Customer Facebook-shames barista for asking her to wear mask — the Tips are still pouring in

In the state of California, it is required that people wear masks in public, including restaurants and cafes.

After barista Lenin Gutierrez refused to serve Amber Lynn Gilles because she did not have a face covering, the woman posted a photo of Gutierrez on Facebook, writing, “Meet lenen [sic] from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.”

Gutierrez received an outpour of support, and a GoFundMe campaign acting as a virtual tip jar for the barista has raised $47,118 as of Friday afternoon…

Gutierrez said that before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) rendered everyone indoors, he was working as a dance teacher and is an aspiring dancer.

“With this donation that everyone provided me with GoFundMe, I can make these dreams reality,” he said. “I can fuel my passions even better now. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for it. It’s just amazing to see that I can actually make these dreams of pursuing more into dance a thing now. Thank you so much for it.”

Best story about human beings all week.

“Game of Thrones” — Starbucks joins the legendary tale

❝ From all of the bizarre things we’ve seen on Game of Thrones—from an undead dragon to the warlocks of Qarth—a disposable coffee cup probably takes the cake.

❝ In last night’s episode, fans spotted the cup on the table of the great hall of Winterfell as the surviving army celebrated their victory against the battle against the undead. While the cast ate from wooden bowls and swigged from goblets (except for Tormund, who chugged his drink from a horn), the coffee cup was definitely out of place.

HARPER’S BAZAAR has one of the better collections of fan comments about the screw-up. And the updated version of their article reveals that the scene has now been edited and the paper coffee cup has now vanished.

Conservatives Attack Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cup “Gay Agenda”

Another year, another nutball controversy over a Starbucks holiday cup.

This season, Twitter is convinced that the cup features a same-sex couple holding hands. The illustration in question is part of this year’s “Give Good” theme, which lets customers color in their coffee cups.

Starbucks did not confirm or deny “the lesbianism of The Hands.” In a statement, the coffee company said, “Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”

In past years, conservatives have criticized Starbucks for the “war on Christmas” and being too secular in its holiday designs. Many also denounced the new cup for its possible “gay agenda,” with some promoting the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

Bigoted, backwards and useless for anything but conservative cannon fodder. Please, meatheads, start a campaign for anyone whose mind is this corrupt to enlist in the US military. Encourage them to volunteer for Trump’s warzone-of-the-week. If we’re lucky their prejudice will overcome their natural-born cowardice and they can die for their 19th-Century stupidity.

As for me, even though I think my wife makes the best coffee on the planet, next time we’re in town I’ll have to stop and have a Starbucks Holiday Coffee. Just to stick my finger in the metaphorical eye of some bigot.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

378 in a row – Starbucks drive-through customers pay for next person’s drink

A random act of kindness at a Tampa-area Starbucks set into motion a chain of giving that lasted for nearly 400 customers…Around 7 a.m. a woman ordering from the coffee house’s drive-through paid for her own drink and said she’d like to pay for the customer behind her. Moved by the stranger’s generosity, that customer returned the favor for the next, who did the same.

The chain grew so big that employees began keeping a tally of consecutive customers who chose to “pay it forward.” The tally was over 250 by 1:30…

As the afternoon rush hour came and more and more customers kept the streak going, the baristas entertained hopes of it continuing until closing and perhaps using a gift card to extend it to the following day.

But around 6:00 p.m., customer number 379 crushed their hopes of a fairy-tale ending. An unknown woman driving a white Jeep Commander refused to pay for anything but her own drink — even though it had already been paid for. Starbucks employee Vu Nguyen explained the special circumstances but the woman was unmoved and, in Nguyen’s opinion, visibly unable to understand the concept of paying it forward.

Oh, it would be so easy to identify the politics, personal philosophy of someone who doesn’t comprehend good works. Tempting. But, not enough data.

Now, imagine trying to get the same thing started at a corner liquor store or cigarette shop! Phew.

Not-so-incidentally, this really is a Starbucks tradition. The record was set last December’s holiday season with 1468 customers in Newington, Connecticut…and ran from Tuesday morning the 24th through Saturday evening the 28th.

Whose network is more secure? Starbucks vs. Pentagon

Using the Wi-Fi connection at Starbucks was a better bet than risking putting confidential defense documents on a glitch-prone Pentagon computer network, a senior Defense Department official testified on Thursday at the Guantanamo trial of five prisoners charged with plotting the September 11 hijacked plane attacks.

The Internet link at the local Starbucks was “the best bad option that we had,” Air Force Colonel Karen Mayberry, the chief defense counsel for the war crimes tribunal, told the judge.

Defense lawyers have asked the judge to halt pretrial hearings in the death penalty case of the alleged plotters at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba until the computer system can be fixed to ensure that outsiders cannot access confidential defense documents.

Mayberry ordered her team of lawyers to stop putting sensitive documents on that system in April, citing their ethical obligation to protect confidentiality.

The lawyers have since been using personal computers to email documents from coffee shops and hotel lobbies. Mayberry said it was possible these networks were not secure, but she was certain that the Pentagon network had been compromised…

Some of the Internet problems were blamed on a switch in email systems. Others were blamed on an attempt to replicate lawyers’ work on two separate networks, one in the Washington area and one at the remote Guantanamo base.

Internet technology supervisor Paul Scott Parr tried to explain in laymen’s terms what went wrong. A “dirty shutdown” occurred when the server shut down while the replication program was still running, he said.

Backups that were supposed to occur daily had not been done for more than three months, Parr said. Seven gigabytes of data previously described as “lost” had merely been “misplaced” and had mostly been restored, he said.

Given the ideology stated in either of these locations, I’d have more faith in a decision based on democracy, care and concern for working people rolling out of Starbucks than the Pentagon, any day.

Yes, that’s another question; but, the song remains the same: Military justice is to justice as military music is to music!

From Goldman Sachs to Microsoft – corporate support for gay civil rights puts pressure on backwards politicians

Support for gay marriage by companies as varied as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Starbucks is gathering steam to change policies in states that bar same-sex couples from tying the knot.

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on June 26 heartened supporters of the cause while showing an increased willingness of business to back the effort. In one case, more than 200 companies signed a brief against a federal law that denied benefits to same-sex couples. Five years ago, only a handful had lobbied against California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages, the target of the high court’s other decision…

State legislators stand to feel the heat as more businesses speak out against laws in states including Texas, Florida and Michigan that recognize only heterosexual marriage. While fewer than half the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 are based in states that allow gays to wed, most already have policies that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“Companies do have the choice where they locate, where they set up shop,” said Kellie McElhaney, founding faculty director of the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California Berkeley. Local policies on sexual orientation “will eventually become part of the choice process…”

Goldman Sachs and Expedia are among businesses gearing up to support a federal bill to prevent workforce discrimination based on sexual orientation. Of Fortune 500 companies, 88 percent include orientation in their nondiscrimination policies and more than 60 percent offer domestic partner health benefits, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Companies moved ahead on providing health benefits for same-sex couples and adopting nondiscrimination rules since the 1990s just as Congress went in the opposite direction to approve the federal government’s rejection of gay marriage in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Now, corporate America is pushing for uniform laws that protect against workplace discrimination, said Edith Hunt, Goldman Sachs’s chief diversity officer…

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California woman busted after planting poisoned juice at Starbucks

A 50-year-old pharmacist arrested Monday after police say she filled two bottles of orange juice with what appeared to be rubbing alcohol at a San Jose Starbucks will be released, most likely Thursday evening, until lab tests return confirming what was actually inside the bottles, prosecutors said.

Ramineh Behbehanian of San Jose was booked on an attempted murder charge because the orange juice contained what police said were lethal quantities of isopropyl alcohol.

But her scheduled court date of Thursday was postponed, because prosecutors did not yet have enough information to charge her.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney could still charge her, but prosecutors won’t know with what until the lab results of the orange juice come back…

San Jose police are still not sure why she would have allegedly mixed rubbing alcohol with some orange juice Monday afternoon, left the bottles in the refrigerated section alongside some yogurt and milk, and left the Snell Avenue Starbucks store about 3:30 p.m.

An alert customer standing behind her in line spotted her taking out her own bottles of juice from a green Starbucks bag, and put them in the refrigerator section. He also noticed a toxic smell. He told management. The woman might have felt under suspicion, police said, but a Starbucks employee got her license plate.

The San Jose Fire Department responded to the scene, retrieved the bottles and tested the contents with hazardous materials equipment. It turned out, the bottles were filled with orange juice and rubbing alcohol.

A Starbucks spokesperson told NBC Bay Area that the company destroyed all the other juices in the Snell Avenue store out of an abundance of caution and had all other stores in Bay Area check their juice seals…All checked out OK.

Yes – the world has too many loonies.

Fortunately, there is a modicum of bright, nosy people who notice potentially dangerous crap like this. Sometimes. There will be some privacy freaks who don’t want someone noticing what anyone else is about. That’s understandable to a certain extent. But, protecting yourself and other folks from someone who may think they have a terrific reason for killing innocent folks – I think is admirable.

Too bad there wasn’t someone like the Starbucks barista or the customer in that line who noticed Behbehanian adding tainted juice bottles to the cooler – someone paying attention to a couple of murderers in Massachusetts before they completed their bomb run.

And, yes – it brings up the inevitable question of surveillance in public areas. One I revisit from time to time though my response remains the same. Good tech makes thorough surveillance more possible every year, more affordable, more capable. The same questions about Big Brother have to be confronted. And someone must watch the watchers. Not just the troops on duty, the bureaucrats in charge. Because abuse of surveillance systems are always a legitimate political concern.

Favorite new photos: Rendezvous

Demonstrators stand outside a branch of Starbucks near St Paul’s Cathedral before the start of an anti-austerity protest march.

You may as well rendezvous for your favorite morning beverage before confronting the corrupt bastards in charge of your country. If you know anything about Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of STARBUCKS, he might be behind one of those masks marching along in anonymity.

One in four Starbucks card transactions now done via mobile

Starbucks customers apparently are finding buying via mobile as addictive as the company’s coffee.

Less than a year after Starbucks launched an app that allows mobile payments, it has hosted 26 million such transactions on iOS, BlackBerry and Android, according to the chain. One in four Starbucks card transactions is now executed via mobile.

The mobile-payments initiative has built momentum recently: In the nine weeks after it was released, there were 3 million transactions. But in the past nine weeks, there have been 6 million, says Adam Brotman, SVP and general manager of Starbucks. He adds that New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and San Jose, California, are the top cities by volume for mobile purchases…

When asked why mobile payments seem to have caught on at Starbucks, Brotman said he thought convenience was a major factor. “It’s a faster, easier way to pay,” he said. “We not only developed the feature, but we also rolled out scanners in our locations.”

As we all know, once a feature catches on in one chain – because of ease and convenience – other competitors, other chains had better climb on board with the concept or lose a measurable increment of business.