Pregnant Woman: Starbucks Barista Blocked Me From Bathroom

Multiple times; venti-size outrage ensues
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2014 1:32 PM CDT
Pregnant Woman: Starbucks Barista Blocked Me From Bathroom
In this Friday, April 27, 2012, photo, a Starbucks drink waits for a customer to pick it up as a barista prepares another in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

If you are the lone thing standing between a woman with a 7- or 8-pound fetus parked on her bladder and the nearest public bathroom, well, let's just say digging your heels in isn't going to win you any pregnant friends or an employee of the month award. As the Arizona Republic reports, Ilana Scheinker was eight and a half months pregnant when she walked into a Phoenix Starbucks on Tuesday because "the urge hit me as it does many women who have two weeks to go." She asked a barista for the code to the restroom, but was told—as is pretty common—that she'd have to buy something. "I said, 'I'm pregnant, I really have to use the bathroom now,'" Scheinker said. Denied again, she left and fetched her husband.

The couple returned and Scheinker recounts the scene, which apparently deteriorated yet further, thusly: "The man was unrelenting. My husband gave him his credit card and said, 'Charge me for anything.' The man refused. A woman standing behind said, 'I'm about to make a purchase, give me the code and I'll give it to her.'" Still no, only now Scheinker says the barista threatened to call the cops. The Scheinkers finally left and found a more accommodating Subway, but Ilana Scheinker is recounting the incident to local media outlets and mothers' groups, and says she's boycotting. Starbucks has apologized, saying, "We failed to meet this customer's expectations of us." (Meanwhile, Starbucks is debuting an awesome new flavored coffee.)

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