Starbucks and the Cell Phone Debacle

As is our usual morning tradition, a couple of the guys and I went to grab our morning coffee at StarPeet’s GrindHouse.  Yes, we get coffee.  Yes, we are working at the same time.  I don’t whine when my plumber or accountant drop in to pick up some caffeine.  What’s that?  They’re not at work?  Guess what…StarPeet’s is in my beat.  As is about to be exemplified…

We’re standing outside enjoying our cup o’ joe when I see a violation making its way into the parking lot.  The offense?  Talking on the cell phone whilst driving.  I motion to the driver with the international sign of hang up the phone.  Think of it as the inverted shaka with a downward motion.

The driver made eye contact with me and made her fatal mistake.  She. Kept. Talking.  My partner and I briefly looked at each other.  I resorted to a polite “Hang up the phone!” in the driver’s direction.  Nope.  She kept talking.  Now she was parked and getting out of the car.  On the phone.  Still.

Time to put on the SoulCrusher hat.  (We don’t have hats…but we have T-shirts and coffee mugs!)

MC: Hi there, Ma’am.  Can I see you license, please?

MAGB (Mobile Alexander Graham Belle): Why?

MC: Because I’m going to be issuing you a citation for driving while talking on your cell phone.

MAGB (indignantly): Are you kidding me?!?  I was taking a work call!

MC: While you were driving, yes, ma’am.  That’s exactly what I saw as well.

MAGB: So, while you’re standing here drinking coffee, you’re just going to give me a ticket?

MC: Well, yes, ma’am, I am.  If I witnessed a crime while I was standing here drinking coffee, would you expect me to ignore it or do something about it?

MAGB: This is a crime?

MC: An infraction, yes, ma’am.  I’m also going to need your registration and insurance, please.

I wrote out the ticket for the cell phone violation while she huffed and puffed about the ridiculousness of the citation.  Ultimately, though, she signed the ticket.

So, for all of you who whine when you see a couple of cops enjoying their morning coffee, instead of bitching about it (to us or under your breath) why don’t you just smile, wave, and wish us a pleasant day?  We’re always working…even when (to you) it may not look like it.

Feature Image Photo Credit: and One System Gang

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

19 thoughts on “Starbucks and the Cell Phone Debacle

  1. Now that you mention it .. that could become a great method for cell phone use enforcement … sit outside Starbucks (or whatever is the major caffeine establishment) and get them as the pull in.

  2. Couple cops run radar outside my place of employment and I always take them a cup of coffee 🙂 !!!!!!!

  3. There are always cops in my Starbucks and I simply smile and hope they don’t asked to see my expired license. I may also buy the cute ones a scone.

  4. Up here in WA state, we also have a cell phone law. But it has an exemption for the hearing disabled: I don’t know if it’s the same in CA. This is not widely understood by law enforcement.

    The reason for the exemption: many hearing aids and most cellphones have a tiny induction coil, and the two coils can link up inductively and allow communication, but only at very short range, requiring holding the phone within some fraction of an inch to the ear (and hearing aid). The inductive coupling has the big advantage over speakerphone, of shutting out background noise.

    Of course, “I’ll call you right back as soon as I pull over” works well.

    Even if CA doesn’t have the same exemption, consider spreading the word to have a little empathy. Bear in mind, if a law enforcement officer fires a gun even a few times in the course of a career (think shotgun in a hallway), screwed-up hearing is inevitable for you guys too.

    • I respectfully submit that a disability (i.e. hearing loss) is a bad excuse for an exemption. [Cue the ACLU.] If it’s NOT SAFE to be distracted while driving, it’s not safe. Period. Someone with hearing loss AND talking on the phone; I’m guessing that s/he will have a hard time hearing me honk or a fire truck/police officer siren coming. As I like to say, “Hang up and drive” (which is what most hands-free driving chatters should do as well).

      Would it also be “fair” for an extremely overweight person to have a exemption from wearing their seat belt while driving, because it doesn’t fit? That way they could still drive like the rest of us. No thank you.

      Talking on your cell phone is not a RIGHT, it’s a privilege. Driving is also not a RIGHT, it’s a privilege. I get so tired of society (in *general*) acting like there are so many things we each have a RIGHT to do, when really….. they are mostly privileges.

  5. It’s hard to believe that people don’t realise what a hazzard they are on those things. I can’t even stand walking behind someone on their phone. They drift all over the pavement , stop, start, slow, speed up and generally make it difficult for you to walk past. Am I being too critical? Yeah
    in all probability.
    Well done on the coffee “break” cite. Personally it wouldn’t worry me if you took a proper break after all everyone deserves to recharge the batteries. Also good plug on the swag, nicely slipped in.

  6. If I were her, I would have been thankful for your initially letting the infraction slide. Every day, I see people talking on their cell phones while driving. So frustrating. I don’t ask anymore, “Where is a cop when you need one?” (Because I know the answer is Starbucks or Peets! Ha! I kid.) but rather, “If only I were a cop!” so I could get myself some Soul Crushing joy.

    Many times I’ve been in my local Bux and have seen cops and paramedics/EMTs there. One cop in particular, whom I could tell was a regular by his interaction with the Bux crew, took a seat and did paperwork. I could also tell that he was alert to everything going on around him. His being there made me feel safer in an area where some questionable characters roam.

  7. This amused me greatly. The starbucks I frequent (read live-in) is like 5 blocks from the main down-town police station. I’m usually there late and at 1030 (‘bucks closes @11) they always out a fresh ‘brew on because there is usually a stream of night officers coming through.

    Guys (and ‘gals) usually pop in grab their coffee/Latte and head back out to their cars/SUV/Motor/Bicycle. If it’s a slow night they’ll grab a seat or just chat up the girls working the counter. I’ve ended up in some great conversations with officers on some slow nights. I love it and it’s part of the reason I pick that ‘bucks to hang out in, I feel safer because it’s not filled with the late-night riff-raff that other coffee places in the area are.

    My favorutie ‘bucks moment was at night, raining cats and dogs out (and perhaps a few small equine for good measure) pretty sure it was a Sunday or a Monday night. The ‘bucks is basically dead. Since it’s on one of the busiest streets in the city parking is at a premium, even on a night like this, The ‘bucks faces the main street but there is a small one-way street to one side of the ‘bucks. It’s barely big enough for the cars to park in the designated parking spaces and still have enough room for larger cars to squeeze by on the street.

    (The parking logistics are important for this story). So I’m sitting there typing away on my laptop and a couple of cops walk in, grab their cuppa and sit down. That’s nice. About five-ten minutes later a huge ass SUV pulls into the little side street and stops. Put’s it’s four-ways on and the driver gets out and leaves the SUV in the middle of the street, blocking all traffic from getting in and not to mention it blocked the ‘cruiser’s ability to get out of the parking spot it was in. Anyway the guy walks into the ‘bucks, and since the wall that faces the small side street is *all* windows you could see his dick-head parking job.

    The conversation between the cops and the DH (Dickhead) went something like this:
    CC#1: Hey you can’t park like that, go move your car.
    DH: *shrugs*
    CC#1: You’re blocking the street go move you car please sir.
    DH: It is raining! I move car soon.
    CC#1: If you don’t more your car i’ll have to write you a ticket.
    DH: *ordering coffee*
    CC#2 to CC#1: Are you going out there or am I?
    CC#1: Your turn.
    CC#2: Your Turn.
    CC#1: Nope pulling seniority your turn.
    CC#2: *went outside to write ticket*
    Meanwhile DH ordered his drink, got in an argument with the girl making his drink and made her make it twice. Complained that what ever he got to eat was stale etc.
    CC#2 came back in from writing the ticket and sat back down grumbling about going out in the raining.
    DH finishes at the counter goes over to the tables sits down! and pulls out his laptop.
    CC# 1 & 2 look at each other like. “you have go to be shitting me.”
    Then DH pulls out his cellphone and starts making calls while sitting there.
    So CC#1 called for a tow truck to come and move the car blocking the street and the cruiser.
    DH is utterly oblivious to all of this chatting away on his cell phone. Meanwhile i’m laughing my ass off along with the ‘bucks girls. I was just getting ready to leave but a) my car was blocked and b) I wanted to see how this mini drama was going to play out.

    The two truck showed up two minutes later and hooked up the car. Since DH had his back to the window he didn’t notice until one of the girls went over to him (once the car was about to be towed) and said. “Sir isn’t that your car?”
    DH: Yes! Yes I move soon
    SBG: It’s being towed.
    DH jumped up started yelling at the girl for not telling him. stuffed everything back in his bag and went out in time to see the car being towed away!
    He came back inside and gets huffy with CC#1&#2 for not stopping the two truck from “stealing” his car.
    CC#2: Well sir, we asked you twice to move your car, then we were nice and just wrote you a ticket rather than tow your car as you would move it soon, then when you decided to sit rather than move your car, we had it towed due to the hazard it posed in not only blocking a city street but blocking our police cruiser as well.
    DH: how am I suppose to go home now?
    CC#1: I suggest that you call a taxi or take the bus, you can pick your car up at the city in-pound lot-tomorrow after nine.
    DH cursed and got mad screaming about how he needed to go to work in the morning. SBG pipped up that they were closing for the night. The nice officers escorted DH outside in the rain and I left and ran over to my car which was parked in-front of the cruiser. As I was driving away I watch DH head down the street to the bus stop.

    The best part of this whole thing? There was a free parking spot on the main street 10meters (30 feet) from the entrance to the ‘bucks. *sigh* what a dick head

    ahahahaha that’s my amusing ‘bucks story. Yes sorry rambley and yes uber late (sorry play blog-catch up) .

    So yeah I have no problems with uniforms of the city (Police/EMS/Fire) stopping in at the ‘bucks enjoy it you guys need the break.

    C. RN

      • It was an amazing look of Soul-crushing anguish at realizing that he had to follow the rules just like everyone else! I loved it!

        Oh! The best part I found out later from the manager, Diana, (What? I do live at the starbucks I can tell you all of their names, ages, what they do besides work at ‘bucks, etc) said that DH had pulled his dick-head move 3 or 4 times in the two months prior to this incident, but he hasn’t been seen at that starbuck since. ahahaah score one for the good guys!

        This story has made it’s ’rounds a couple of times as well. Last I heard it was three cars that got towed and an all out drag-um-down-and-out fight which ended up with four people arrested….


        C. RN

  8. People say I don’t work hard because I can take naps when I’m at work, too. I asked them how many dying people they took care of today at McDonalds.

    Also, I get paid about >< much.

  9. Although I appreciate the cops catching someone talking on the cell phone while driving, I don’t think that this is going to keep the same person from committing the same act, especially how they acted the whole time even in front of law enforcement.

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