Reflection On Starbucks Observation

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Reflection I chose to do this observation at the Starbucks in early evening in a shopping center in Irvine. Since this observation is the longest one for me for now, I expected the Starbucks in an early evening of a weekday would have less customers, so that I would be able to handle it by myself. However, it still turned out to be more difficult than I have expected. I chose to focus only on what was going on inside the coffee house. However, there were some people seated outside of the coffee house bas well, as it was a lovely evening. Had I the chance to conduct a longer session of observation, I would like to include the people sitting outside into my observation, who are likely to tell other interesting stories. Before getting started,…show more content…
Making this diagram and marking all the seats, including tables, sofas, stools, made it possible to take notes by numbers, which has enabled me to take quicker response when something happens. Although I chose to go in at a relatively less busy time, there were almost a dozen of people in the coffee house throughout the time of my observation, without this diagram and numbering of all the seats, it would significantly slow me down in taking notes. It is equally likely that, I imagine, it will be even harder when reviewing/amending the notes at a later time without this step. I also spent some time writing down the physical surroundings and my feelings suggested by Bailey (2007) including senses like the lighting, sounds, and smells. Starbucks coffee houses have their standardized settings. However, I noticed the lighting is soft and warm, which is especially impressive. I have also marked down the starting position/status of my participants as much as possible, so I only need to take notes when their position/behavior change during my observation and/or new customers arrive in. However, I found it is difficult to follow certain aspects of everyone as suggested by Bailey (2007). Especially in this coffee house in Irvine, which has a huge racial and linguistic diversity. There were East Asian, Latino, and white people in the coffee house (no African American), and…show more content…
I found quite some people, maybe 50%, at Starbucks are not necessarily enjoying their coffee, but working or studying there on a weekday evening. These people concentrate mostly on their screens (laptop or iPad), and they seemed to be not much interested in their drinks. As DeWalt and DeWalt (2011) suggested, it is not feasible to observe everything. But, I found it so attempting to be distracted by behaviors, conversations, and noise happening concurrently at different places. So in designing the observation protocol in the future, it would be helpful to set up a more restricted set of rules. However, sometimes, I imagine certain events that were not predetermined could of great value as well, and worth

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