Starbucks Kicks Out Columbia Professor For Incorrectly Ordering

WOW. While there is obviously more to the story, there is somethign to be said for having a bit of patience and understanding when it comes to everyday life. It turns out a Columbia English professor was booted from a New York City Starbucks because she did not order a drink using typical Starbucks verbiage.

I speak from personal experience when I say that I have ordered a ‘large iced coffee’ and it wasn’t given a second thought. The barista may have mumbled ‘venti’ under her breath but he or she surely didn’t kick me out or even care that I didn’t use the right term.While the incident in Manhattan didn’t involve drink sizes, it did involve the proper use of grammar. Here’s more from DNAinfo:

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.

By Yepoka Yeebo, a Reporter/Producer of DNAinfo

What do you think? Is there more to this story? I’m sure this incident will make the rounds on The Daily Show and other late night talkshows. Weigh in on Twitter by mentioning @edudemic. Time for me to go get a venti triple iced americano with sugar-free vanilla triple pump light ice with a twist.


  1. Dana Huff

    August 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Well, if you read the article, sounds more like she was kicked out for being rude and hostile to the staff than for bucking the ordering system.

  2. Bill

    November 30, 2010 at 2:18 am

    I'm a stickler for good grammar/linguistic accuracy; however, I know that in the real world, those rules fall by the wayside. It's not going to change the way people think/act by knitpicking over a word. A smile and just state plainly what you want ought to suffice.