Sonny from ‘A Bronx Tale’ was right.

Yesterday morning I went to my local Starbucks for some coffee, cheese Danish and compelling writing. Lo and behold, my experience was worthy of a blog entry.

Sunday morning is a very busy time for Mr. Schultz’s grande empire.

Starbucks Lady

With a near capacity crowd, tables are hard to come by, especially on the weekends.

As I entered this fine establishment I spotted an open 2-top (Restaurant jargon for table for two)

I quickly walked over and placed my black North Face backpack down on the table.

There were two women sitting nearby who seemed to be enjoying their coffee. One woman was sipping from her cup, while the other told a story and was laughing at the same time.

“Can you keep an eye on my bag please,” I asked politely.

There was a one to two second pause as the lady sipping her coffee lady looked at me, then at the bag.

“Suuuuuurrrrrrrrreeeeee,” she answered rather hesitantly.

I could tell there was some sort of problem from her drawn out answer.

“Is there something wrong with watching my bag while I get a cup of coffee?”

The coffee bar with the long line was about 20 yards away from the table so there was no way I was going to be able to see my bag.

In the past I have been asked many times to watch someone’s bag while they went to the bathroom, stepped outside for a smoke or to talk on their cell phone.

“It’s kinda weird,” the lady said to me.



I looked at her and said, “I just wanna get a cup up of coffee, I don’t want anyone to steal my laptop in my bag.”

Realizing this woman had no interest in watching my bag I grabbed it and said, “Don’t worry about it,” and walked away.

I thought it was “weird” this lady did not want to keep an eye on my bag.



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19 Responses to NOBODY CARES

  1. JerryG says:

    Welcome further into the age of paranoid terrorist fear. Unattended bags foster suspicion especially after the bombing in Boston. It is weird and we all need to relax a little and trust each other.

  2. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    I was at Nathan’s Coney Island last week with my nephew..we were sitting at the tables on the side, and a woman approached us and asked us to keep an eye on her son, while she brought the younger child to the bathroom.. I found it kind of odd, I mean, we were total strangers..then, she was gone so long, I started hoping she hadn’t abandoned the kid, lol…but, finally, she came back. I ask people in the airport to watch my bags all the time while I go to the rest room..never got the reaction you wrote about..and I watch people’s bags in the airport also…

  3. Al says:

    That does sound kinda weird. Certainly not a polite response from her.

    But what stirred me to write a response to your experience was that I had been thinking about just this kind of inappropriate reaction people sometimes have to something (altogether proper) that we do, for several days now. For I experienced two just in that time frame. (And many in my lifetime, believe me.) Each time, it is an unpleasant surprise.

    And, depending on “where you’re at” when it happens (rushed, mentally preoccupied, frustrated or angry at other irksome matters, tired, stressed-out, etc.) you’re response will vary. You might respond magnanimously, or, if you have a short temper that day, maybe not so generously. I have sometimes regretted my intemperate responses to such jarring rudeness. I don’t think I ever responded excessively angrily, but I sure came close a few times.

    Of course, trying to figure out WHY that person responded in that particular way could leave you pondering the issue till the cows come home. Could they be a recent immigrant or a visitor from a country with a different take on such a situation? Could they be pissed off about something. Did you remind them of their “EX”? Did he/she just receive a cancer diagnosis? Could she be suffering from PMS or he from a hangover? Etc., etc. Anything is possible.

    I remember a particularly upsetting scene that still bothers me to this day. We had the special passes (that you have to apply for 6 months in advance, through your Congressman/Representative) which entitle you to go on a special inside tour of the White House and The U.S. Capitol (Rutunda, Statuary Hall, and The Main Gallery—-the one we always see on TV when we see our Congress people sitting in Congress). Even though security checks presumably had been run on us beforehand, we had to go through several checkpoints (with big scanners and other strange-looking devices pointed at us and photos taken of us), AND wait on SEVERAL LONG (did I say LONG?) and slow-moving (glacially slow), lines, in various stuffy hallways to get to our destinations. A thoroughly unpleasant and frustrating experience in this post-911 era. Never again! After enduring perhaps two hours of line-waiting and torture on the inside lines to get into “The Gallery”, we (Me, Mom, Son [12], Daughter [9]) finally got to the “final” security checkpoint. I was in for a Double-Whammy, just seconds apart, and my frustration level and physical fatigue (legs killing me) were already flashing RED. The black female security person was taking her job of inspecting your person (emptying all your pockets, taking off your shoes, using her wand to scan your body perimeter—even your naughty bits zone, taking off your belt, etc.) a little too seriously; she was decidedly officious and imperious in her manner and verbiage. (We had been through many, many checkpoints during our week in Washington DC, and even went through the ones at The Treasury and The White House and many other tourist sites, but had not experienced rudeness at the hands of any of the security people—until now. Many appeared to go out of their way to be polite, under difficult conditions.). I emptied my pockets, took off my shoes and did everything else, and when I had difficulty taking off my belt, and was taking longer than she thought I should take, she made a sarcastic comment—-with my family and people all around. TOTALLY inappropriate, for I was doing the best I could, and her comment was out-of-line. I was stunned, and, while I was trying to think of an appropriate response, while still trying to take off my belt, and my blood-pressure rising, an ugly, fat, stuffy-looking, pasty-faced, old broad, standing nearby, apparently decided this was her moment to pile on, and hit me with another broadside attack when I least expected it. BAM! Commenting about my well-bahaved but understandably restless 12 year-old-son, who had been good-naturedly teasing his mom by periodically poking her in the back for a few minutes, while in line, this obnoxious pig said “What do you expect from a father who lets his brat son act like a jerk?” Well, if you had taken a photo of me at that moment, you would have seen steam blowing out of my ears and nose, and my face turn a neon-bright, florid shade of magenta. Yes, I was LIVID, on an order of magnitude that even Shakespeare could describe. My head felt like exploding, and it took all the self-control I could summon to restrain my behavior, and not get arrested—-right there in the Capitol—-by the hyper-alert and trigger-wire quick security guards there, in this security-crazy, post-911 world that we live in. I was extremely mindful of that, and wanted to avoid a photo of me, manacled, being led by gendarmes, on the front page of The Washington Post. Reminding myself that, after all, I grew up on the streets of Park Slope/Windsor Terrace Brooklyn, which qualify as a sort of trial by fire, I gave the old bitch a withering look, and responded “Do you need a license to be that ugly? Are your parents siblings?” It took just a millisecond for her eyelids to snap open wider than the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Her frog-faced, beady-eyed husband glared at me and took a step forward. Somehow, I managed superhuman control, took off my belt, gave it to the pea-brained guard, and we were able to finally leave that vacation-ruining scene.

    To this day, I still have reruns of that memory and wish I had better handled it in real time. If I didn’t get at least those two comments in—-they acted as a pressure-release valve—-I fear I might have resorted to a physical blow, giving that old broad the back of my hand. But I’m a gentleman, or so I like to think, and she’s a babe…

    As Robert Frost said, “I know just how it feels to think of the right thing to say too late.”

  4. jimmyvac says:

    I was grabbing breakfast at a midtown deli and the guy ahead of me was upset because the cashier ( young black girl ) was following instructions not pricing the special differently because he wanted a large coffee. He called her a bitch and I suggested politely to ask for the manager and not to call the young girl names as he may have a daughter or niece… he then said who the f*&k are you? The Park Slope in me kicked in and I said I am her uncle and unless he changes his attitude I was going to give him a concrete facial right outside… the manager came, issue resolved and I got a free breakfast!! For once, I did say something when I wanted to say it and not wish I did later.. I hate bullies and rudeness!!!
    When someone asks you something simple to do, what’s the big deal? don’t get the one with the kid….it is bad enough 911 changed out life in many areas but in personal one on one situations or a line that Al went through, why can’t we be decent and respectful?

  5. Jack Kelly says:

    …..Yesterday while entering the cemetary I was making a right turn and immediately in my lane was a parked Security Van. So as I was swinging out to pass it I saw a car coming so I stopped and backed up so the car could pass. As the car was passing I recognized the face from the neighborhood and nodded. The guy yelled out ‘slow down’…..Now, aside from the fact that I just left the stop sign by the security shed and had no time to speed up even if I wanted to, here I am going to visit Mom on her birthday and then head up the hill to visit Eileen and I now have to hear this person say something to me as if he’s important and his opinion means something. Well my son was with me so I kept my composure and I looked over at my son and said “You see Jack even in the cemetary you find jerks”…we laughed and went on our merry way……And the best part is I have a sneaky feeling that when the other driver got home he told his son the same thing 🙂

  6. jimmyvac says:

    Jack, LOL, I remember waiting at a light and this woman with the window closed was yelling and gesturing at me… I had no idea what to do.. so I rubbed my eyes like I was crying… sometimes humor is the best defense. As I get older, I am more patient in most ways like driving… but less tolerant of people being obnoxious….

  7. Jack Kelly says:

    My car broke down under the promenade on the BQE a few years ago causing a back up during rush hour and as an old women was driving bye she gave me the finger like I broke down on purpose…….I was totally stunned….to this day I laugh thinking about it …..Some people really do change when they get behind the wheel 🙂

    • hoopscoach says:


      I would have stopped and helped you.

      One night, oh wait, I told this story somewhere here on the blog but screw it, here it is agin; I’m waiting for the B75 on ninth street and fifth avenue late at night. I have a box of donuts in my hand and Corrado pulls up in a red cadillac. My man gave me a lift up to the avenue!

  8. jimmyvac says:

    Jack, I am sorry about Gram.. she did that to everyone.

  9. Jack Kelly says:

    Jimmy, Your Gram was Aok in my book…and Red , Corrado only stopped and gave you a lift because you had donuts 🙂

  10. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    any time I was with my sister on 9th St by 5th Ave, she would scan the people at the bus stop, and if she saw someone she recognized waiting, she would give them a ride…

    • hoopscoach says:


      She has a kind heart…

      I do that too. If I see someone waiting for a bus, I give ’em a lift.

      When I do see the people waiting at the bus, I flash back to waiting for the B75

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