I visit various Starbucks stores in my neighborhood of Del Mar, CA virtually every afternoon for an ice tea and a moment of relaxation to read and research. I am a well-known international businessman with an excellent reputation.
Yesterday, while siting on the patio of the Del Mar Heights store (3485 Del Mar Heights Rd Ste A3, San Diego, CA 92130-2125) I was verbally accosted by both the store manager (Laura) and a man that I understood was an employee of Starbucks.
The manager was in the midst of filing a report with a security guard at the shopping center when I walked up and asked if they were aware of an incident that I just experienced outside.
The manager then said that I was “a perverted old white man, a *** was stalking children and that I go there every afternoon hoping to get “lucky”.
I responded with wow, you have multiple incidents occurring at the same time, not realizing she was talking about me. I walked outside with the security guard and was informed that she was talking about me, having received a complaint from a woman (#1) in her late-20’s, that I was harassing her girlfriend (#2) whom was sitting across from us on the adjacent sofa. The woman #1 indicated she was a “psychologist” (actually still a student) and that my friend and I should watch it because she “had the powers” (yes, pluralized). Not realizing what she was referring to, my friend and I proceeded to have a pleasant conversation with her girlfriend #2, discussing how she was about to take a vacation to Costa Rica and Peru with her fiancé after college graduation. We talked about the weather this time of year in the rainforest areas, and other small talk. Her girlfriend #2 was enjoying the conversation laughing and smiling throughout.
Then, suddenly, a man in his late 20’s, came out of Starbucks, sat across from us and told us to leave. I asked him “what was the problem” and he said, “we were harassing his fiancé”. Clearly, this wasn’t the case, but woman #1 (self-proclaimed psychologist) made him and the store manager believe that was the truth, adding that we were pedophiles, etc. I then understood what the #1 woman meant when she said she had “the powers”! Apparently, she meant the deviant powers to contrive a sexual allegation and report it to get her way with people (aka men). Hmmm, #metoo or #megotcha!
The man became belligerent as he approached me while I was sitting on the sofa. He got within my personal space and began physically threatening me to leave or else! I held my cool, never stood up as I didn’t want to be construed as threatening, despite my being twice his size. He was rabid in his hostile and threatening verbal and physically abuse threats, calling me a “fat old man”, etc. I asked him if he was prepared to spend a night in jail, as that would be where he was going if he furthered his attack. Perhaps, that sunk in.
Finally, he left with his fiancé and while the woman #1 was nowhere in sight. I was thinking of reporting the incident to the shopping center security but felt it wouldn’t lead to anything since they have no police authority.
But, after going inside the store to go to the bathroom before leaving, I was verbally assaulted by the store manager with this outrageous and slanderous statement and accusations about me personally.
I never thought patronizing a Starbucks for an afternoon tea, with a friend from out of town, could be so harmful to one’s reputation, peace of mind and emotional spirit. The employee(s) demonstrated a total lack of professionalism, respect, judgment, courtesy and ability to qualify or discern the reality of the situation. Middle aged gentlemen, making small talk with adult women that are sitting 5 feet in front of them, on a facing sofa, for more than a half hour, is not assault, pedophilia, perversion, stalking, harassment, or anything worthy of the treatment I received while being a peaceful and polite customer of that Starbucks store.
But wait, there’s more. Amazingly, just a week prior, I was sitting on the same sofa having a tea while catching up on the news on my smartphone. A young boy (about 10 years old) came up to me and asked me to move. I said no. He repeated himself. I asked him why and he said because he and his friends wanted to sit there. I said they were welcome to pull up some chairs and use the other sofa across from me. I then asked him what was the problem. He said they make a lot of noise.
The boys sat and played a video game. I noticed they were very polite to each other, one even telling his friend to finish his lunch before it got cold. About 30 minutes later they were getting up to leave and I told the original boy that his demand for me to leave was very rude. I suggested the polite statement would have been, “excuse me sir, would you mind if my friends and I sat here?”, adding that they: “tend to make a lot of noise.”
It appears the Del Mar Heights Shopping Center has issues with spoiled, impolite behavior. But, wait, everyone already knows that!
So, Starbucks, how is that “Sensitivity Training” working out for you? Guess, what? It is endemic within their righteous, liberal, snowflake culture and will never be fixed!
P.S. The security guy was very polite, respectful and said he was sorry I had to go through the experience.
Product or Service Mentioned: Starbucks Manager.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.