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It's Starbucks, Not Lutece


Starbucks, Main Street, Santa Monica. I think it was just two people who did all this damage. (I took the photo just before the barista cleaned it up, and I can't remember whether he said one or two yahoos were responsible.)

Beyond this particular mess, how come so many people seem to be under the impression that busboys come around at Starbucks with little table scrapers? I'd give anything to put up a hidden camera in the ceiling, catch these rectums leaving a pile of food and trash on the table, and play the footage for their mothers: "Soo, Mrs. Slobsmith, did you teach Danny his lovely manners, or were you just too busy with the sailors?

Posted by aalkon at March 13, 2007 3:22 PM


When I was in desperate need of money I used to work at Marshalls, and the customers would throw the clothing in my face (I worked in the fitting room). One lady was blabbing on her cell phone and I asked her why she was going into the fitting room (alot of times the customers got lost and didnt know they were going into the fitting room), she then screamed at me "BEACAUSE I CAN!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM!". Jesus Christ, everyone was like wtf is up with this bitch. But of course...she was oblivious to the fact. I had alot of rude customers come my way. Some people think the whole orange belongs to them. That Starbucks mess is nothing, I've had vomit and dog dookie (the green cream kind) to clean in the fitting room.

Posted by: PurplePen at March 12, 2007 11:27 PM

These people need to be on TV.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 12, 2007 11:32 PM

"Soo, Mrs. Slobsmith, did you teach Danny his lovely manners, or were you just too busy with the sailors?

Can't blame Mom for everything...after all, my mother fiendishly worked for 18 years at trying to make me a good God-fearing woman and ended up with the embarrassment of being (horrors) an atheist's mother.

Posted by: Tess at March 13, 2007 4:38 AM

....or Mrs. Slobsmith just taught her kid that wonderful sense of "entitlement" that's so prevelent among the invitro crowd.

Posted by: GirlAtheist at March 13, 2007 5:33 AM

I went to a local college about 8 years ago. Between classes, I would hang out in a large common areas in one of the buildings. It had TV, vending machines, video games, a pool table, etc. It was the prime hangout for the gamer geeks (I was one of them). The worst we'd get was an occasional wrapper left behind or a crumb on the floor. That was a worst case scenario.
I left school for a few years.
When I came back to finish my degree (only 1 quarter left, actually), the lounge had completely changed. All of the same stuff to do, except there would be piles of wrappers and sometimes even half-eaten food left lying around on the tables and floor. Sometimes there'd be handfulls of popcorn strewn over the floor as though someone was deliberately trying to cover as much area as possible. Rediculous. Very different crowd hanging out down there, too. Not a single gamer/nerd to be seen...just typical 18-20 year-olds with a overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

Posted by: Jamie at March 13, 2007 5:59 AM

I don't quite get this. Is there actual damage to the surface, or is this just totally superficial mess that could be cleaned up in ten seconds by a conscientious person?

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at March 13, 2007 6:26 AM

Stu, these people left out sugar packets, spilled stuff all over the counter, and left a bunch of trash all over the place. See the little hole there in the middle? It's a trash can. It's there so you can clean up after yourself instead of leaving a big mess for the next person who comes along.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 13, 2007 6:36 AM

I just wish more people got as upset as you, Amy. Most folks today don't even blink at the societal downgrade in civilty and common courtesy. Just another case of spiraling down to the lowest common denominator. Don't let them drag us with them.

Posted by: ~ResearchGuy at March 13, 2007 7:30 AM

Hello Amy,

Any word on Cathy?

Thank you on behalf of the CW crowd,


Posted by: Bradley J. Fikes at March 13, 2007 8:16 AM

I'm sure they were guys—marking their territory—like dogs peeing on trees.

Posted by: NLN at March 13, 2007 10:06 AM

In the building where I work, we have small kitchen areas with a coffee maker, sink and water cooler. You can't believe the number of people who would just leave their dirty dishes in the sink. The maintenance staff finally just started tossing them if they were left for more than an hour.

Posted by: deja pseu at March 13, 2007 10:40 AM

I'll bet they didn't leave a tip.

Posted by: smurfy at March 13, 2007 12:15 PM

Here's the thing...not everybody is considerate. If Starbucks didn't want messes in their PUBLIC establishments then there would be an application and screening process...Everyone that didn't qualify has to continue to get their coffee at 7-11. And Research Guy...somebody leaves a mess on the Starbucks "condiment table" and that qualifies as a shred of proof that society is going to hell in a handbasket? Get over yourself.....

Posted by: Mikey at March 13, 2007 6:32 PM

This was apparently the slobbery of just two customers. Starbucks employees do clean up, but their primary role isn't to be janitors. If all Starbucks customers are pigs like these two, the price of a coffee their will increaseot accomodate the janitorial services they'll need to retain.

This is entirely uncivilized. I clean up after myself -- I wouldn't want to leave a mess for the next person. Society IS going to hell in a handbasket, and then some.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 13, 2007 9:13 PM

Bradley, I usually see Cathy on Wednesday and Thursday, but I was in NYC. I'll be over there on Friday this week. If she wasn't okay, I'd hear about it. I think she's just tired. Chemo is terribly exhausting and she's doing another regime of it now.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 14, 2007 10:05 AM

What just totally gets to me (and which is generally always present in these messy situations) are the sugar packets sitting right on the rim of the trash receptacle.

I laugh a little because the moment I looked at that scene, I began to think of what I could or couldn't have picked up to make the place neater. "The wrappers, the packets, yes. The sugar might be a problem, but..." One of these days, I would very much like to take the contents of someone's mess and instead of putting the mess in the garbage, set it on their table instead. Just once.

Posted by: Jean at March 14, 2007 10:42 AM

I'm always amazed when people leave a bunch of crumbs all over their table when there's no way the Starbucks employees are going to be around to clean before the next customer sits down. So, they'd rather avoid the hell of sweeping the crumbs into their hand or a napkin and throwing them away, and no big deal about the next person being left with their mess? It's especially amazing to me when people get up from a table, see somebody waiting for it, and leave that person their paper cups and pastry wrapper. Unless that person is wearing an outfit clearly marked "janitor," that's way out of line.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 14, 2007 11:00 AM

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