Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Schmear Tactics


Oh, the misrepresented story masquerading as news is back again. This time, it's in the form of a crazy woman (who sounds like a completely pain in the ass) at Starbucks. Well, she was at Starbucks. That is, until she started screaming like a banshee because she wouldn't "order correctly". Whatever.

According to the pithy folks over there at the
NY Post, a one self-proclaimed stickler for correct English, Lynne Rosenthal, went to a Manhattan Starbucks the other day and ordered herself a plain, toasted, multigrain bagel. She kind of flipped out a little bit when the employee (called a 'barista' by Starbucks because they have invented their own language over there) asked her a question. I'm sure you're wondering what sort of question could be so offensive that it would cause someone to flip their lid. You'd better be sitting down. That's right. Are you sitting? OK, good. Because I'd hate to have you standing up when you learn that the barista asked her, "Do you want butter or cheese?" Wait. What?

Look, I understand her annoyance with this sort of thing. If you say you want something plain, you want something plain. I get that. (I actually had an experience once of ordering a 'plain cheeseburger' at a fast food drive thru. I received a piece of meat between the bun. NO cheese. When I mentioned that they forgot my cheese, they said that I ordered it that way because I said 'plain'. I tried to point out that it was a cheeseburger, but I was greeted with that doe in the headlights look that seems to afflict most fast food workers.) If she wanted butter or cheese, I'm sure she would have said that she wanted butter or cheese. But she said plain. Plain, as the word itself indicates, means just that. Plain. Alone. Without anything else. But at Starbucks, that sort of logic is kind of lost. That's why they asked her if she wanted butter or cheese.

Her explanation for her dislike of this question went something like this: " I just wanted a multigrain bagel...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." Translation: I felt like being a pain in the ass that day.

And that's not the only day that she felt like being a pain in the ass. She admitted that she doesn't use vernacular such as"tall" or a "venti". "Instead, she insists on making a pest of herself by ordering a "small" or "large" cup of joe." OK, so she's on a completely pointless, one-woman mission. How's that working out for you over there, cupcake?

But what annoyed me about this whole story was how it was presented. The folks over at something called
DNAinfo went with the headline "English Prof Claims Starbucks Booted Her For Ordering 'Incorrectly'." Yeah, that's not what happened at all. After she refused to answer that she did not want butter OR cheese on her PLAIN multigrain bagel (duh), the moronic barista couldn't get it through her head that PLAIN meant no, she did not want butter and/or cheese. Therefore, the barista wouldn't/couldn't fill her order. That's when Ms. Rosenthal began yelling. That's right. Yelling. Yelling, "I want my multigrain bagel!"

It may or may not surprise you that right about then is when the manager called the cops. One of the employees added a little bit more to the equation when she said that the woman refused to answer AND "She called [the barista] an a- -hole." Oh, there it is. Nice.


But of course, Ms. Rosenthal complained that "It was very humiliating to be thrown out, and all I did was ask for a bagel." You twit. All you did was NOT ask for a bagel. What you did was make an ass out of yourself by yelling like a Neanderthal and calling people a-holes. That's not just asking for a bagel.
The NY Post reports that Ms. Rosenthal claims to have a Ph.D. from Columbia and is an English professor. Of course, we're just supposed to take this crazy woman's word for that, as there was no follow-up by any media agency "reporting" on this incident. You can tell the media anything and it's highly unlikely that they're going to try to find out if it's true. All they want to know about is what kind of a freaking bagel she ordered. They managed to get that in the story several times. Whatever.

I have several problems with this woman. One, if she hates Starbucks and the way that they do things so freaking much, why does she continue to go there? Because she's one of those people who likes to be a pain in the ass under the guise of "making a point". And two, she's in freaking New York and she goes to Starbucks for a bagel?! Is she insane?! Of all of the authentic places in New York that you can get a bagel, she chooses Starbucks? Obviously, I was right. She's cuckoo.

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