de-compartmentalization, forced

September 27, 2005 – 11:46 pm

Following the resignation and departure of the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) Chief Operating Officer on September 12th, a serious cash shortage was revealed. An immediate investigation by SCAA’s Executive Director uncovered serious accounting irregularities and a loss of SCAA’s cash reserves.

surreal is finding the firewall between my day job and leisurely obsessions abruptly breached by accounting fraud in the specialty coffee industry. i mean, we’re talking an organization so niche it can’t even afford to screen its advertisers, resulting in total dissonance at events and in publications. the route to madd, competition-worthy barista skillz? start by NOT using that product to the left! that’s what it’s like reading some industry trade pubs. and, you know, the top in-names are ubiquitous. so we’re talking insider corruption — on a potentially criminal scale — already? in a trade group that makes the harley owner’s group (HOG) seem conglomerate-ish by comparison?? if that’s not a convincing harbinger of cultural corruption not unlike long-festering breaches in journalism, i don’t know what is. only this one didn’t take 200 years to boil over!

and yes, by day i’m a reporter. a business reporter. let me tell you, to shed the workday’s weight, run to the local green-bean suppliers, break in the isomac and dial in some yirgacheffe for the evening, then wake up the innerneck and read this, well … for me, two worlds heretofore kept separate have collided. and the reporter in me wants to know how it happened, and how we know it won’t again. too bad there’s no watchdog function within the biz … which just might be a good place to start.