Thursday, September 2, 2010

This Really Did Happen to Me

So yesterday we were lucky enough to spend the day together as a family. I know right? Well most of it. I had appointments in the morning, and he had school in the afternoon, but hey, I didn't have to work work. As in, work in the office. Being a mom is work though. And I will always consider it as much.

The kiddos and I dropped David off at school for Chinese and decided that we were all very thirsty for some high class chocolate milk. So off to Starbucks we went. 3 chocolate milks please. We sat down, and sipped quietly. Jackson saw letters on the wall! He loves letters lately. (Did you see the cute pics on Facebook of him and Sadie?) He pointed out the ones he knew and asked "wass dat?" to the ones he didn't. He talked in a normal 3 year old voice. Chattering about chocolate milk and the letter T.

Along comes this lady. She says to Jackson, "How old are you?" After looking at me as if to ask if this lady is okay to talk to, he says, "Free years old". I gladly say "That's right!" This lady goes on and says, "Well, you are talking like your are 1 year old. You are using your outside voice. And you need to use your inside voice. We are in an adult coffee shop and people are trying to read. And you are talking so loud." All the while, Jackson is looking at this lady and responding as if she is one of those kind old-lady people. No. Not at all. "Yeah, you need to go outside if you want to talk like that. Because we are inside. And need to be quiet. And this needs to be enforced by your parents." And then walks away. For real.

I'm shaking by this time. I sit there for about a minute before I take both kids, our chocolate milks, my purse and my shaking body to the bathroom. I called my sister. She always has the right things to say. As expected, I received the validation and words I needed to confront this idiot of a woman.

I go back out, walk up to her with this whole speech planned and and don't even get 5 words in before she interrupts me. I said "Excuse me, you have no right...." and then she cuts me off. She proceeds to tell me how the president of Starbucks in an interview on TV (which she thinks I need to watch) said that Starbucks is meant to be an adult place. That people come here to read in peace and quiet. That I need to teach my kids this. That I should take them to McDonalds to play. Every now and then, I got to tell her that she has no right to talk to my kids like that and that Starbucks is a PUBLIC place that serves kids drinks and treats (apparently those are for people who get drinks to go)! That if she wants somewhere quiet, to go to a freaking library or HOME. That she has no right to criticize my parenting (which she says she wasn't doing. She was using this at a teaching moment). That it's not posted anywhere that this is a quiet, adults only place. This lady was seriously convinced that Starbucks is an ADULTS ONLY place.

I'm not stupid. I am socially aware enough to know that if my kids are being loud, to tell them to be quiet. We were seriously sitting there at the table (not even running around) drinking our drinks. The lady at the opposite table was smiling. And even when I walked out of the bathroom  another customer was smiling at the kids too. Again, I am aware of people and I can read them pretty well. If I felt at all, that my kids were misbehaving, you better bet I would do something about it. But I didn't think that talking normally in a PUBLIC place was a crime.

Don't worry, I'll be calling Starbucks. I have some questions for them.

****Update****

I ended up writing Starbucks about my experience. Mostly to ask whether their mission is to create an "adult coffee shop atmosphere". I received a response and am very pleased with their courtesy. Here it is:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write to us.


I am truly sorry that you had such a disappointing visit. As a matter of fact we actually sell children's beverages. This is obviously not the experience we want you to have at our stores.

I want you to know that we take your concerns seriously and that I will share this not only with departments here in our corporate office, but also with the manager and district manager of the Iron Spring and Gail Gardner Way store to address this.

I would love to invite you back into our stores for the chance to make up for a visit that you did not enjoy. What I will do is mail you some beverage coupons so that your next drink will be on us.
 
Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to fix something that is wrong.  If there are any questions or concerns that I have not been able to address, please don't hesitate to call us at 800 23-LATTE (235-2883), we are here Monday through Friday from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM (PST).
 
 
 
It was written by a real person. I took the survey at the end and gave them high remarks for their response and concern. That is good customer service. Just acknowledging my concerns was enough! but the free drinks don't hurt either. :-)

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