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Having a Ph.D. Doesn’t Guarantee You’re Not An Idiot August 16, 2010

Posted by Skippy in General Weirdness, Rants.
Tags: , ,

Case in point:

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.

I have one word: IDIOT.

So, let me get this straight. You go to Starbucks on the regular, know that they have different terminology for their sizes, but refuse to just suck it up like everyone else does, because you’re a speshul snowflake (with emphasis on the “flake”). Sure, it’s annoying—there are so many annoying things in our consumer culture that should be resisted and changed, but it’s not the end of human civilization to order a “venti” or “tall” or “grande” coffee.

But no, it’s even worse—when someone asks a perfectly reasonable question about what you’d like on your multigrain bagel, you go ballistic? You start yelling at the poor, unfortunate person who just happened to cross your sanctimonious path? You know what, Lynne Rosenthal, English professor of speshulness? Why didn’t you just order a plain toasted multigrain bagel? The word “plain” in that setting generally signifies that you don’t want any cheese or butter on your toasted multigrain bagel. Think about it: how many people do you know who eat their bagels plain? Even if you know someone who does, they generally don’t go apeshit when the person behind the counter reasonably asks them if they’d like something on their bagel. But hey, those people are probably reasonable, pleasant people who are able to realize that the phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff” applies to ordering bagels and coffee at Starbucks.

Also, since you’re such a stickler for the English language, I assume you’re a stickler for specificity as well. So, how about not calling the poor schlub who’s a barista at Starbucks an asshole? They have to serve hundreds of people every day. Not all of these people are pleasant. Not all of these people have the slightest inclination to treat other people with kindness, but the barista has to treat every customer—including you, speshul snowflake English professor—equally and reasonably. They’re not the one who’s an asshole. You are.



1. Rima - August 17, 2010

I love that the article introduces her as, “Lynne Rosenthal, who says she holds a Ph.D. from Columbia…” It’s almost as though the journalist is saying, “This crazy asshat *says* she has a Ph.D. But I really don’t care enough to find out if she’s telling the truth. ‘Cause she’s cuh-razy.”


Skippy - August 18, 2010

They probably tried, as I did, to Google her and find out where she teaches…I can’t find bupkus, aside from every two-bit news agency and blog referencing her crazy tirade.

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