Pretty quickly, I stopped seeing the company as an engine of community. Instead, I saw it as a mythmaker offering only an illusion of belonging and meeting its customers' desire for connections in form, maybe, but surely not in substance. Once I came to this conclusion, I started to dig deeper into the company's other promises--great working conditions, musical discovery, fair treatment of farmer, and concern for the environment. Every time I went excavating, the stories turned out to be more complex, more heavily edited, and more ambiguous than I had first thought. Each time, it became clear that Starbucks fulfilled its many promises only in the thinnest, most transitory of ways and that people's desires went largely unfulfilled.