How to do voter ID (Liberal edition)

Forget Tim’s, Dr. Ignatieff. Get a stack of membership forms, camp out at Starbucks and just wait

MANHATTAN — An English professor claims she was ejected from an Upper West Side Starbucks by cops for refusing to order according to the coffee chain’s rules, according to the New York Post.

Lynne Rosenthal, who says she holds a PhD from Columbia, told the paper she asked for a toasted multigrain bagel at the Starbucks on 86th Street and Columbus Avenue — then blew her top when the staffer behind the counter asked her if she wanted butter or cheese on top.

“I just wanted a multigrain bagel,” Rosenthal told the Post. “I refused to say ‘without butter or cheese.’ When you go to Burger King, you don’t have to list the six things you don’t want.”

“Linguistically, it’s stupid, and I’m a stickler for correct English.”

Rosenthal, whose grudge against the coffee chain also extends to refusing to order by the trademark “tall” and “venti” sizes, next began yelling at the staffer to hand over her plain bagel, until the manager finally called the police, according to the Post.

Starbucks staff said Rosenthal incited the face-off by hurling profanities at the staffer.

“She called [the barista] an a–hole,” one worker who witnessed the incident told the Post.



  • Brian

    Yeah, that’s relevant to political discourse in this country.

  • batb

    This post puts in BOXCAR LETTERS how the “civil” in civility is fast disappearing every which way.

    First, I myself hate Starbucks’ pretensions and usually, on the very occasional times I grace their coffeeterias, point out that I really dislike their euphemisms for small, medium, and large. Granted, I don’t yell at the barista (?huh?), I just ask for a small which I point out, in their vernacular, is “tall” and therefore is a trifle misleading. Having been an editor, I tell them, like Ms. Rosenthal, that language matters and that when we start to fool around with it, we’re heading into Orwell’s 1984. Whatever. Most of the “baristas” have no idea what I’m talking about, but I feel it’s important to say it. Maybe it’ll expand their horizons someday.

    So, horror of horrors, Ms. Rosenthal gets annoyed at the Starbucks barista (what the hell kind of word is THAT, anyway) and, again, horror of horrors, yells at her and the poor baby just can’t take it. In my experience, our entitled, and oh-so-special young people today can’t handle ANY criticism (Tall, Grande, or Venti), especially the impassioned kind. So, it seems that the only solution to this problem is to escalate it to the nth degree and CALL THE COPS. (It’s an overreation like going to the HRC when a publisher, for crying out loud, publishes the Danish Cartoons.)

    So, we have one infraction of civility from each party: Ms. Rosenthal loses her cool when complaining of misleading language when ordering her coffee and bagel and the barista has her feelings hurt and feels that the only way to deal with her offended sensibilities is to call the police.

    O. M. G.

    If I’d been that barista, I’d probably have told Ms. Rosenthal to simmer down, but it would never have occurred to me to call the police. Heck, when I was dealing with obstreperous customers when I sold cigarettes as a summer job when I was at university, I just held them with an icy stare, told them whatever I needed to tell them, and that was that.

    How times have changed. Can’t anyone be civil anymore? Can’t anyone’s feelings be hurt anymore without running to tattle tale and get someone in trouble? Rosenthal vs. Barista vs. Cops is becoming an all-too familiar pattern these days … and it stinks.

    I’d like to tell the Starbucks’ barista and her manager to suck it up and grow up. (And maybe tell Ms. Rosenthal to go easy on the use of a**hole.)

  • Thucydides

    I usually order a “Regular cup of the house blend” when I meet my friends at Starbucks, and the server hands the cup over no question.

    I think the “customer” was ejected for being rude and downright hostile to the server, and I fully agree with the action the manager took.

    PHD really does mean “Piled Higher and Deeper” in this case.

  • batb

    So, Thucydides, being “rude” and “hostile” (no gun, no physical threat) merits CALLING THE COPS?

    No wonder the police are never where you expect them to be — at Jane and Finch, on the street corners where notorious drug deals go down in broad daylight. They’re at Starbucks because a customer was rude and hostile.

    We’ve got some serious wimps behind the counter these days. I guess this is the logical consequence of kids being taught that the state’s their mommy. God help us all.

  • pedro

    Hahah she must have a pretty meaningless and unfulfilling life to get knickered up about something so irrelevant.

  • batb

    Who: the barista or the PhD?

    I think they’ve both shown a lack of civility — and, in the barista’s case, no backbone whatsoever. So, a customer yells at you and you call the cops? Don’t the police have better things to do?

  • ShawnC

    What does having a PhD to do with her losing her composure?

    This is much ado about nothing.

    So she was ejected from Starbuck’s property – she was causing a public disturbance. Starbuck’s is in the right and as for the PhD – she’s just another loser with credentials.

  • batb

    Well, Shawn C, I’d rather the kind of “public disturbance” the police are called to deal with be drug deals, physical assaults, murders, traffic infractions, etc. than mini-verbal assaults on poor, widdle, Starbucks baristas.

    The police have far better things to do, and get paid way too much, to be settling non-disputes in a coffee shop because someone’s feelings were hurt. I may not like being called an a**hole by a customer, but to call the cops is a ridiculous overreaction and shows what a sissy the barista is.

  • ShawnC

    Whether you agree or not batb, the fact remains that the complainant was in the right.

    >>”Causes Disturbance” – (Type ‘A’ Offence) – CC of C, Part V, section 175(1) Every one who
    (a) not being in a dwelling house, causes a disturbance in or near a public place,
    (i) by fighting, screaming, shouting, swearing, singing or using insulting or obscene language,
    is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.<< As for somebody’s hurt feelings, nowhere in the article was “hurt feelings” mentioned. But, the accused did admit to “(blowing) her top” and it is established that she was yelling and was using profanities. Now whether police have far better things to do is open to debate, but the cops have a job to do — the little annoying ones and the big crime ones.