Thursday, November 15, 2007

Waiting for Good Joe?

A recent article at, “Waiting for Good Joe”, stated that:

That's the conclusion of American economist Caitlin Knowles Myers. She, with her students as research assistants, staked out eight coffee shops (PDF) in the Boston area and watched how long it took men and women to be served. Her conclusion: Men get their coffee 20 seconds earlier than do women. (There is also evidence that blacks wait longer than whites, the young wait longer than the old, and the ugly wait longer than the beautiful. But these effects are statistically not as persuasive.)

It is also hard to attribute the following finding to a female preference for wet-skinny-soy-macchiato with low-carb marshmallows: The delays facing women were larger when the coffee shop staff was all-male and almost vanished when the servers were all-female.

I would suggest two additional questions could be asked 1) Does the theory hold in a wider cross-section of concepts (i.e. Italian, Mexican, Indian). 2) Ask how the experience was. Measuring time spent in the process does not address the quality of the experience in any fashion. Throwing this biased ill conceived study into the maelstrom does not seem to add much to the discourse or improve the silence.

The study does not answer the question is someone Waiting for Good Joe?