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November 12th, 2007


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12:16 pm - speaking of trying too hard to see hidden mickeys...
Universal Hub links to a study of Boston-area coffee shops which concludes that women "...wait an average of 20 seconds longer for orders than male customers even when controlling for gender differences in orders." UH notes:
Author Caitlin Knowles Myers, an assistant professor of economics at Middlebury College, says the wait was even more pronounced in shops with male employees - women workers were less likely to try to hold women customers up. Not only that, but the baristas seem particularly disgusted by ugly customers - they had to wait longer for their orders than the beautiful people.
The story goes on to note that nearly 300 customer interactions were noted in eight "unnamed coffee shops in the Boston area", where observers noted each customer's gender, ranked their appearance, and timed their order. And they found a twenty second discrepancy upon average -- yet the statistical analysis, as noted on slate.com, shows that this discrepancy is measured in mere seconds. There isn't a significant difference in wait times. But those kinds of conclusions don't get grant moneys, kids! Let's look in now on a random Boston Coffee Shop and see how our professor friend is getting along...

PROF: Hey, barista!

BORED BARISTA: What?

PROF: You've got a lot of explaining to do.

BORED BARISTA: What?

PROF: I've been sitting here all afternoon, timing your order fulfillment times and listing them by gender and customer attractiveness.

BORED BARISTA: What?

PROF: My findings are conclusive: You, sir, make female customers wait an average of twenty whole seconds longer than male customers!

BORED BARISTA: What?

PROF: And that figure is compounded if the subject is ugly, as ranked on my Attractiveness Scale where 10 is Yowsa Yowsa Yowsa and 1 is You Ain't Got No Alibi.

BORED BARISTA: What?

PROF: Fashion sense also plays a part in it, but that's negligible right now since everybody's wearing black winter coats.

BORED BARISTA: What?

PROF: See those two? They placed identical orders. The man got his drink in two minutes and forty-five seconds. The woman got her drink in over three minutes! Nearly thirty whole seconds longer! How can you not rationalize this as anything but gender discrimination?

BORED BARISTA: We ran out of milk in the front fridge. Hadda go back to get some more.

PROF: And this other couple: He got his in a minute and a half, she got hers in a minute and fifty-five seconds. What have you to say to that?

BORED BARISTA: The second cup spilled a little, so I went and topped the coffee back off. Gee. I sure hope she didn't, like, die of thirst waiting that long or something.

PROF: Was that sarcasm? It was. Your nineteenth exhibition today.

BORED BARISTA: You're counting my sarcastic remarks too?

PROF: Yes, but that's an entirely different study for an entirely different grant. The point is that you are clearly exhibiting gender bias, whether you're aware of it or not. These statistics are proof positive that women and ugly people are being treated as coffeeshop inferiors, and my findings are going to shake the latte world to its very core! And it's all because of you!

BORED BARISTA: Listen, lady, we make every drink as fast as we can here. I can't help it if I spend a few more seconds on a drink just because someone's using the espresso machine before me and forgot to dump out the grounds or the squeezy bottle with the caramel syrup is on the other side of the counter and I gotta go get it, or if the plastic wrap on the new stack of cups is hard to open and I gotta use my teeth. A couple of seconds ain't a problem, and I haven't gotten any complaints. Everybody's, like, talking or listening to the music or using their Blackberries. Nobody's staring at their watches like you and counting the seconds like Rain Man.

PROF: Excuses, excuses, excuses. You're clearly not trying hard enough.

BORED BARISTA: Hey, like, I served that woman in under thirty seconds, but that guy had to wait like two minutes for his order.

PROF: Yeah, but he's probably gay.

BORED BARISTA: Oh come on...

PROF: No, you come on! This is clearly the most egregious case of discrimination I have ever seen and I've a right mind to sue, too, once I've published my results. And on a personal note, might I say that I've been absolutely disgusted with your actions over the past six hours.

BORED BARISTA: You've been sitting here for six hours?!

PROF: Yes, and--

BORED BARISTA: Dude! You haven't bought anything yet. You gotta buy something or else we'll hafta ask you to leave.

PROF: Okay, um, well, I'll have a tall cup of the AA dark blend with milk, no sugar.

BORED BARISTA (walking off): OK, that'll be ready in about... fifteen minutes. It's my break. Later.

PROF: MISOGYNIST!!!

(26 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
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There are no charts in that paper. I don't trust it.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
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You're right. This paper is useless without graphs and pie charts. Here, maybe I can help:

TIME OF SERVICE

TIME CHART HERE: 10s--------20s--------30s--------------------40s------50

PRETTY BOYS: #######
UGLY BOYS: ###########
PRETTY WOMEN: ###############
UGLY WOMEN: #############################
SPARKY THE TALKING DOG: ##################################################

this study now shows that coffeehouses are clearly biased against serving talking dogs.

You're welcome!
[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
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IT'S TRUE! FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF TALKING DOGS!!!
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
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And have you seen the MBTA chart in the Davis Square station that shows the NUMBER OF ON-TIME RED LINE TRAINS over the past few years? The red bar is kinda low in 2002, somewhat higher in 2005 and totally high in 2007, the BEST YEAR EVER!

Source? What source? Criteria? What criteria? This red bar is bigger than the other red bars! That means it's more gooder! Bars don't lie, people!

I oughta get a picture of it the next time I go by.
[User Picture]
From:alphacygni
Date:November 12th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
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I've missed that chart, somehow. But it's quite likely that I know the people who make it. I'll look into it.

I don't _think_ the criteria for on-time have changed for the red line over the years, but they may have. I'd have to look. And the source is a funktastic tracking system that sees every car as it enters and leaves each station and logs it. It is awesome. I could make funky histograms of how long the train sits at Park Street at various times of day while the drivers mournfully say, "PLEASE step away from the doors, the doors will be closing".

Edited at 2007-11-12 11:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:stopword
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
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I wonder if they controlled for the propensity of my sisters to order a half-caff half-decaff half soy tall latte, with foam.

(OMG I can edit my typos now!)


Edited at 2007-11-12 06:05 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:marphod
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
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(Only paid members can edit. And only if there are no replies to the comments. I've not discovered if all the replies are deleted, if you can edit again or not.)
[User Picture]
From:stopword
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
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The little edity icon went away with your comment, so no. That's smart. You could totally go all Daily Show during a flame war and make the other person look like a complete tool.
[User Picture]
From:marphod
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
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The question is: if I go back and delete my comment, can you edit again?
From:kevin_church
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
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...even when controlling for gender differences in orders. makes me think that they are doing that. Maybe.

I know that my usual drink sounds stupidly complicated when it's called out at the local franchise coffee shop: "Vente triple soy hypercaf de-modulated neural suspension latte."
[User Picture]
From:stopword
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
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I CANNOT BE BOTHERED TO READ THE WHOLE THING!

Where do you think we are, somewhere not-internetty?
From:kevin_church
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
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OH GOD YES THAT SECOND HALF OF THE FIRST SENTENCE WAS SO FAR AWAY!!!!
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
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THIS IS THE INTERNET
WE DON'T HAVE TO READ EVERYTHING BEFORE WE PASS BRUTALLY FRANK JUDGEMENT IN ALL CAPS
From:kevin_church
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
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SHUT UP, TYPEY MCLOUDMOUTH.

-xKEVINx
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
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OMG I'M MODDING YOU DOWN

(-1, LOUD)
From:kevin_church
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
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"Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress."

You know who said that?

No, it wasn't Hitler. It was Napoleon. Smartass.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
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You are clearly depriving me of my free speech here and I shall be notifying the FBI post-haste!!!!! They have special task forces who do NOTHING but hunt down Free Speech Deprivers on the Internet all day!
[User Picture]
From:abbetaka
Date:November 13th, 2007 06:22 am (UTC)

tee

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This post and its children threads (such as this one) made me giggle a lot.
[User Picture]
From:stopword
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
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IF SPATCH HAD WANTED ME TO READ THAT SENTENCE, HE WOULD HAVE MADE IT BOLD AND BLINKY.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
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MAYBE IF IT MOVES YOU WILL NOTICE IT
[User Picture]
From:dpolicar
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
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If I remember the article correctly (don't really feel like going back and checking), yeah, they did. When comparing male and female customers ordering equally complicated drinks the effect remained.

[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:November 12th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
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Maybe women are getting higher-quality drinks. Is this person (or team of persons) going to go to Boston area gynecologists and perform the same study?

PROF: Your sessions with women take TWENTY MINUTES LONGER than your sessions with men! You clearly have a gender bias!

OB/GYN: Uh...how did you get in here? That man wasn't a patient, he was a drug company representative. Men don't normally go to the gynecologist.

PROF: Gender Bias!
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
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I'd guess that the entire difference is explained by "men want to look at women longer and therefore serve them slightly slower".
[User Picture]
From:stopword
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
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Or maybe women are more chatty. I'm always chatting with the barista, especially once I get to know him or her. They are filled with valuable neighborhood informations.
[User Picture]
From:annilita
Date:November 12th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
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True dat. My knit club meets at a Starbucks and we're all constantly chatting up this one barista we refer to as Flirty McLatte. He can take his time getting me my cocoa, yo, 'cause I got something pretty to look at while I wait.
[User Picture]
From:annilita
Date:November 12th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
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I think this is probably one of the miriad reasons why women still average 30% less pay than men. 20 seconds later to work every day is 1 minute and twenty seconds a week, or over an hour a year. That accounts for one less hour of pay per year. I'm not sure where the other 659 missing hours of pay are going, but I'm glad we've at least accounted for one of them.

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