Published May 14, 2013
It's often a great stresser among busy parents with small children on the go: Where to change a dirty diaper in public. But is it okay to pick the seat of a coffee shop?
That question led to a fight between a Denver mother of a one-year-old and Starbucks employees that resulted in a call to the police.
According to 9News.com in Denver, Ruth Burgos had to change her one-year-old son’s diaper while getting a coffee on Friday night. Realizing that there was no changing table in the store’s restroom, she changed him in the seating area, on the seat.
“As a mother, you have to do what you have to do. Wherever you have to do it,” she told 9News. ”I just kind of wiped him off, cleaned him off as quickly as I could.”
Her husband says a Starbucks employee was rude to his wife, speaking in what he claims was a “demeaning tone.”
“He said make sure to wipe the seat when you’re done,” he said. “They started talking amongst themselves and laughing about it.”
He got so mad, he says, he dumped his venti coffee on the floor, saying, “Make sure you clean that.”
A Starbucks employee called the police to report a "disturbance," but ultimately nobody was arrested.
The coffee chain's representative Jaime Riley told 9News that Starbucks "apologized to the Burgos family," and wants all customers treated with "dignity and respect."
The issue of available changing table have long been an issue at restaurants and coffee shops. There have been several attempts to petition Starbucks to make changing tables standard at all shops, as well as online tips on which locations have them and which don't. There's even a blog dedicated to restaurants and other eateries that don't have changing tables in men's bathrooms.
9News posted the story on its Facebook page, creating some interesting responses: While some argue that changing tables are cheap and should be installed in all public bathrooms, others say Burgos could have gone into her car or even changed her son on the floor of the bathroom.
One posting read: "That is DISGUSTING. Why couldn't she just leave the Starbucks and change her child in her car?! Or perhaps be more prepared with a changing pad she could put down in the bathroom? Or do ANYTHING other than change her child's DIAPER in a room where people are EATING?! Ugh. People."
Another person posted this: "Businesses should be more accommodating!!! If there's no changing station I have to lay my baby on the floor not cool!!"
What do you think? Was is okay for Burgos to change her son's diaper on the seat? Were the Starbucks employees out of line?