I’m housesitting for a friend in San Fernando, thus not being a regular today at the Eagle Rock Starbucks. But I got an e-mail from Kevin (name changed here), one of the Eagle Rock regulars, telling me that I “missed a good one.”
And I knew his story would be a zinger because it started with “Today, It Got Weird.” Since every day at that Starbucks is a bit weird, I couldn’t wait to hear about this one.
Kevin takes the 180 Metro bus to the Starbucks. On the way, Kevin and the regular bus driver (they are buds) had to call the cops early this morning because of an unruly passenger.
Turns out that unruly passenger showed up at Starbucks. He tried to panhandle every patron in the place. He was quite good and “guilting,” especially the older white folks, as Kevin described it. But when he didn’t get the response he hoped for, he became rude and aggressive, kicking furniture furniture. “He kept glaring menacingly at me,” Kevin says, “I suppose since I’m the one who made the earlier 911 call.”
Mary, the Starbucks store manager, was not there. While Mary’s general disposition is that of a quiet, 30s-something Asian woman, she regularly goes gangbusters on some of those who have no business being in the store—which happens more frequently than it ought—ordering them out so as to not disturb the paying customers. Very responsive. Unfortunately, without Mary on duty, the other employees were reluctant (scared?) To take any significant action, hoping instead that it would just blow over. So it took awhile, but LAPD was finally called by someone and offender ejected. But not before moments of bravado, including such comments as “I ain’t got no felonies. Try and arrest me.”
Kevin left the Starbucks before final disposition of the matter. But Kevin left mightily perturbed: “I seriously hope that man was arrested. His attitude in the store and on the bus was so arrogant and carefree. He needs to learn a lesson.”
Hats off to Manager Mary for her ability to keep the peace in this on-the-cusp neighborhood.