Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Fresh Cup Corporate Takeover

by AJ

My favorite coffee shop in Bangkok, the "Fresh Cup", has been taken over by corporate goons. The large hotel that owns its building has decided to own and manage the shop themselves.

Already, after just two days, the place is losing charm and quality. The goons first act was to cut corners. They "let go" several of the staff members-- super friendly people who always made me feel welcome. They also changed the recipe for the wholewheat buns... theyve cut the amount of whole wheat used and increased the amount of white flour in order to lower the cost. The result: bland bread that tastes like the crap you buy at 7-11.

The staff that remains has changed too. They are being constantly harassed and micro-managed. A manager from the hotel now perches in the shop, eyeing the employees for "mistakes". These corporate goons have no experience with coffee or a coffee shop, but that doesnt stop them from assuming an air of authority and arrogance.

The result: The staff seem miserable. They dont chat with customers the way they used to. The place feels colder... more impersonal.

So why am I writing about this on a teaching blog? Because Ive seen this same process in many schools: micro-managing, arrogant authority, clueless "experts",...

....and the results are likewise the same: passion, spirit, and excellence are killed. Mediocrity triumphs. (And no doubt, profits soar).