23-year-old councilor for Ely East Matt Downey dropped by London for a job interview and purchased a drink from Starbucks on Sloane Square in Chelsea, reports Abigail O’Leary of British newspaper Mirror. While inside the coffee shop, Downey’s bowel disease flared up, forcing him to use the disabled restroom for around 20 minutes. In the restroom, the staff knocked on the door and demanded him to leave or else they would unlock it with a key, according to Downey.
|Photo Credit: Councillor Matt Downey, Ely East/@MattDowneyElyEast (via Facebook)|
The 23-year-old was “terrified” and left the branch humiliated and close to tears. Downey was “gobsmacked” when the staff allegedly imposed a “deadline” to leave the toilet.
Initially, the staff gave him a time limit of two minutes, but they reduced it to 60 seconds. As stated by Downey, he had to reveal his medical condition to the staff and customers within earshot of the restroom. He adds, “I repeatedly mentioned that I had a bowel disease but they kept up their threats. Thankfully I finished without them doing anything.”
|Photo Credit: @MattDowneyEly/Cllr Matt Downey (via Twitter)|
Upon leaving the restroom, there was no queue of customers waiting to use restroom. Downey approached a staff behind the counter to ask about “who was banging on the door.” Per the staff’s statement, the baristas claimed they had no idea what he was talking about. An anonymous staff member has admitted to pounding the door along with other workers.
He narrates, “The man was in there for 40 minutes and a long queue of people were waiting and knocking. I also knocked on the door and said, 'can you be quicker please, people are waiting.” He asked Downey if he was okay and how much time he needed. Unfortunately, Downey did not say anything. When asked who among the workers hammered on the door, the staff member states, “I think everybody did.”