's avatar

Would we feel differently if the group making the patron uncomfortable was different than police, I wonder? What if it were a group of rowdy Black teenagers?

LadyMarissa's avatar

My biggest lesson in life has been to listen to my gut instinct & to never override it. Therefore, IF I felt uncomfortable anywhere, I’d go home where I know that I’d be safe!!! Although, considering today’s climate, I can understand why someone might feel uncomfortable in this specific situation. Don’t know about the account that you read, but I’ve notice a lack of information on the person registering the complaint, so I don’t understand why they felt so uncomfortable. It could be someone with a mental instability or someone who has had a bad run in with the law in their lifetime.

When I read this info over the weekend, I couldn’t help but wonder if Starbucks wasted their time giving their employees the sensitivity training classes. At least this time no one was arrested & taken to jail. I can only remember once in my life that I felt uncomfortable in the presence of a police officer. He was in a bar, drunk as a skunk & also being very belligerent. I asked my date to take me somewhere else so we could continue to enjoy our evening.

Even as a young 20 something, I think that I would have considered whether or not it was just 1 customer who was uncomfortable or if there were several feeling the negativity before asking the officers to leave. I also think that I’d have taken the problem to the manager because i wouldn’t feel safe asking the police to exit the establishment. What IF the uncomfortable person was thinking of robbing the place & just didn’t want the cops there to stop them??? I’d leave that decision up to a manager…it’s why they get paid the big bucks!!!

@janbb I don’t care if they were white teenagers acting crazy, I’d get my butt up, pick up my cup & take my butt to a safer location even if were my car in the parking lot (unless they followed me, of course)

KNOWITALL's avatar

I just go about my business and try not to live my life in fear.

Now tbh, as far as Starbucks, I would never feel safer than with multiple LEO’s sitting around, so that would never even cross my mind, to be afraid OF them.

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL “I would never feel safer than with multiple LEO’s sitting around, so that would never even cross my mind, to be afraid OF them.”

This is a perfect example of white privilege. I don’t mean that as a criticism of your response (please don’t take it that way). I mostly feel the same way as you do.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

^^I don’t see it that way. It’s rare now to see a group of cops be all white males anymore. Fifteen years ago I would have agreed with you. Cops in general make most people nervous including me but I usually take the time to suck it up and talk with them in casual situations like that just like with anyone else standing in line. I can tell it’s usually greatly appreciated by them.

janbb's avatar

And the back back story is that two Black men were kicked out of a Starbucks in Philadelphia a year or so ago when they were quietly waiting for a third. Starbucks ended up paying them damages. I’m not taking sides or saying they were right to kick out the police; I’m just saying there are nuances to situations that we don’t always read about before becoming righteously outraged.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “It’s rare now to see a group of cops be all white males anymore.”

The gender of the officers has nothing to do with it. As a white person, I feel very safe around police of all races, and I suspect many people of color do not feel safe around police regardless of the skin color of the officer(s). That is white privilege.

canidmajor's avatar

My point with the question is to really ascertain just how much anyone is entitled to demand that others be held accountable for one’s own comfort in such a situation. That’s why I stipulated a ”non essential” location. Not one’s workplace, or one’s neighborhood center, but a Starbucks, as in the two situations mentioned here.

JLeslie's avatar

I would probably leave if I felt very uncomfortable. If I felt like there was a real safety threat, and not just my own personal paranoia, I might do something about it, like tell someone.

A few cops would not usually make me uncomfortable, but it might depending on how they were acting. If I felt they were looking for someone I might feel edgy.

Rowdy any race teenagers I’d likely leave, especially if they are all male. Race has nothing to do with it. A bunch of clean cut white young men acting up are SCARY.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie, please read my post above yours.

JLeslie's avatar

The first part of my answer is about the Starbucks.

I brought up the job thing in a separate paragraph. I deleted the work paragraph so it clear.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@gorillapaws They’re not all white anymore either. It depends on the situation but I largely view a scenario like that to have nothing to do with “white privilege” but more with all the variables at play. Privilege can be one variables yes but to just call what @KNOWITALL describes as white privilege without looking into or considering those variables is an example of hollow, baseless call-out culture.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie the point was, if it wasn’t your workplace.

So some of you think it’s OK to put the burden of dealing with your discomfort onto the shoulders of the worker? If you feel threatened, why not leave and call the authorities yourself?

Patty_Melt's avatar

People should not be asked to leave because one person feels uncomfortable.
Those cops must have been there on business. Otherwise I would expect them to leave as soon as they got their coffee to pick up Krispy Kremes.

janbb's avatar

I would leave but as someone said above, if I perceived it to be a dangerous situation for many, I might say something to the manager in charge before leaving. I don’t think it’s a place’s responsibility to make it comfortable for only me though.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gorillapaws @ARE_you_kidding_me Call it whatever you like, but it’s not just one race afraid of cops. I know a few legal immigrants that are terrified of any LEO because of the abuse in their home countries, nothing to do with the US LEO’s.

When you disembark in Cancun, you’re met in the airport by a lot of armed military with AK’s, talk about uncomfortable. The show of force was pretty overwhelming for me, especially knowing how flexible they are with legalities. So I’m going to revise my answer that if I saw a group of them (in another country,) I’d just turn around and leave.

seawulf575's avatar

If I am in a restaurant and someone is actually causing problems (yelling, picking fights, being rowdy), I would leave, but would tell the manager on the way out why I was leaving. If, as the backstory explained, cops walked in, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. If, for some reason, I felt the cops were out to get me, I probably STILL wouldn’t leave….no reason to. I’m not going to let them ruin my meal (or coffee or whatever). It isn’t courage or foolishness…it’s principle. Now, if I had outstanding warrants and it was likely that the cops would be looking for me, I would probably not stick around. I would calmly get up and head out, trying to avoid drawing attention to myself.
But this idea that others are responsible for my peace of mind is foolish. Asking the management to ask others to leave just because I don’t “feel safe”, is idiotic. Let’s change the scenario a bit. Let’s say I (a white guy) am sitting there, enjoying my coffee, and a group of blacks walk in. Would it be acceptable for me to ask the management to ask them to leave because the make me feel uncomfortable? No. That would be equally idiotic and for the exact same reason. The kicker, though, is that if it was a white guy asking for blacks to leave, it would be called racism. Forget the idea that he feels uncomfortable…he’s a racist! His claim of discomfort is bullshit! He should just suck it up!
When you react differently to the story just because the characters change, you are not being consistent.

jca2's avatar

If I were in Starbucks or a similar location and I saw rowdy teenagers or someone who made me nervous, I’d probably leave and not call anyone. I would assume that the staff would be able to alert authorities if they felt there was a safety issue.

If I were in a Starbucks or similar location and saw police officers having coffee, that wouldn’t make me nervous.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor Me writing “tell someone” I include calling the police or security depending where I am.

canidmajor's avatar

I doubt he felt “unsafe”, @jca2, which is exactly my point. If people feel unsafe, they leave quietly without drawing attention to themselves, and retreat to a place of safety.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther