I Know Starbucks is Not an Anti-Gay, Homophobic Company (by Policy)…. BUT…

Yesterday while I got my hair cut, my wife witnessed something in Starbucks (while she hung out with Lily, waiting for me) that she felt couldn’t go unnoticed or unmentioned.  Her letter says it all, but I wanted to share this open letter to Starbucks corporate office as a plea for awareness and solidarity.  Please forward this link on… and please leave comments to show your support.  Let’s all let Starbucks know that this is not OK.  Missy keeps saying that a stranger to us, Jeffrey, had a HORRIBLE day yesterday, let’s see if we can make his (and others’) todays and tomorrows better.

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Dear Starbucks,

I am writing this letter to you as a loyal customer with concerns.  I know probably 90% of the letters you receive trying to solicit something from you probably start the same way, but this is different. When I say, I am a loyal customer I mean you have had me for the better part of my adult life, hook, line and sinker. I will spend the extra $2.50 for a cup of your coffee. When I worked in Hoboken I would walk an extra three blocks for your coffee, walking past a Dunkin Donuts, Panera, Macdonalds and two bodegas to purchase from you. Every morning I drink my coffee out of one of your ceramic mugs and I have for years. A dozen of them line my shelves, (even the poorly conceived “Father’s Day” argyle mugs from 2005 that have metal bottoms which means I can’t pop it in the microwave to reheat)  I only buy Starbucks for my home consuption. When you roll out a new product, I flock to your nearest location like a moth to a flame.  I mourned the loss of the Chantico and I even rushed out to try that banana mocha abomination (a match made in hell) blindly following your suggestions like a lemming. I know, and speak your “lingo” that grates on me like nails on a chalk board and is sometimes so complicated I feel like I speak a second language. I even, as much as I am ashamed to admit it, buy most of the adult contemporary CDs you peddle in the front of the store. By the time I reach the front of the line somehow the newest James Taylor CD or whatever swing jazz collection you put together seems like something I can no longer live without.  I am your disciple. I am part of the Starbucks machine. I am your dream customer because whatever your company puts into the market, I have and I would have continued to buy.  I never felt bad about my commitment to your chain either because I felt like you were a company that was ethically sound.  Your commitment to free trade, The Starbucks Charitable Foundation, your appearance as a diverse work environment. These are all things that I as a customer felt good about. I felt like I was supporting a company that although huge, I felt you were doing your best to “do good” and leave a positive mark on the world.

That was the case, until yesterday.
Which is why I am writing to you today.
The sentiments above, about me being a loyal customer were not written to solicit anything from you. I do not want free coffee or a refund. I ask, as a loyal customer for the past 15 years that I have your attention. Your time and consideration.

Yesterday when I walked into your  Centereach, Long Island  location  I saw one of the most brazen and unapologetic displays of homophobia I have ever witnessed in my entire life.  What was most concerning about it was it was perpetuated by not one, not two but THREE of your employees and it was directed towards a fourth employee.  I don’t know this man, but I know his name is Jeffrey because the woman (who seemed to be in charge of this circus)  loudly scolded, spoke to in a condescending manner, humiliated, and then let go.  In the middle of your store. Two feet away from my table.   Then when Jeffrey, who was visibly shaken went to the bathroom to collect him self, the women at the table went on a long, ranting homophobic rant that lasted about five minutes. This rant transpired two feet away from my table where I sat with my daughter. A three year old child, with two mothers. I have never, in my entire life seem such a gross and unapologetic display of ignorance and intolerance. The most horrific aspect of it was that it was by someone that your corporation put into a position of power.  I have never, ever in ANY context seen ANYTHING so unprofessional in my entire life.  I was horrified that my daughter was exposed to that.

The whole incident spanned about 15-20 minuets. It looked like it was a sit down discussion about something that had happened in the store, an earlier problem.  What that was, I couldn’t be certain. I do know however, the fact that Jeffery’s sexuality was brought into the conversation (and it obviously was for me to know about it) is inappropriate. The woman (Who I will refer to going forward as the “Manager” although she may have been someone from Human Resources) spoke to him in a sharp condescending manner. She told him that they were not interested in his politics or beliefs and his thoughts were down right offensive to his co-workers. They did not want to hear about his personal life. When Jeffrey pointed out that they ALL talked about their personal lives (during the course of the conversation I learned that the manager had a daughter that went to tennis camp and another one of the women had a birthday coming up so the irony and the hypocrisy of that statement was mind blowing.) That his beliefs were not welcome at Starbucks.  She went on, an on and on talking about leadership building workshops where she learned to “Keep it to herself”  (again I will remind you of tennis camp). She was even so condescending to tell him,

“It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but ten years from now you will thank me for this…”

For what? For for letting him go for speaking about his personal life? For learning to put up with bigotry in the work place?

She kept reminding him, “You are not fired but….” as if to say, you are not fired but you are really not welcome here anymore. I assume this was a clever HR move so he would not be able to collect unemployment. He told her that he felt like he was being FORCED to leave because he felt like the “problems” at that location were not being addressed and the workplace had turned into a hostile environment.  She in turn told him that if he was not, “Part of the solution, he was the problem.”and his two weeks notice would not be needed. He asked if he would be marked by the corporation as “un-hireable”

She smugly looked at him and said,

“Well I don’t know. It’s not looking good for you.”

Basically threatening his professional future.

Know, I am not going to swear by what the original confrontation was. I only heard bits and pieces, but I know that worker was attacked and humiliated on the middle of your shop floor. I don’t care what his offense was, that sort of business should be conducted in a back room. I also know, the “manager” was not willing to listen to him and personally attacked him several times with snide, condescending comments. Telling him, in the subtext of her words that he was “Less than” and his personal belief system was no longer welcome at the shop.

The event got more horrific, when he, who had kept his composure through the entire incident, not once raising his voice despite being attacked, got up from the table to go to the bathroom to cry in private.

Then the three women turned on him like Vultures.

“I’m done. I’m done. Nobody wants to hear it anymore.  I don’t care who he is dating. I don’t want to hear about it.”

“He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned gay yesterday.”

“I used to listen to it, now I’m just sick of hearing about it.”

“Nobody does, but it’s over now. You won’t have to hear about it anymore.”

It went on, and on and on.

The focus of their discussion then when he left the table, was not about an incident that occurred in the previous days.  It was about how they were intolerant to his lifestyle, nobody wanted to hear about the fact that he was gay, they didn’t want to be exposed to that.  The focus was not about his poor performance as an employee but their intolerance towards him as a person.  I  sat at there at my  table with the impression that,

This man, this Starbucks employee was losing his job, because he was gay.

Whether that was the case or not.  Whatever Jeffrey’s offense might have been… that is how one of your loyal customers perceived the events as they transpired based on the actions and the statements of your “manager”.  She was bigoted, intolerant, insensitive and no matter how upset she was at Jeffrey, her comments and sentiments should not have been overheard by one of your customers, gay or not.

So I guess the biggest irony is, that nobody in the Starbucks that afternoon wanted to hear her politics, the very thing she was scolding Jeffrey for.

When Jeffrey returned from the bathroom she asked him for his keys. She was pretending to be sensitive and offered him her card if he needed to talk.  Which disgusted me because, she was anything but concerned for his well being.

I followed Jeffery out of the store horrified by what I had just witnessed.
I said to him, “That was unreal. That was “bullshit” and I was so sorry.
He walked away at first, then he approached me and said, “Thank you.”
I hugged him and he said,

“I came to this company because I thought it was supposed to be better. I thought that it was a positive and tolerant work place to work. I was passed over for promotions, they hired from the outside, I fought against their vendetta. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t have a chance here.”

I hugged him again.
Disgusted that something so ugly, so cruel could happen in this day in age in America and that the perpetrator was basically patting herself on the back. Not caring that she had not only destroyed this man’s life, but that she also humiliated him and threatened his future.   She was going to sleep soundly that night. She was going to get away with her gross display of how disgusting one human can be to another if they have a position of power and slap a fake smile across their face.

I walked away from Jeffrey and I started to cry.  At how cruel we can still be to each other. How awful I felt for him. I strapped my daughter into her car seat and I thought about how in this society we are so self congratulating as we scream to the rafters promising our children,

“It gets better!”

I found myself wondering, “Better than what?”
What I saw on that Starbucks floor was pretty awful.

I have had friends tell me, to boycott. I have had other friends tell me that Starbucks is a positive and tolerant corporation. The latter has always been my impression.  I don’t think this is how Starbucks wants themselves represented.  However, I think you should be aware of the people who you currently have representing you and the way they are doing it.  I am hoping by bringing this to your attention, you will do the right thing. As you can tell by the tone of my letter I am not a political activist. I am not militant and I do not have an axe to grind nor am I looking for a soap box. I’m pretty boring to be quite honest with you.  I do not even march in pride parades and I swear I own not a single thing that has a rainbow on it. I don’t celebrate my diversity, That’s simply not the type of person that I am. In fact, I’m more the type to wallow in how mediocre I am.  I am an average American who just so happens to be gay. I live my life, I raise my family and I hope to also leave a mark on this world that is positive.  I do not like seeing anyone hurt, abused and degraded. I know that should go without saying, a sentiment akin to “All babies should be fed.” but after yesterday, and what I witnessed, I feel like it has to be said.

I want to still be able to walk into a Starbucks with my head held high. I want to drink your drinks, speak your code and even buy your newest record releases, even though they make me feel middle aged and unhip… and feel good about it.

I want you to restore my faith that you are the company I always thought you were.
Please don’t let this incident go unnoticed. Do something, anything you can to make this right. Please protect your (former) employee. Take a step, and take action to protect basic human dignity. To protect equal rights and equality. Please do something.  I don’t want you to lose my business forever.

A loyal customer,
Missy Alison
631- xxx-xxxx

************

Edited to add: we have been contacted by Starbucks. Please see updates here: https://lilfamilyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/starbucks-update-part-1/

I can’t reply to every comment here, but if you’re a media outlet, Missy is available for interview. If you have questions, Please contact me directly at LilFamilyBlog @ gmail dot com.

Thank you so much, everyone!

Love,
Dana

 

3/12/13 – Updated to add, Lil Family Blog can now be found at  http://LilFamily.com  Please visit to read updates to THIS story, and new events (including a new addition to our family!)

Posted on June 13, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 910 Comments.

  1. Omg, that is not only scummy, but completely fucking illegal. New York protects workers from being fired for sexual preference. Please also forward the letter to the Department of Labor. Jeffrey deserves for them to not get away with that!

    • Missy Alison was completely wrong in what she wrote. She was not aware of the facts of what was happening and confused multiple conversations in order to draw the worst case scenerio. Starbucks and the employees at the centereach location are not homophobic nor were they being unfare to the employee. The employee had multiple performance issues, had just been caught breaking store policy and giving free drinks to his friends and once confronted decided to shift blame from himself onto everyone else he could. It is a shame that Missy Alison published this letter without getting the facts. Fact 1 Jeffery stole, Fact 2 he was always late, Fact 3 he was horrible to be on a shift with, Fact 4 we have many gay or lesbian staff members that work here with us with us and love it. This is a Jeffery being a bad employee issue…no one was talking about him being gay…Missy Alison took what she wanted and put it all together to change the facts. She assumed because Jeffery is openly gay that that must be why they were being mean….it had nothing to do with that….but the truth wouldn’t make for a very good blog now would it?

      • Regardless, his sexuality should not be thrown in his face, nor should this entire scene be played out in front of anyone!

      • Given that the female employees switched in an instant to bashing Jefferey once he left about his sexuality, yeah, it’s rather obvious that there was some major bigotry involved in this quite abrasive confrontation.

      • Kristin Alford

        Jason, I think the root of the issue is not Jeffrey’s sexuality, nor is it his work performance. The root of the issue is how this particular situation was handled. At no time, is it appropriate to reprimand, terminate or denounce and employee in front of clients or staff. It is unacceptable behavior, and the person in charge, should have handled this in private and in a professional manner. However, this situation is complicated by extraneous factors, such as inappropriate/bigoted comments, and that is also unacceptable. Perpetuating a lack of regard for another human being is not the answer.
        It is also inappropriate for you to publicly post any internal issues your place of employment is facing. Therefore, I strongly recommend you choose your words carefully, as you are a representative of the Starbucks Co. (if you are not a member of the Starbucks Co., then I suppose your examples of Jeffrey’s “errors” are erroneous, and can be disregarded)

      • Jason,
        Regardless, the reported conversation that transpired after Jeffery left the area was uncalled for, rude, and bigoted. I doubt that a clearly strong and vocal mother and member of the LGBT community would be so brazen as to ignore the possibility that this young man might have had performance issues. The issue at hand is not Jeffery’s barista capabilities but the gross manner in which the situation was handled.

      • She wouldn’t have heard anything if the conversation had been conducted in private. It’s unprofessional to conduct company business in front of customers. Always.

      • Jason,
        It’s pretty bad that Missy witnessed any of this while in the store. Period. That one could come to any conclusion about the situation is almost as big of an issue on it’s own.
        I hope the situation is resolved to some degree- at least Starbucks is looking in to it.

      • Jason:
        No offense meant by this, but the manager did seem to handle the situation in an incredibly insensitive way. Not to mention unprofessionally. Anyone who has ever been in a management position should know that you do not handle situations like that in front of a customer, or even other employees. It is something that should be done in a private setting, and they DEFINITELY should NOT have been gossiping about it after the fact. Regardless of what the employee did to be fired, and no matter how annoying their talk about their personal life was, or how much they stole from the company (I have dealt with fellow employees doing both of those things) there are 1000 different ways that this could have been handled better. Even if you don’t make this an LGBTQ issue, it still is an HR nightmare.

        -Molly-

      • Regardless of any other “facts” in this matter, you simply do not dismiss staff for any reason on the sales floor in front of customers.

        Jason, what you posted is libelous. None of the things you have posted are “facts”, they are allegations. By presenting them as facts, you have opened yourself up to legal action. You should be far more careful about what you post.

      • @Jason Regardless of what the conversation was about, Missy SHOULD NOT HAVE HEARD ANY OF IT! No one for any reason should be fired and humiliated on the floor for the public to hear and see regardless of performance issues. Missy is completely wrong in what she wrote? You’re an idiot. 1. The word is “unfair,” not “unfare.” 2. This is Jeffrey’s manager being an ass and making a public spectacle for anyone to witness.

      • Missy Alison already said several times in her letter that she was unsure of the offense, that she was just giving her point of view. But she did offer quotes from the employees and I’ll take her at her word. but fine, if “Jeffrey” was a bad employee and had numerous dismissable offenses, i’m sure the manager would have them all documented and all bases would be covered.

      • So your essentially calling her a liar? Where you there that day? Did you witness this first hand or are you trying to defend a friend who made a mistake?

        Apparently Starbucks Corporate feels that there is an issue here based on their press release to address this.

        Leaving the “he is gay” out of the conversation (which has been addressed by better people than I) I have a problem with the fact that this conversation was heard at all by the customers.

        At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what his offenses were. The fact that a single member of the public heard any part of that conversation means the “manager” messed up.

        At no time should a customer or a member of the public of any establishment be in a position to overhear any sort of disciplinary action or a firing of any employee for any reason.

        A good manager does that in private on a one on one basis. I’m one of those people that has a big mouth. Had I been there I would have asked to speak to the manager in private and told her exactly what I thought of her so called management skills. That shows a little more common decency than this person showed to her employee and the customers present in the store that day.

        People need to start sticking up for their fellow man. It’s the only way we as a people will grow.

      • No matter what he did, it should have been handled privately so that customers couldn’t hear it and then write about it. Customers should not be made to feel uncomfortable when they are trying to relax and enjoy their coffee. The only way I could see firing someone in public is if the employee actually stole something right in front of the customer or was unprofessional to the customer in a big way. Even then it would be better to call him to the back to have a “talk”. AND there shouldn’t have been gossiping going on while he went to the br to compose himself.

      • Jason, it’s not necessarily a point of whether he should or should not have been fired, especially if there were justifiable cause. It’s handling the matter in front of customers – even if handled sensitively, an employee should have the assurance that his/her discipline/dismissal will be done in private. And the comments about his sexuality, even if he wasn’t present, should NEVER have been made in front of customers. I would hope they wouldn’t have been made at all, but absolutely not in front of customers. I don’t think that Missy was seeking to “take on” Starbucks. I think she was forced to. I hope I would have been as brave and compassionate. Even if this man were the worst employee in the world, this was handled extremely poorly, and the Starbucks management needs to know about it.

      • Regardless of how horrible an employee is/was, there is NO justification of for publicly humiliating him, ESPECIALLY in front of customers.

      • Regardless of the reasons for him being fired, the conversation should not have taken place in front of any customers. If I had overheard the things she heard, I would come to the same conclusion, that he was being fired because he was gay, and that is an image that Starbucks should not want to have.

      • If the people were making homophobic slurs, she was write in reporting it. obviously she wouldn’t have said anything if what you said was true. Also its terribly unprofessional and disturbing that anyone would be fired in this manner. either way, it was wrong and im glad starbucks is doing something about it.

      • Jason,

        Missy was clear that she did not know the other side of the story. What Jeffery did or did not do to get fired was not the point.
        No employee should have any matters discussed with management infront of customers, or even other employees.
        Also at issue, the manager is talking to other employees about Jeffery when he left the room in a cruel & demeaning way. Again…in front of customers.
        Missy blogged about what ‘she’ saw & heard as a ‘customer’.
        Regardless of the reasons behind the firing, it should have been handled behind closed doors & not infront of anyone.

      • Riiight….

      • I will give you the fact that this sit-down was scheduled because there might have been past behavioral issues, but this sit-down was executed INAPPROPRIATELY. Whether or not Jeffery was a bad employee or not, there is no excuse to belittle an employee in front of CUSTOMERS, like the group of “managers” did. 1. (And the BIGGEST) They just set themselves and Starbucks Co. up for a law-suite, which Jeffery will more and likely win! 2. As “Managers”, they should know better, ESPECIALLY if they were from HR. It’s a GOLDEN rule; you cannot belittle an employee, ESPECIALLY in front of clients for disciplinary action 3. It’s called common human- decency!!! No one should ever treat anyone like that because they are gay. His sexual preference, IT should have never been brought up! There is a witness, Missy, who heard that they didn’t “care who he’s dating”, they were “tired of hearing about it”! If you have to let him go because of “behavioral issues”, they MUST and SHOULD always be documented in his personnel file and also the appropriate behavioral rules he broke, rules that apply to EVERYONE in the store/ company! You might have openly gay/ lesbian employees working, but in his case, Jeffery was not treated the same way as everyone else, despite their sexual preference!

      • How embarrassing for Starbucks Centereach and the company in general. I hope this issue spreads to as far wide as possible. The staff there should be severely punished for this. Jason, you should be ashamed of yourself for defending these bullies. Are you even human?

      • Jason,

        I have forwarded your response and a link to it to the Starbucks Corporate office.

        You’re welcome.

      • But by what the ladies were saying that was her perception and therefor her truth.
        The customers perception is always what matters in retail.

        I agree with her that
        1. They shouldn’t be bringing up his sexual orientation while letting him go, no matter if he stole from them or not.
        2.This conversation should not, under any circumstances have happened around customers. That’s what the back room is for.

        So no, she is not wrong in writing this.

      • Jason you have got to be kidding me, I am not Gay nor am I an activist. I am a mother of two, a disabled veteran and a student….However, the fact of the matter is she believes and heard what she heard. Maybe YOU were not privy to the whole situation. A person, no matter their race, creed, religious affiliation color or sexual orientation should feel safe when they walk into their workplace, have you ever thought that he was late because of the bigotry (and did not want to be there), that he was “trying to get in trouble”. He may have been an absolutely horrendous employee that did everything that you stated in your post but that is NO excuse!!! NONE! If others are speaking about their personal lives then EVERYONE should be afforded the opportunity, if you and/or your peers don’t want to hear about an individual that is homosexual, keep you conversations professional, in the front where customers can hear you. If you had read the post you could see that she said she did not know what the original confrontation was about, but if people can HEAR you speaking about someone being gay on the other side of the counter then SHUT UP!!! I don’t care if you have 100 homosexual individuals working at the store, have you ever made a gay joke, or someone else made one, it is not funny to them, even though they may laugh with you. It is on the same lines of making racial jokes in front of the race you are making front of. If you started calling an African American the “N” word or a Jewish individual a “kike” you are a bigot. Why not if you make jokes or speak out of turn when it comes to homosexual individuals. If you say “fag”, or “homo” or any other disparaging remark you are a homophobic. Missy was 100% correct in writing Starbucks! I have heard the same thing all over the country in different stores (not just Starbucks), and YES when I was getting a Triple Grande White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.

      • And you work there? Riiiight. And you listened to this and said nothing??? Shame on YOU.

      • SHUT THE FUCK UP YOUR JUST SAYING THAT SO STARBUCKS DOESN’T GET SUED YOUR TRYING TO COVER UP YOUR ASS, KNOW KNOW WELL WHAT MISS ALISON SAID WAS TRUE I KNOW JEFFERY AND HE WON’T HAVE DONE WHAT YOUR SAYING, YOU SHOULD BE SUED FOR SLANDER

      • Jason,
        regardless being mean to someone you work with isn’t very fair. And the other good point she made was that it was done in front of customers. Not cool, I am a manager and even I know not to do it in front of others. If he stole then he should of been fired and if he was late he obviously didn’t like where he worked because of all the crap that was said about him. I have seen it over and over again. No one will really ever know, only Jeffery. So while I totally understand and love Starbucks, I do not like haters.

      • The minute the matter of sexuality in the work place was used in a negative public discussion in the workplace it became an illegal act and it should be dealt with by the authorities. In fact if Jeffery should wish to press criminal charges it may be possible to file sexual harassment charges in addition to those harassment in the workplace charges. If there are more customers witnessing this encounter they should make known to either the one who started this thread or to Starbucks so that they have the opportunity to make amends for the criminal behavior of their management and other employees. Yes, it is actually a criminal act to publicly humiliate an employee in front of customers or other employees. It is also illegal in most states to openly dismiss an employee in front of other employees.

        If any of the story is true then that entire Starbucks crew screwed up royally and should be terminated with extreme haste and a black mark placed on their permanent work record. Fired for criminal activity.

        To say the least this is another reason not to like Starbucks burnt bean coffees.

        And I am a minister from a straight conservative background. I hate jerks you never save a soul by being one either.

      • Jason, I work for a rather LARGE company, and EVERYTHING you just said, in PUBLIC, is now what we would consider a ” HUGE Loss Prevention issue” where as you have just aired things that should be kept private in a business matter when it comes to employees being reprimanded for poor behavior. As she stated.. SEVERAL TIMES, in case those parts may have skipped your eyes, she was unsure of the reason for the conversation. Im sure STARBUCKS has a very strict No tolerance policy on theft. If he, in fact WERE stealing drinks and giving free drinks to his friends (which im sure ALL of you have done, as well as the 3 witches who dismissed poor Jeffrey in such a manner) That would and could have been grounds for immediate dismissal AND coding out for rehire. however.. LOGIC would say that the snippets of conversation she heard, is not the case. sounds to me like down right ignorance and bigotry. and THAT is not how LARGE SHAREHOLDER COMPANIES do their business. I seriously hope that these women get what is coming to them, and Kudos to the woman who laid low, and did the right thing, and let us watch as this goes VIRAL, They just cooked their own goose.

      • Good grief. More evidence of the mismanagement of this location. How on Earth could a coworker have so much information about the work record and disciplinary record of another worker? It seems this location has a much deeper issue regarding the team and leadership. It would seem that gossip and unprofessional, non work related business is allowed dominate the workplace.

      • Doesn’t matter if there were legitimate reasons for firing the employee. It is unprofessional AND against Starbucks policies (go check the employee handbook and training manual for managers) to speak to partner like that, especially out on the store floor in front of customers.

        Also if at any point his sexual orientation was brought up the law was broken.

      • Jason,
        I don’t know or really care what planet you’re on, but here on Earth, those three “ladies” should have taken this discussion in the back of the store. Also they did make those bigoted comments that they “didn’t want to hear it”, “didn’t care to know who he was dating”, and let’s not forget the worst one and most deflamatory of all “he should be used to it, after all he didn’t turn gay yesterday”. Newsflash, I know that this is going to be a huge concept for you to attempt to wrap what passes for a mind around but in most cases sexual orientation is GENETIC! Just like your eyes and your hair color. Sexual orientation is not a choice. But those people were so wrapped up in their verbal assault on him that they couldn’t see that a woman and a small child were in their place of business because they were filled with hate and had blinders on. Also, he showed a lot more class than they did sitting around a table close to a still unnoticed customer making their little catty comments. Nobody in the hospitality industry should sit down like that and have that kind of discussion as it’s highly unprofessional. I wouldn’t be surprised if YOU are just making up those “facts” as they are the most common reasons to let somebody go. But the fact is that it should have been conducted out of ear-reach of the public and it wasn’t. You are no better than those three creatures were and are…a closed-minded bigot who needs to be back in the stone age.

      • @Bill

        “Jason,

        I have forwarded your response and a link to it to the Starbucks Corporate office.

        You’re welcome.”

        You read my mind!

        @Jason… There seems to be no end to the unprofessional conduct of management and staff at your store. Jeffrey should not have been reprimanded or terminated publicly (not in front of other personnel, and certainly not in front of customers). The commentary about Jeffrey’s sexuality constitutes creating a hostile work environment to a protected class in New York State, so the commentary counts as harassment and Jeffrey has a lawsuit-in-waiting, regardless of why he was terminated. So that should never have happened. Moreover, the inappropriate, bigoted comments happened in the presence of customers. Not only, then, were the comments hostile to a co-worker, they were offensive to customers. Funny how the “manager” alluded to her “leadership training.” I think she needs to go back and get re-trained.

        And… You, yourself, are way out of line. People’s personnel files are confidential. Whatever the reasons you think Jeffrey was terminated, you should not be posting about them on a public blog.

      • There is NO good reason to have any discussions about performance at a job in front of the paying customers. Ever.

        It was a failure on the manager’s part to not handle this in a more professional manner. And a failure on the manager’s part to allow customers to be witness to anything like this.

        On the subject of a worker’s sexuality, if the details about the discussions of his sexuality are true, then that’s truly sad.

        But at the very very least – there’s no excuse to berate an employee in front of customers. Poor management skills.

      • How can someone be wrong in what they sat there and heard with their own ears? Were you there?

      • Either you are the manager or his friend. Troll.

      • For those curious and/or still responding to “Jason”. I called the store and there is no such employee as Jason. “Jason” is an alias for an obviously cowardly person, who most likely is a different employee (maybe one of the 3 involved) or perhaps one of their friends/family. But I know that at least some/most of his “facts” are untrue and he is not even a real person.

      • From someone that used to be in management. All corrective action needs to be done in a private location, not a lobby or break room. It needs to be done behind close doors as no other employee should be in the area when any discussion is going on. For someone to “go to the aid of the offenders” must not know this. That is why the managers have an office.

      • Jason, most importantly no matter what went down, no one is to witness anything like that. Not another employee. And def not a customer.

        If you are not his immediate supervisor/manager then you should not be aware of him stealing as that should not be discussed with any employee outside those involved. And most importantly, YOU should not be posting it on a blog or speaking of it period.

        If I was your supervisor I would take you into a private space (with an HR rep) and let you go. Yes, FIRE you!

      • Ignorant! Did you even read the article, or just start attacking because you are convincing yourself you did nothing wrong? Based on your response, you are angry because you all were caught being little bitches. You are a bad employee, and would make a worse manager. I spent 5 yrs in the Marine Corps, and even we are taught this is piss poor management. End up with a bullet in your back. Talk to me like that and I would knock you the fuck out. Period.
        Missy Allison clearly states she did not know all the circumstances, just that employees should not be treated this way in front of customers. Just like customer should not mistreat employees. Now get me my coffee you low-life douche bag. And if you do not like it, suck it, I will complain to corporate about your attitude. And you know what? I would win, but that would not very nice would it?

      • I believe the facts are simple: An employee was “counseled” in a public area of a business disturbing the customers. That in itself is not only reprehensible, but extremely bad management.

      • As someone who works in HR, my head is swimming with thoughts about how many policies and/or laws were just broken by this ‘manager’. This is the type of thing that keeps us HR people up at night (often, quite literally, as we camp out at the office trying to investigate what happened and figure out how on God’s green earth we might even begin to fix all the trouble this person just caused!).
        It’s been said ad nauseum already, but terminations should happen in private, with proper documentation, with a WITNESS present– never on the sales floor, never in front of customers, and never with the knowledge of other employees.
        Even if the termination had absolutely nothing to do with his sexuality, the fact that the MANAGER engaged in conversations with EMPLOYEES, speaking negatively about him being openly gay, WHILE he very likely could probably HEAR them, is a lawsuit waiting to happen. It may or may not reach the standards of ‘hostile work environment’ (depends on all the details surrounding the case), but at the very least, this manager deserves a formal reprimand and possibly termination.
        I find it ironic that the manager was lecturing about his need to ‘keep his personal life out of the work place’, yet she was engaging in mocking and judgmental gossip with his peers? WTF?
        I’ll be interested in hearing how this EEOC case plays out.

      • loyal customer

        To Jason- I think you have it “completely wrong” The point of Missy’s letter is NOT about Jeffrey’s performance as an employee, but about the way the “manager” and other employee’s handled the situation unprofessionally in the presence of other customers. For publicly humiliating and scolding an employee and to voice their annoyances about Jeffrey in front of others instead of in private. The other employee’s comments were not about any infractions that may have occurred, but were of a personal nature, attacking him as a person. I applaud Missy for standing up for the rights of ALL people.

      • SFRussell1963

        @Jason: There are three indefatigable rules of retail.

        1. The customer is always right
        2. The customer is always right
        3. The customer is always right

        Whether Missy had the facts correct or not she is the customer and she is right. She was offended by the conduct of the employees in the store. That by itself is reason enough for investigation and disciplinary action. Those things just aren’t done in public by sane civilized people and are no doubt dictated to be held privately by StarBucks own internal policy like every other legitimate business. The fact is the customer was wronged and those responsible deserve to answer for that and that alone.

        The rest is their own personal burden to carry. Hatred like that eats people up from the inside out and karma’s an evil mistress. They will all learn that as time passes if they haven’t already.

      • Even if your facts are true, WHY would management discuss any worker’s behavior in front of customers? This should be done one-on-one in private.

      • If Jeffery did indeed steal, then that conversation should have centered around those facts, AND, should have occurred in private. Fact 1: says who? allegations of this nature (embezzlement, theft, etc…) require evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Fact 2: this needs to be addressed through legal documentation, not public humiliation. Fact 3: Your lack of tolerance is a personal problem that you need to deal with privately. Fact 4: based on all the above mentioned facts, you are not a credible source and I don’t believe your excuses or justifications. The fact that it happened out in the open tells me that it was a personal matter for the manager/HR rep, rather than a business conversation. All of you should be very ashamed of yourselves. By the way, I am a Loss Prevention Manager and conduct employee theft investigations for major companies like Starbucks. Get it together Starbucks!

      • and just how do you know all these “facts” do you work at that store or are you the spouse of one of the people accused of the disgusting acts. were you there while this was going on? If you were there then why did you not speak up and ask the “manager” to take it behind closed doors? NO “manager” should involve any other employee in a matter of “discipline” . That business is between the manager and that ONE employee. Also that business should be done behind closed doors not on the floor. I personally have never walked into a starbucks – but I also live in such a rural community that we do not have one. So I have nothing to win or lose by the situation, but I have been in his shoes and there was nothing I could do about it – but this was also 25+ years ago. But I have also been the “manager” – but any time I needed to reprimand or discipline an employee it was NEVER in earshot of any other employee.

      • Jason first of all I smell a company “KISS ASS”…YOU! Second the manager sounds like a power tripping bitch who should deffinitely be the one with a “BLACK MARK” on her record.

        As a gay recording artist and writer life has it’s extra challenges in my field as in any with out bitches like this.

        Kenny Nash

        youtube “DESIRE” 4 EQUALITY FOR EVERYONE

      • Whew, Jason! I am not an attorney but if I were “Jeffrey” I would have a lawyer on your butt so fast that your Barista salary would be garnished until Kingdom come for libel! To actually post these “FACTS” about “Jeffrey” is just another example of Starbucks unprofessionalism at that particular location. Not only that, If I were Mr. Starbucks, I’d fire you on the spot for putting my company in such legal peril.

      • Even if Jeffery was stealing and he was late all the time his sexuality shouldn’t have been brought up. Everyone talks about who they date and their personal life at work, that’s how you become a family but when that “manager” talked about him being gay and talking about his life that’s completely different. I’m a manager at a cell phone store if I’m going to fire someone for stealing I do it behind close doors not in front of anyone and have everyone gang up on him. Missy was a concerned customer who had the guts to say something.

      • Elizabeth Burke

        I believe every word she says. The fact that he got fired, for whatever reason, in FRONT of customers, then was belittled after he left is incredibly unprofessional. It seems you are nothing but a mouthpiece for this store and what you wrote is clearly “re-writing” history so to speak. But, say he did all the thinks you claim, why was this firing done in front of the customers? Why not in the office, in private? Your version does not make sense, therefore is undoubtedly untrue. Are you perhaps “the manager?”

      • Well im assuming your volunteering to be fired for discussing internal company disciplinary actions. Please leave us your phone number.

      • @Jason June 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm. Nobody believes what you ‘re telling, as if you there. If the accused man was stealing (a fact according to you), he would have been fired instandly. No question about it.
        In your reaction you perfectly picture yourself as one who tries talking wrong cases straight by giving a 100 % bad perception of the writer Missy Alisson.

      • it doesn’t matter what he was being let go for and it was stated that she didn’t know exactly what was going on. the point of the letter was that no matter what Jeffrey was being fired for the women should not have attacked him they way that they did, especially when he went to the bathroom. if all of them were free to speak about their personal lives then they had no right to tell him that he was not allowed to. that was what she was trying to get across; the employees were cutting someone down. not only was the manner in which they behaved rude and ignorant, but extremely unprofessional. a customer should never have even been able to hear bits and pieces of that conversation.

      • Jason..you are a fraud. If you believe the trash that is spewing out of your mouth…why use a fake name? If you are proud of what happened…why use a fake name? If indeed you believe this witch hunt was legitimate why use a fake name?

        Missy is a hero…you know why? She saw an injustice happen right in front of her and she didnt ignore it…..she didnt just go home to her…as she put it boring life and forget the events she witnessed.

        She spoke for all of us in her letter. She spoke for the multitudes of people that are on this Earth right friggin now…that say enough is enough already. We are NOT going to stand for this anymore.

        A bully is a bully..regardless of what power their ego believes they wield. We say NO MORE.

        We stand with Missy unshakeable. We stand beside all people being bullied…tormented…mistreated….threatened…humiliated and WE SAY NO MORE !!!

        This is not about Starbucks..its about the world. Its about time those of us who believe in true freedom…true compassion…and love and nurturing stand up….as Missy stood up and we say NO MORE.

        You are the No One. You are the LOSER.

        Great job Missy..we are all proud of you!,
        Coach Sharon @ Retrainyourbrainnow.com

      • Jason, I read about half of the comments people have replied with and I agree with most, that being said, I don’t think you’re totally wrong, but know a gay employee should never have to work in that environment with those kind of mocking bigoted assholes. What Missy spelled out in ear-shot dialogue can NOT be convoluted or twisted in any other way. She reported ONLY fact. Therefore this has become an issue that has exceeded both you and Jeffrey. It’s now a matter of pride, and I think I just found my own,

        As a gay man, I will NEVER set foot inside a starbucks again.

      • You sound as ignorant as the HR person. If these “FACTS” are true than it should of been handled in a professional manner…She was talking about how poorly he was treated. FACT!

      • Jason, lookup harrassment. Regardless of the infinite details missed and whether he was even deserving of the harrassment, this young man was verbally harrassed in the workplace. It’s illegal, and I sincerely hope those involved are reprimanded.

      • I feel as if you didn’t read the letter that she submitted. She said she didn’t know what the reasons were and she didn’t know if he had actually done anything wrong. Regardless, gay or straight no one should ever disrespect anyone else in the work place. People go to starbucks for the atmosphere and I am sure that they do not want to hear the management be completely hypocritical and nasty by ridiculing him in front of the patrons. That is quite embarrassing for Starbucks and I hope that this problem is taken care of immediately.

        And let’s be honest. People might find one problem with Jeffery such as the stealing. But regardless I am willing to put my life savings on the fact that it was easy to bring up his sexuality and that they did and that Missy Alison was completely in the right to stand up for him by writing the letter. I suppose you should start to accept the consequences.

    • I feel so sorry for him that is terrible. I had a back surgery. Actually it was worse then a back surgery. I had to get my vertrebrae replaced because I had a giant cell tumor in it. I can’t work for 2 years so I am broke. I went down to Social Services and the front desk ladies treat you like complete crap. The two times I went down there I heard them say, “God, I don’t know how these people even get up in the morning.” They looked right at me. Now I have been working since I was 15 and a half. I am in no way shape or form, “Lazy.” Another time I walked up to the window and a lady said,”I can’t stand to be here. I am in hell!.” No lady, I am in hell. I can’t work for 2 years, I have the worst pain from the surgery and I have no income. Apparently she takes her job for granted.

    • Kate Interrante

      Did anyone in the shop stand up and hollar back at the idiot trio or did they sit down and sip their Latte’s like good little eastenders?

      As a long island girl myself (born and raised in Huntington), I wouldn’t have kept my mouth shut. I am horrified at what you and your daughter witnessed.

      My husband and I fight for equal rights on all levels and have absolutely no problems getting up in someone’s face when they are clearly out of line. I am studying for my BA in Criminal Justice and a call to the police department would have started a police report for Harrassment (because you were “alarmed and annoyed” by what you were witnessing) and a hate crime (anti-gay, ethnicity, etc slurs are not tolerated in NYS).

      It is a lesson for you and your lovely wife to teach your daughter. It is not tolerated in your home, nor is it in mine. I hope “Jeffrey” finds a more friendly work environment and the twit at Starbucks gets hers and then some.

      Cordially,
      Kate

  2. Please share this link…

    We ask that you please put all comments and discussions ON the blog so they are in one place, and so Starbucks can publically see your thoughts…

  3. The employers he was having the confrontation with were VERY careful in how they chose his words to him, I think to avoid any sort of lawsuit or backlash. She kept referring to his sexuality and his problems at the job as his, “politics” – meanwhile her tone was basically making him feel unwanted and unwelcome.

    She really let her true colors and bigotry show AFTER he left the table and was well out of ear shot.

    That’s part of what made it so malicious, she knew what she was doing and she did it and manipulated the situation so she could get away with it.

    • If you wish to follow up, the number for the district manager in the Centereach region is: 516-695-2722

    • Thank you for standing up at taking the time to write Starbucks on behalf of Jeffery. If only there were more people like you that truly believe standing up for justice and not just turning a blind eye and not doing a dang thing about it. So you know, I’m a conservative Christian and even though my faith frowns upon same sex partners (for sexual gratification purposes) I still believe that two same gender couples no matter what they do in the bedroom SHOULD have all EQUAL rights as any civil marriage or any individual’s personal choice of what they do in the bedroom. Your letter really struck a string in my heart for Jeffery. It disgusts me that Jeffery was publicly discriminated and humiliated or yes even the fact that he is Gay it “IS” and WAS his personal and confidential matter that should not be announced by his Co-worker or Manager to publicly to customers. The Manager should be fired and this IS a matter of Sexual discrimination.
      Please create a Facebook page in support of Jeffery and hopefully he will find out about this letter and Facebook page, so he knows how many people stand behind him and for his rights. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments, DO take this to the highest Management at Starbucks so this incident can not be diluted, lost in translation or forgotten. Thank you Missy Alison! – You are a Great American!

  4. Also, let’s be real.. I don’t care what this kid’s offense was. I as a customer my daughter and I should not have been exposed to the discussion at all. Much less one that was filled with bigotry and hatred…

    The injustice of him being forced from his job is one thing…
    The fact that I as a customer was personally insulted by her lack of decorum and HER POLITICS is a whole separate issue.

    • I fear you may be going too high on the corporate ladder for HR to care. My sister worked as a store manager in manhattan for 5 years (was with the company for 10)–I myself worked for two years. You want to send this message to the regional and district corporate managers–they’re the only ones with any real power to impact store operations in their regions. Good luck!

      • I have to disagree with Jake.

        The very last thing Starbucks would want is a story like this going viral. I suggest skipping straight to the president of the company, and be as specific as you can about exactly which store this happened in (there are at least two in Centereach), the time, date, the names (or descriptions if you can’t remember names) of each person involved, but VERY specifically about the employee “Jeffery” and this manager.

        I have very little doubt that this manager will be contacted by HER manager, once that person’s manager is contacted, etc., etc. Sbx takes its public relations quite seriously, in fact spends millions on that very thing.

        Based on what I’ve read on your blog today, this manager is thoroughly in need of some sensitivity training, or an immediate demotion, whichever works best.

      • I don’t know about going to high, but as a Starbucks partner myself, I would also suggest you call the store’s District Manager. This action would get you quicker results, usually on the same day of the call. That type of behavior is not acceptable in Starbucks, and you were right to write that letter. I hope he gets a chance to transfer to another store, heck I’d love to have him at mine. No one should ever be treated like that!

      • Personally, I’d suggest sending it to everyone up and down the ladder that you can get contact information for, along with a footnote or something indicating who it has been sent to and that it has been posted on your blog as well. That way you run the best chance of reaching someone who both cares and has the authority to do something about it.

      • No Jake, i really believe they will & as of this writing, have gotten a post on facebook that they are already working on it. I had a ‘minor’ issue with a store location in TX where they’d not fix the drink by recipe and told me I had to order it by recipe for me to get it the way it’s supposed to be made (AKA Caramel Machiatto) and when I sent in a complaint, I received a prompt reply from Customer Service Manager that they will take care of the issue and obviously they have because there has been no rhetoric when ordering and I get it the way it’s supposed to be made.

        BUT back to the letter, this is not the way Starbucks wants to be pictured, this woman needs to be fired, not receive more sensitivity training nor demotion because her opinion will not EVER change because she will likely always be a bigot and discrimate and I bet that’s not the only discrimination she displays.

        Missy, i’m not gay, but still feel the same way you do if this were to happen in front of me, I do believe your message has been heard loud and clear, I applaud you for writing to Starbucks to let them know about these horrible people at this particular store and join you in your efforts for Jeffrey to get his job back!

    • Missy
      I just want to say thank you for being human. Human enough to stand up for another person, despite what others may think of you or the situation. Myself on the other hand may have spoken up directly to the manager!! Today’s society should be better than that, we have matured greatly from the back woods redneck society, haven’t we? I am honored as a fellow human being to have read your story, which in part is Jeffery’s story. It pains me that so many people out there are still very narrow minded. Sure things are different in the world, but that shouldn’t make us less than human.
      God bless you for speaking out.
      I have also posted this on to my facebook for my 400+ friends to read.
      Sherie

    • While it is true the manager acted in an unprofessional way, I believe you should have investigated the facts more better before you wrote a letter to get someone fired…it looks like this guy (gay or not) was a real prize and that his co workers did not really like him…and if he was talking about sleeping around with guys and exposing his private lifestyle to people who do not want to hear it…then my dear it is called “SEXUAL HARASSMENT”…….people need to stop and see what the real facts are…and sorry most of the employees working at Starbucks are gay and everyone knows it….
      I feel bad that your daughter had to hear that…but like in a murder trial you must get your facts straight…perhaps he started this…I don’t think she should have done it in front of patrons and she should be terminated; but so should he for stealing from the company and pushing his gay lifestyle down everyone’s throat……

      • So… it’s okay if the guys talk about having dinners with their girlfriend at work but it’s not okay if gay guys talk about having dinners with their boyfriend. I wasn’t there but maybe he didn’t say something like that. He probably have said that he’s seeing a guy (dating, going out together, watching movies, vacationing together) at work but of course, that would obviously mean that he’s sleeping with a guy.

        If what this Jason guy said was true about Jeffrey stealing from the company, the manager should have use that issue instead using his ‘politics’ to fire him in the first place. Why would she need to bring that up anyway. This letter is about the lack of common courtesy from the employer.

      • I’m sorry, but talking to your co-workers about existing relationships is not sexual harassment. Making unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances is sexual harassment.

        Also, “sorry, most of the employees working at Starbucks are gay?” How do you know this?

        And let’s not even start on “pushing his gay lifestyle.” Somehow it’s perfectly OK for people to talk about their heterosexual relationships, but it’s “pushing the gay lifestyle” for people to talk about homosexual relationships?

      • Cindy, interesting choice of wfhst you call “facts.” “Pushing his gay lifestyle down everyone’s throat.” And you divined this how? All she quoted was “you won’t have to hear about it any more” in reference to who he was dating. You extrapolated that into “talking about guys he was sleeping around with.” That is not a fact – it is an inference (perhaps correct, perhaps not) that we do not know based on her blog. In any case it is not sexual harassment. I find it interesting that you know all the facts, not having been there yourself.

      • Cindy, You and Jason are obviously idiots. This is NOT about any alleged infraction Jeffery did, It’s about the inappropiateness of your managers actions. And to post his alleged infractions here makes you open to libel. I hope he gets a lawyer and sues everyone.

      • Cindy,

        While you are correct in that discussing his sex life with those that don’t want to hear it is sexual harassment, discussing a boyfriend or who he is dating is not. In any case, Missy CLEARLY stated that she did not know what had happened prior to the conversation and a Starbucks employee is prevented BY LAW and by company policy from discussing it with anyone but management and the employee themselves. All Missy had to go by was what she witnessed and she is perfectly within her rights to report it to the company.

        As for “pushing his gay lifestyle down everyone’s throat”, how dare you suggest that casual conversation regarding his personal life (assuming that it was benign speech concerning who he was dating) be something shameful or a political agenda! Jeffery, Missy, myself and every other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered person ON THE PLANET have every right to discuss our personal lives in a non-offensive manner in the workplace and however we like outside of the workplace JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Also? Just so you are aware? It is not a “lifestyle”, it is not a “choice”, it is who we ARE and nothing is going to change that. You can either accept that or be branded a bigot.

        And if you’re going simply by the potentially slanderous/libelous statements given by Jason above, then YOU are not in possession of all of the facts, either. Regardless of his history with the company, that meeting should not have occurred on the shop floor where customers and other employees could hear it, the “manager” should not have brought up his sexual orientation during the meeting and the conversation that took place afterward should NEVER have happened in the first place.

      • It really bothers me that the only thing you can think of to say about any of this becomes an attack on Jeffrey and Missy — and you only made it worse with your comment of “pushing his gay lifestyle down everyone’s throat”.

        That seems to me to be a very close-minded and hate-mongering comment to make in any situation.

        The fact of the matter is that the conversation and termination should not have been held on the floor where customers and other employees could witness it. When Jeffrey got up from the table and the other employees started gossiping about him as they did, it was not only offensive but grounds for legal action.

        I’ve been let go from jobs before and I’ve never heard of any place holding any kind of disciplinary action in a public space. It was malicious, rude to the employee and the customers and it was just plain wrong.

        It makes me glad to know that there are people like Missy who will stand up for someone when she sees them being treated badly. That’s the kind of person I have been raising my teenage daughter to be and I’m so glad to know that there are other people out there who won’t be quiet when they see harassment or bigotry going on in front of them.

      • If the other store employees are talking about their personal lives and then bashing onother because they disagree with his sexuality it is hypocrisy of the highest order. Whther you like gay people and their personal lives is irrelevant. Straight people don’t have the right to set special rules for gay people about what they can and cant say.

        YOU ARE A HOMOPHOBE AND need to a: STFU and b: DIAF. And here’s the proof:

        exhibit a “and sorry most of the employees working at Starbucks are gay and everyone knows it”
        GRADE AAA+ over the top B I G O T R Y. You really outta pray about the fact that you fail at christianity and life.

        YOU are a bigoted homophobe. If you don’t think they’re behavior was unprofessional, then you are the one who’s unhierable because such behavior is against the law in many states. And if YOU behaved that way, you would be exposing your company to potential lawsuits.

      • Everyone, this “Cindy” troll is always on message boards spewing out anti-gay rhetoric, the hallmark of which is always the phrase “pushing his/her gay lifestyle down everyone’s throat.” Start developing some new material, Shecky.

        As for everyone else, just ignore this battleaxe.

      • Cindy-

        You are a moron!! Once again you do not know all the facts and if you do and are an employee of the company or if an employee has told you private and personal information than you or that person should be terminated immediately and have opened yourself up for a lawsuit.

  5. wow, this is beside unprofessional. Whatever ‘happened’ (and chances are that there might not even have been an offense as such) you do NOT do that in front of your customers. (I personally think nobody should do that period, but that is of course not in teh perview or even influence (much) of teh company. This needs to be remedied.

  6. Very well said, Missy. As I said on Facebook, it absolutely will not get better unless good people like you fight for those who might be too demoralized or broken to do it themselves. Thank you for being anything but mediocre. Your daughter should be very proud of you.

  7. For the rights of Jeffrey and everyone else out there, those 3 hypocritical beasts should be the ones walking!!! Something serious needs to be done. I will be sharing this with everyone else I know. This is wrong on so many levels. Between being belittled for his choices in life, to be belittled in public, and to not get a break from their constant banter about him. Reading of this had me picturing our local “wildlife” in NC. I picture a piece of roadkill (how I am sure Jeffrey felt due to all this) constantly being stomped on, pecked and shredded by some vultures (the 3 beasts, I will NOT call them women or ladies, because we know that’s not how a woman/lady acts) Pretty sad if you ask me. Starbucks needs to step in and take care of this issue, who knows who’s next??

  8. WOW. I am so sad to read this letter. It’s amazing how intolerant/ignorant people can me. I hope that Starbucks will take action against this “Manager” and make things right with Jeffrey. No one should be treated so callously.

  9. I hope Starbucks reads your letter and does something about this. This is a very sad situation for Jeffery and can really hurt Starbucks reputation.

  10. Marianne 'Ziggie' Ziegler

    I’m at a complete loss for words. One would think that in today’s world, people would have developed a degree of respect, if not just tolerance for differences among them. Dear Starbucks, I’m returning your coffee with a note containing the url of this blog. I don’t want a refund or an apology. I just want this story heard. It is apalling and completely unacceptable. I hope you don’t take this matter lightly.

  11. Starbucks needs to teach this “manager/hr” person some sensitivity training! You don’t do things like that in front of customers! She must have assumed you were a hetero woman with your child and did not think you would mind.

    This makes me feel so sad.

  12. OH and you do not insult someones sexuality at work! BIGOT!!!! VERY unprofessional and disgusting…

  13. I just posted a link to this on Starbucks FB fan page.

  14. I think the fact that they spoke so loudly about his sexual orientation *in public* (although he had left the table) still makes this actionable. I would forward it to the Labor Department just the same.

  15. Well, if it was obvious that his ‘politics’ was his sexual preference, then her choice of words doesn’t matter. I hope he files a complaint so that she doesn’t get away with it. And the fact that you were sitting there with Lily makes me SO angry! I’m so glad that you wrote this letter and I hope it makes a difference. I’m sure Starbucks will do something about it because this kind of stuff is not what they want reflecting on their reputation.

  16. This is completely wrong. I teach my children to love others no matter what. What was that lady seriously thinking. She showed her true colors and it seems that she is and ugly person. I seriously hope this young man gets some sort of justice. Her bigotry is intolerable and should have been left out of the work place.

  17. I felt I had to write this because if he did file a complaint it would become a matter of he said/ She said – and she had two other people there bullying and ganging up on him who would probably back her up. Who would know how she would spin it. That’s how a bully thrives. I figured by being a customer who has nothing to gain and does not have a career at stake – I have no reason to lie and might be able to shine a little light on what REALLY happened.

    • Gwen J. Turner

      Good job for acting on”for the grace of God goes thee”. If the good people of America do nothing, evil will alway rule.

  18. I RT’d this at twitter.com/zenlikejenn. Several of my friends have also RT’d it, and so on. I also posted it on Tumblr, which posted on my FB and I see my friends passing it on as well. The word will get out!

  19. I’ve posted this on my FB page. Very well written. I’m so sad for Jeffrey. I hope he somehow hears about what you’re doing in his name.

  20. This is horrendous. As someone who’s had a similar experience with a major corporation (JUICY COUTURE!), I wish someone would’ve been able to be a third party to back up my complaints for the way HR treated me. Thank you for taking this extra step.

  21. Cheryl Parisi

    Omg, that’s just horrifying. I am so glad you wrote that letter, and I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

  22. This post, literally made me cry. It’s disgusting that a face of a corporation would treat an employee with such hatred and malace. and basically hint between the lines that he should be ashamed. I am also a Starbucks customer, and appreciate them, but also wouldn’t stand for seeing this in my store. I am glad that you’re attempting to make them aware of this underlying homophobic attitude in your local string. It breaks my heart.

  23. Thank you for sharing this. Rarely people stand up when they see injustices like this, I’ve shared it with my networks, I really hope Starbucks is listening and they respond. It shouldn’t surprise me that it happened, but it still does. Everyday.

  24. contact perez, montel (montel williams, not montell jordan) help me howard and wendy williams.
    proud of you!
    xoxo

  25. Wow, what an awful display. I know that is not something that you wanted to see and hear, but I’m glad you did so that Jeffrey could get hugs that he very much needed in the face of such blatant and public bigotry. I’m also glad that you were there to bear witness to the attack so that something can be said to the company about it… most people wouldn’t.

    Thanks for being human.
    ~Melissa

  26. I’ve always avoided Starbucks. To me they have always been over-rated, coffee is bitter and their selection small. This is just another reason why I do do Starbucks. Friends don’t let friends do Starbucks!!
    I’m hooked on Bad Ass Coffee in Salt Lake City, Ut. LOL.

  27. Creating a hostile work environment is still wrong. I’m not sure how it is in New York, but I found out (after I’d already found another job) that in Minnesota one can still be eligible for unemployment, even if leaving “voluntarily,” if that “voluntary” leaving was due to a hostile and harassing work environment. In other words, pressuring Jeffrey into leaving their employ might be seen as tantamount to a “wrongful dismissal,” and so he would still be eligible for unemployment compensation.

    Given what you witnessed, though, I’d say that unemployment is the least of the compensation for which he should be eligible. Holy Unprofessional Conduct, Batman. Of course it’s hard to tell what work performance issues might have been involved (if any at all), but at the least it sounds like a lot of the objection to his presence amounted to “Ick, he’s gay, I don’t want to be exposed to Teh Gay.” And that doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on.

    GOOD LUCK with all of this. I hope Jeffrey finds out about it, somehow, and finds the strength and courage to pursue legal action against these people, at the least to obtain unemployment compensation. And I hope Starbucks does the right thing and steps in to reprimand the people at the store in question, as well as re-emphasizes its policy of nondiscrimination in ALL stores.

  28. You did the right thing, writing to the corporation. However there, is more that you can do as well. Go back to that Starbucks and ask for the managers name. Get the other names of those involved and start working your way up the chain. Your letter is well written, but may get lost at the top and not make its way down. Sometimes it is better to start low and work your way up. Now, I am not asking you to carry the flag (rainbow, or otherwise), I am suggesting that if you feel this strongly, make sure you are heard.

    I’ve been witness to incidents such as this in the past where one employee is being degraded and humiliated by another. I almost always step in as it is happening, excuse the victim and pull the offended slightly aside. If they give me gruff, I make sure they start to feel a little humiliation themselves before I pull them way off and ask for the manager. I do not put up with that from anyone. No one should have to work in that type of environment and no one should be that secure in their job that they feel they can demean another.

  29. There were two reason why I did not ask for the managers name in the moment was because I wanted to talk to Jeffrey directly because I thought he needed a little support in that moment more than I needed to lace into the managers. The other reason was because I didn’t not want to give them any sort of notice that a complain was going to be filed against them for the fear that they would present the situation and attempt to do damage control on their end. They can most certainly defend themselves, but I did not want them to strike the first blow….

    This is a horrible situation any way you slice it. Even if you take the homophobia and bigotry out of the equasion you still have a horrible mess on your hands because this woman choose to humiliate this employee in the middle of the store floor. That alone should be an inexcusable offense in my opinion.

  30. This woman needs to be fired. This is really incongruous with a company with the stature and amazing reputation such as Starbucks.

    • Yes. She and the other two employees all need to be fired. Even though the other two didn’t fire him that’s not the sort of conversation that should happen on the sales floor of a restaurant.

  31. I forwarded a link of this blog post to Starbucks customer service on the online portal, so they will get it that way as well.

  32. I’m so happy to know you Missy. Much love, Jay

  33. I will forwarding a link myself. Not just to Starbucks but to people on my own blog. I am absolutely sickened by what I read and I am very aware that Starbucks is known to be a tolerant work environment and the fact that these employees treated another so disrespectfully is beyond me and they need to know who is representing their company. This guy shouldnt be penalized for standing up for himself and against such discrimination.

  34. It’s a good thing there are people out there who refuse to be silent when faced with such injustices. I think the letter was clear-headed and intelligent. Let’s hope that Starbucks won’t overlook this…

  35. Marina Mont'Ros

    It is horrible that something like this would happen to anyone, anywhere. Maybe it’s because I’m in Portland but my local Starbucks baristo is a former Mr. Oregon Leather & current member of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. I know this because he openly discusses his interests at work. I know that he works part-time to ensure his partner has access to health insurance, which is why I choose to go to Starbucks over any indie coffee house, which would be a more “Portland” thing to do. I hope that it was just this shop & an attitude encouraged by the manager, rather than anything endorsed by the company.

  36. I believe that Starbucks will not tolerate this kind of behavior from their employees, especially from whom ever they have chosen to be in charge. Gay or not, if more people had the intolerance towards the injustices that Missy witnessed and had the impetus to record for everyone, this kind of behavior would not be tolerated by more, and more companies. I am not gay, but my boss is. We treat each other like human beings as it should be. “He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned gay yesterday.” This person, in my opinion, shouldn’t be so intolerant towards this gay worker, it’s not like he’s the only gay person on earth, or that she has met. Get real, wake up. Maybe we should show the same intolerance towards red haired people, after all, the only reason they have red hair is because their DNA is damaged. NOT!!!!!

  37. I am a loyal Starbucks customer too…I want a personal email from Starbucks that the employees in question were fired – it is as simple as that. Otherwise bye bye…I will do without your coffee!

    David

  38. If the young man who was fired isn’t returned to his position, and the other employees mentioned fired, then Starbucks will lose my business permanently.

  39. Michelle Vetter

    Im glad someone took notice and is actually DOING something about it. If more people did this, the world would be a better place! I hope this spreads like wildfire!

  40. BIG BUSINESS!!!!! What a machine! Shop local. Support your community…not shareholders.

    • It’s specifically because Starbucks IS a big business that this story will get attention and resolution. A mom-and-pop store isn’t responsible to any higher-ups with larger corporate interests that will become involved because of the reputation and policies of the entire chain.

  41. I really don’t understand the psychlogy as to why people are loyal to any national chain, especially one that has crushed so many mom and pops. Now, without competition, Starbucks can hire anyone they want at low pay. You get these type employees because that’s what you support.

    • I have had have friends who have worked at mom & pops and have not had the benefits of health insurance. Some people do not have the luxury of blinding idealism when they have bills to pay. The point is it should not matter to you what shop/ business this happened at. You should care that a person was treated with complete malice. This is not about me or my choices…. it seems like you missed the point

    • I like both Starbucks and also local places for coffee, but it depends on what I am in the mood for. Some of Starbucks’ products are far different from that you can get at a local place (I’m speaking of food and desserts as well). Giving the author flack about her choice of coffee chains reads that you clearly missed the point.

      I have a few friends that have worked for Starbucks and have never had this sort of problem. Any business that offers health insurance even for part time workers is decent in my book.

      • It isn’t JUST that they offer insurance. Starbucks makes a point to hire college students and help them by working around their school schedules. They pay more than minimum wage and provide benefits that are superior to a lot of companies out there these days.

        However, yes, I agree that they need to take action on what occurred.

    • I’m not loyal to any national chain. I’m loyal to quality. My local coffee shops – before Starbucks came to town – were downright horrible and expensive places to get coffee. And they hired the fewest amount of people possible while working them terrible hours at low wages. Starbucks came along and now the competitors are actually better for it. Nothing like a little competition to push the local “mom and pop” morons into doing the right thing for once.

      Also, you get these types of employees no matter where you go and who you support. It’s not like these people hide or avoid working. They hide their behavior for so long and then slip up every now and then (like in this instance).

      I find their behavior appalling, but it’s hardly the corporation’s fault. I do hope they do chose to do something about it, though.

    • Starbucks didn’t crush any other business. Why are some people so against big companies? Starbucks provides tens of thousands of people with a job (fair pay) and insurance. Can any mom and pop business afford to do that? No. My husband is self-employed. I provide the insurance. He provides people with a job. They have to provide their own insurance. It’s part of small business-large business. It’s what this country is made of. Eliminate big business, elimainate alot of jobs. Think before you speak!

  42. Dana when you mentioned this on FB, I did not in any way think the story would be this bad. I’m completely APPALLED by those people’s behavior and the entire situation. Missy, the letter was extremely well written. I cannot believe in this day and age that people still have such ridiculously archaic beliefs – or at the very least that they SHARE these beliefs with people in PUBLIC. Just disgusting. I hope that Starbucks does the right thing in this situation.

  43. I came to your blog through a shared link. I’m speechless and anyone who knows me that doesn’t happen. I’m also a loyal Starbucks customer. All the way back to the early 90’s in Seattle.

    I really hope that Starbucks comes through and addresses this situation. I do also hope this is an isolated situation and doesn’t portend the company’s policies in the future.

  44. This is awful but I am so glad that YOU did not let it go unnoticed! I hope that Starbucks will address this and make it right. Poor Jeffery, you did not deserve this! I want to hear that those employees were fired or Starbucks will lose my business as well!

  45. disgusting. i’m a huge fan of starbucks and have never witnessed something like this in their stores and would have been horrified and loud if i had. i will be retweeting, posting on facebook, and linking this in my own blog. i would encourage you to go back to that starbucks and get the names of the ‘managers’ and other nasty workers from their nametags. jeffrey’s story told through your words made me cry. offensive, disgusting, appalling… i can’t think of enough horrifying words to describe this treatment by what is perceived by many as a tolerant, forward-looking company.

  46. How very sad and disheartening. I too like Starbucks. I know it’s a “machine” but they marketed to me and it worked.

    It will be difficult if not impossible to shop there knowing this transpired. Please let us know if and how Starbucks replies to you!

  47. Sandra Fernandez

    This was truly a sad moment your wife and daughter had the misfortune to witness. I can’t believe it is 2011 and there is still so much hate and intolerance of gay men and women! Also…that was COMPLETELY unprofessional to have a discussion about Jeffrey’s “performance” out in the middle of the store where all of the patrons were clearly within hearing distance of the entire conversation. If the manger, or whoever it was that publicly humiliated Jeffrey isn’t fired, Starbucks has definitely lost another loyal customer!

  48. Very disheartening, indeed. I do hope Starbucks Corp. office does address this in a sincere manner not as a marketing tool. Being a west coast company I’m sure they have number of gay employees in upper-management. Let’s see if they can walk the talk.

  49. What I would like to know is that if Jeffrey was “not being fired,” what WAS he, er, being? And if he was not being fired, that says to me that they did NOT have cause to fire him. It’s too bad he didn’t refuse to quit and try for a position at a store that was run by a (marginally, even) intelligent, professional adult. Or go over his manager’s head and see if there was any help to be had further up the ladder.

    I’ve worked with plenty of people like this. They need to be held responsible for breaching company policy. It’s too much to ask that they grow a little compassion. They can at least suffer the consequences for their actions, and maybe think twice in future before spewing that kind of poison at work.

  50. I would like to say that it is very heartening that you took the time to write this letter. It is so well thought out and intelligent. So many people see people treated like garbage day in and day out but do nothing about it. Sometimes the simplest act of saying something can change so much.

    So good for you! I hope you are rewarded for your efforts and Starbucks proves to you that they are the company you believed them to be. Thank you for this, it’s inspired me :)

  51. I tweeted it at Starbucks and I hope they get the message from all of these retweets and links. This is so sad and shitty. Did you get any of Jeffrey’s contact info? I think you should send this in to Jezebel too, they published a story that I tipped them off about and they are usually pretty grateful for stories from real people about unfair treatment. I am glad you took the time to write this Missy, and that you posted it here on a blog where many will see it Dana.

  52. Not being a coffee drinker and never having been in a Starbucks, I can’t very credibly threaten them with the loss of my business. I do agree, though that the behaviour you witnessed was disgusting, and the fact that it took place in public is appalling. I certainly hope the company makes things right by Jeffrey and disciplines or fires the offenders. As I said, I can’t credibly threaten to boycott, but I can and will boost the signal, send others here to comment. Maybe some of my friends are Starbucks customers who will be re-thinking where to get their cup of joe.

  53. As a starbucks partner, i am embarrassed to read this story knowing it happened within my company that i love, that has always expressed its range of diversity in every store ive ever walked into. Im sorry you had to witness this. im sorry it even happened. im sorry for jeffrey, and i hope he receives justice, and your letter makes it to corporate into the hands of someone who will do something about this.

    • What she said.

      I have always experienced a supportive and respectful environment at work: I have never been made to feel less because of my sexual orientation. Rather, Starbucks has been a safe haven for me, where I know that my orientation is just accepted as a facet of who I am.

      It breaks my heart to read this.

  54. I hope they fire that woman. I know restaurants and coffee shops aren’t known for being model workplaces but seriously, doing that in front of a customer is inexcusable. I worked at a cafe like that once and I quit. If that shop has a high turnover rate, it’s probably due to people like her.

  55. I have been going to Starbucks for many years and now I until I hear this injustice has been righted I am not giving them my business.

  56. My husband was raised by two moms, so this hits home for us. These people need to realize the impact of their words. Thank you for sharing this…I am linking this on twitter, facebook and a few other sites. maybe it will make a strong enough impact so they will help this guy!

  57. Katie Corenson

    I’d go back in to that Starbucks and find the “Manager” and ask if Jeffrey is still working there. When she (obviously) says no, I’d be asking why and saying what a shame because he was such a nice, conscientious worker. Anyway, that would be an opportunity to get her name and other information:)

    While I completely understand why you didn’t confront the manager then and there, I am very pleased that you wrote a letter. I would definitely stay on top of it because my experience with Starbucks is that they do respond to all customer issues!

  58. I’m so glad that you took the time out to write this letter. As a former Starbucks employee (from two different stores in Nassau County, no less) I know that this is NOT how the company is normally run. In every store I’ve ever worked at or been a customer in, it’s seemed like there is at least one gay partner on the floor. I was always happy that it was such a welcoming environment to work in. It’s seemed like over the years things have gotten more and more conservative in their stores. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that anyone at a managerial level or above would think that this is appropriate means for firing and I hope that Jefferey will look into taking legal action against the company that I love so dearly because he certainly has grounds to receive ample compensation.

    The good news is that the company does, in fact, take letters from customers seriously. A few years back I had sent an e-mail to Howard Schultz over hiring issues. Weeks later I received a phone call from the head of HR for the northeast to discuss my problem. The man I spoke to was so kind and, despite the fact that my problem was on a much higher plane than he could possibly fix, actually talked to me on a personal level- asking what I was going to school for, what my plans were for after graduation, etc.

    I have no doubts that someone at the top of the Starbucks ladder will read your email and be just as disgusted as you were regarding what you witnessed. I also hope that the company will realize how terribly wrong they were and will take action against the manager and whomever else was involved in this unethical and illegal firing as well as attempt to correct the situation at hand.

  59. I read your post, but did not read through all of the comments, so please forgive me if I repeat anything.
    As a Starbucks Store Manager I thank you, Missy, for writing into Starbucks about this incident. I am a proud Partner that has been witness, firsthand, to the active carrying out of the Starbucks diversity policy. Our area has multiple gay supervisors, managers, and even District Managers and corporate positions. This ‘manager’ was out of line and even if ‘Jeffery’ did need some corrective action, it should have been handled with the utmost privacy and respect for him. It breaks my heart to hear of this kind of treatment. Thank you for letting corporate know. Also, if you dont get a response, the District Managers business card should be available in the store and is more immediate contact.
    Please, do not stop coming to Starbucks. We, as Partners value you in so many ways. Let the rest of us have a chance to prove that these people are not an example of what we stand for and
    live everyday. And, Jeffery, if you ever end up in Southern
    CA…look me up. :-)
    Charity

    • I think that you should know better then to believe that this happened the way that it was blogged about. You as a manager should know better then believe that any manager would handle it in this way. I spoke to a partner who was there, she said her district manager was there and it was not the store manager who was doing the talking. They have been recieving death threats at the store and required a police escort to the parking lot. It is a shame that it is going viral the way that it is. I agree that you should praise in public and handle all the rest in private. But Jeff wasn’t getting fired. He quit. At no time was the conversation about him being gay. It was about him not believing in corporate policy. That was the politics which they were talking about. If someone gets hurt over this it is on Missy’s hands. She never should have turned this into a orientation thing, that is only going to make this issue dangerous. If she had a problem with how the employee was spoken to she should complain. But not ignite a firestorm which is placing peoples lives in danger for misunderstanding the conversation and also stating he was fired when he clearly quit his job.

      • He quit to what was or was going to become a very hostile work environment. Don’t believe your “not believing in company politics” because the word “politics usually is never used in a context like that…there’s usually some negative connotation. And stop blaming the victims and eyewitnesses and take your weaselly, “carefully worded”, concealed homophobia elsewhere.

      • The store partners put this business out in front of the customers. You have nothing to fall back on after that. Missy has done nothing wrong. She saw and heard something that she should never have been privy to and as suggested by Starbucks (as per their own customer relation guidelines) she reported it as such to the company and to anyone else who will care about it.

        Stop making excuses for what is clearly ill behavior on the part of the partners involved.

      • FYI – Jason & Charles are the same person – and I doubt either is their real name. IP address = 24.45.204.111 and it searches to the Mastic/Manorville area.

  60. This is horrible.
    Kudos to you for writing about what you witnessed. I have shared this on my FB & Twitter accounts and will also post it on my Tumblr blog.
    I am anxious to see how Starbucks addresses this, this could make or break their trend of positively engaging & actively listening to their customers on Social Media platforms.

  61. sue ellen sam

    way too long, didn’t read. i hate “customers” like you, getting all hot and bothered over bullshit. learn to mind your own fucking business. especially if it’s anything to do with fags and gays. that in itself is a huge problem to begin with, and they bring it on their own. oh, and get a fucking life, starbucks whore. you have had entirely too much kool-aid.

    • Wow of course this person didn’t have the guts to actually sign in with their name. Way to go, bigoted jerk.

    • If we go by your logic why the hell did you take the time to respond to this? Mind your own business right?

      • dear LMS, who is probably “Sue”;

        first of all, if you are gonna insult and slander someone, at least learn how to do it correctly. your ignorance knows no bounds. those of us with minds and humanity obviously see you for what you really are. may you find happiness in the next life, because this one apparently has none for you.

        p.s. fags is the slander word for gays; so, putting them in the same sentence is redundant. though I am unsure you even know what redundant means.

    • Starbucks is supposed to be a Third Place environment. It became her business because the baristas/employees were discussing things while they were on the FLOOR. Not in the backroom, in public, not in private. Also, you clearly share the bigoted and judgmental views that those employees had. Shame on you. Why bother replying if you didn’t even read the entire thing.

    • Please, keep responding. It will do nothing but prove to Starbucks what narrow minded bigots support this kind of thinking. I understand if five minuets was too much time to dedicate to reading something you were actually going to voice an opinion on in a public forum. Why be informed am I right? People like you just assume the more bile you spew the louder your voice becomes. Loud = right to you I assume. You may be loud, but there are hundreds of people offering their support to this post and to Jeffery and their voices make a thunderous chorus that drown you out.

    • How long have you been managing that Starbucks, Sue Ellen?

    • You’re a poor excuse for humanity, people like you make me sad. I bet your parents are really proud of you. Follow your own advise and it quotes “get a fucking life”.

    • Find the IP address of this person and expose them for their bigotry.

    • Interesting Sue that the letter was “way too long, didn’t read” but you’ve read all these responses. … and as a nurse, your response (to me) reeks of hate and anger, which very frequently (bc it cranks adrenaline in the body) breeds an environment for cancer and/or other serious health conditions…. back to the point….

      I am a conservative christian so I don’t believe in the homosexual lifestyle(but I don’t condone hate mongers and neither did Christ) but this is about basic human rights ….including but not limited to-empathy, sympathy, compassion, etc.not to mention work ethics. Jason is another human being, not just a gay man. Shame on you…

      yet I truly hope you talk with someone bc someone/something has happened to you to cause you to seethe with such anger and hostility. “Resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other one to die” it kills you not them… I hope you find if you don’t already know what’s really eating you bc I hope you can forgive and let go bc ULTIMATELY forgiveness is for you not them.

      Although I’m not a frequent flyer at Starbuck’s, I enjoy their coffee time to time and unless they publicly state they are keeping the manager, I will continue to go there. This happened at 1 Starbuck’s NOT every one…..hatred is unfortunately everywhere not just isolated/non-isolated coffeeshops!

      I know as a person who has had to deal with “customers” when I was younger, they can get all “hot and bothered” but this is not “BS”…again it’s basic human rights. As I tell the kids at the residential facility I work at…if someone is going off on you it may have NOTHING to do with you, maybe they are upset with something/someone in their life and they are taking it out on you….

      Love breeds love….Hate breeds hate and that IS scriptural.

    • You are a bigot. You’re also in the minority here. I bet you wouldn’t DARE repeat that comment in front of my (or any “fag’s”) face.

      i hate bigots like you, getting all hot and bothered over other people’s private lives. learn to mind your own fucking business. especially if it’s anything to do withLGBT people. Homophobia and bigotry in itself is a huge problem to begin with, too many LGBTs have been harmed. oh, and get a fucking life, republican tea party whore. you have had entirely too much kool-aid.

      c wut i did thur?

  62. sue ellen sam

    look too bad you had to hear this and get offended but the fact of the matter is this is Truth and the way everyone feels and should feel. this is not about tolerance, it’s about Facts. Best thing you can do is pay attention to your own affairs, your family, etc. Make sure your girl doesn’t turn into a dyke, lesbian, etc. Lesbians don’t even exist anyway it’s just women who were abused, scorned, raped, etc. so just make sure that doesn’t happen to your family as that should be your only concern. oh, and Starbucks doesn’t give a shit about it’s partners or you. It’s fucking coffee. (espresso is the biggest scam of our time) Drink it and shut you fucking pie hole, cunt.

    • “way too long, didn’t read”… until 5 minutes later? Nice.

      You are one classy woman, Sue Ellen Sam. You are. Nice language too, by the way. Sophisticated. I bet everyone respects YOUR opinions.

      **************************************************************************************

      General IP Information
      Hostname: c-76-16-231-85.hsd1.il.comcast.net
      ISP: Comcast Cable
      Organization: Comcast Cable
      Proxy: None detected
      Type: Broadband
      Assignment: Dynamic IP

      Geolocation Information
      Country: United States us flag
      State/Region: Illinois
      City: Chicago
      Latitude: 41.8802
      Longitude: -87.7566
      Area Code: 773
      Postal Code: 60644

      romdearbass@yahoo.com

      • Glad they weren’t from Indiana, but I very much doubt that is a woman.

      • its hilarious how “Sue” doesn’t even realize she is talking to a lesbian couple, telling them that their daughter shouldn’t be a lesbian? mayhaps “she” saw ‘daughter’ and thought you had a husband? anyway..

        also, women can be just as bigoted as men, in my experience as a gay man, Belinda.

      • True, they can be, but that is not why I thought it wasn’t a woman, it was actually particular ‘trigger’ word choices.

    • there’s absolutely no need for this post. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Sound familiar?

    • I find it amazing that the only foul mouthed person in the room is the homophobe (that’s sarcasm, in case it is lost on you, Sue).

      I was raised Southern Baptist, and have participated in nearly every denomination. Please know that people like sue are thankfully the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

      Of course, given the particular diction used, and the excessively intentional button words included, I suspect this has less to do with “sue’s” true feelings and more to do with seeing how many people they can anger. This is very common with persons who are either attention starved, are/were abused or are clinical sociopaths. They need to draw attention to themselves, and the kind of attention (positive or negative) matters less than the fact that without this attention, they feel they are utterly alone.

      • Yeah we who live on the internet call them trolls. Best thing to do is just delete the comment so it doesn’t upset anyone.

      • Believe me, after years on the net going back to BBS systems, and also many years in eBay’s message boards, I am sadly all too familiar with how dense the troll population is. What we need are some good fighter/ranger/high-level cleric combinations to get rid of them once and for all.

    • I get morons like this who comment on my blog every time I talk about gay rights. They do nothing but try to fill up space by using judgemental reasoning as a point of proof. I don’t get why, but it’s always the same thing with about 90% of these people.

      Just ignore them, or delete their comments. That’s what I do. If people like Sue Ellen Sam having nothing better to do other than try to be trolls on the Internet because they are homophobic and/or ultra-religious, then they are wasting their lives, not yours.

      • Ultra-religious does not automatically mean anti-GLBT. A statement like that is as prejudiced as “Sue.” I do not think that was the context you intended, but please keep in mind that there ARE “people” out there who will take your words exactly as written, and turn them to their own nefarious ends (outside of trolls, I think the rest of them are commonly known as “speechwriters”).

      • Ultra-religious, by standard definition, means taking religious belief to the extreme. Islamic extremists are ultra-religious. People who turn down gay or lesbian rights politically based purely on religious beliefs are in most ways ultra-religious.

        Very faithful and moderately religious is how you should describe yourself, then. There’s a difference between being faithful and being religious – you can be religious without being faithful (as in you follow religious doctrine set by the organization without hesitation or consideration) and you can be faithful without being religious (you can believe in something in your heart and not do everything the organization tells you to do).

        Since you are tolerant of homosexuality, then you are not ultra-religious. Ultra-religious people would do anything to abolish the behavior all together, because the religious organization (quite a few of them in fact) say that it’s an illegal act doctrine-wise.

        I think the problem people like you are having with people like me is that they/you are not learning to distinquish the difference between varying degrees of religion and faith. Please, don’t assume that a word means something it does not. Catch up on your sociological terminology and realize I’m not insulting YOU in particular. I’m using the terms and venacular set by the subject and subject matter experts.

      • I do not feel that you were attacking me as an individual, or those that believe like me as a whole. What is clear, however, is that you are attacking a particular group as a whole. The basic equivalent of me saying all atheists are condescending jerks, or all homosexuals flaunt their sexuality. While these are true in varying degrees from slightly to mostly (dependent on where you are polling), they are never true as a whole.

        Ultra- means, exclusively, beyond the norm or in the extreme. It does not require a specific tenet of beliefs be followed, in fact there are so MANY tenets, even in individual sects, that it would be impossible for it to mean what you imply. This is true both from a sociological point of view (which I can assure you I most certainly do not need to catch up on terminology for – as one who was an English major and socio/psych minor) and from a generic English language point of view.

        What I WAS pointing out is that you are making a blanket statement, which is always wrong by definition. I will add that, since you seem to think I am incorrect in my diction, you are also using the wrong terminology. I think, when using Ultra-whatever, what you mean to say is either “zealot.” Such cases are where a blanket statement is closer to, but not entirely, the truth.

        And yes, having been raised in the deepest of the Bible Belt, I will grant that there are most certainly Christian extremists, who will pervert ANY passage to ANY group/belief/whatever they want to be intolerable of… the King James version of the Bible, having been rewritten to further the desires of man, is particularly conducive to this. There are a whole RANGE of wonderful socio-ethnic and archaeo-anthropological studies that can or have been done on this phenomena. Primarily it seems to all come back to the base desire for money, or power (specifically controlling the fates of oneself or others), or both.

    • It seems to me that sue ellen sam is probably just a 14 year old boy who is up way past his bedtime feeling bored and wanting to get a rise out of people. It would be best just to ignore the posts and move on. Move along people, there’s nothing to see here. =)

    • wow sue ellen sam you’re a very anger and pissy person aren’t you???

  63. Missy,

    As far as getting the info re: the manager and the successive higher-ups goes, you can almost certainly get that info over the phone, keeping yourself totally anonymous. If someone asks why you want the info, you just blandly say, “I have something I want to discuss with him/her” and let it go at that. I have had a variety of reasons over the years to go over the head of a given store’s manager and I’ve never had trouble getting the contact info for the regional manager (or whatever title is appropriate). I’m not a coffee drinker so Starbuck’s can’t lose my business, but I applaud you for your initiative. The problem isn’t going to be fixed if the proper person(s) doesn’t know about it.

    Good luck,
    Clarissa\

  64. What an incredible story. Thanks for sharing, it takes people with strength, conviction and compassion such as Missy to bring such injustices to light. I look forward to hearing the next chapter of this story.

    tanc,

  65. It makes me sad. it wasn’t the company itself, ik that. but it was the company’s poor choice of hiring who would represent them.. where i come from, the workers are either gay or they wear rainbow delegation wristbands. we support and love, we don’t discriminate.

  66. I am so glad to see that this post has been live for only 18 hours or so… and has received over 8,000 hits/views! Thank you everyone for reading and for giving Jeffrey and people everywhere your “shout out” of solidarity! Please keep the comments coming… awareness is the first step to change.
    Love to you all! (Except for that one person who called us dykes and used the “f” word(s) above… none of my love for that person… LOL).

  67. I can – not – believe that someone could be treated SO wrong. As sad as it is that you had to witness it, thank GOD you did, so that you could show him support and be a witness of the wrong doing that was done to him. You had a chance to teach your daughter between right and wrong and how to stand up for someone and you have done just that. What if they had done all that in the back room, there would have been no one to back his story? I hope that wrongs will be righted and that the people who treated this man unjustly will get theirs in due time. Despicable. I will be checking back for an update. No more Starbucks for me! And my husband was a partner too. So so so so so wrong…

  68. John sabastion

    It’s refreshing to see a company not be politically correct and have the nuts to say “we are not accepting this type of behavior as a member of our team”. Starbucks has a reputation of Family values and certainly don’t want kids seeing fairies serving coffee. We aint gonna take it anymore.

    • Do “Family Values” include such hostility, blatant humiliation, outright bigotry, and opinionated judgement? Quite unprofessional, and ironically un-“Christ-like” to me. ~ An ex-Lutheran

    • And nobody would have known this person’s lifestyle if it had not been aired publicly by a manager/DM with more mouth than brains.

      Perhaps you should learn the difference between not being politicly correct (which I really cannot stand myself), and not being civil.

    • Speak for yourself…some of us like fairies. Well, I’m not crazy about Tinkerbell; I always thought she was kind of annoy-

      Oh, you mean THE GAYS. Yeah, I got no problem with them. You know who I don’t want to be around, listen to, have serve me coffee, give me a pedicure, make my sandwiches, wash my car? Ignorant bigots. Values, family or otherwise, are incompatible with bigotry. You need to worry about yourself and what is wrong with your ugly soul, and spend less time thinking about other peoples’ sex lives.

    • Actually, diversity is one of the main principles that Starbucks seeks to uphold. They have a policies put in place to support diversity, and have no such policy for “family values” which is such a vague expression that you could mean any number of things by that. The rest of your post is laughable and reveals you to be a bigot who has lost his head in a bout of overzealous ignorance. Lastly, you are an ass.

  69. That is just sad. I had a friend who had a similar problem, though his was never made public (as far as I know) but essentially they used his mother’s illness and a fake transfer to the store near his mother’s home as a way of basically firing him. He is gay, though I don’t know if that was related to that or not, but just simply bad practices on behalf of managers at Starbucks. He had no wish to leave the company, nor was in a position, to my knowledge, of warranting a firing.

    As far as Jeffery is concerned, you should really forward that on to the Department of Labor and perhaps they can track him down and get him some sort of compensation. To be humiliated like that in front of customers is not good at all. No matter what he did or said that made the other coworkers feel uncomfortable, should have been made in private and not where customers could hear it.

    I used to be a store manager for Blockbuster and I never spoke to my employees like that, but i was told several times I couldn’t wear my earrings but only to turn around and see girls have earrings up the wazoo. So I wore mine and told them that if they made the girls take theirs out, I would as well. And I didn’t even have giant hoops, or extremely distracting earrings in, just normal studs. Anyway, I digress.

    Companies should have the same policies for male and female, gay and straight, and no one should feel like they are being attacked and forced to leave a position. I bet money he wasn’t even written up or told about said activity in the past.

    If you get a response from Starbucks, please share. I’d be interested to hear what their response is.

  70. Make your point effectively

    Sue Ellen Whateverhername was correct that your letter is too long. Try pulling out the important stuff to the front and make it no longer than one A4 page. Otherwise management’s going to tl;dr it.

    Give Starbucks the story that will interest them:
    1. an employee was let go in a way that is against the company’s policies (and may be actionable)
    2. this was done in public, which upset their customer (and provided witnesses for an action)
    3. you want to know what is going to be done about the particular employee that did the firing (oops – accepted the resignation) and what is going to be done about the culture in that particular branch/shop

    Whether you’ve been a customer for 15 years or 15 minutes, these are the issues at hand and that’s what the letter should say.

    (This comment is too long, too, but having drafted it 3 times without getting it shorter, I figure you’ll have to live with it)

    • I have to agree. While, of course, I sympathize with the story and it’s clear your complaint is valid, the wall of text about your years of loyalty is not getting to the point of your e-mail. Even if this had been your first visit, your opinion matters because you witnessed extremely unprofessional behavior on the part of nearly the entire staff of a Starbucks. Period.

      Begin with a description of the scene, then ask them to seriously address the issue with the parties involved, and end by saying that, as a loyal customer, you only hope that you can bring your three-year-old daughter back to experience what their otherwise wonderful company has to offer.

  71. Please contact the media with this story. Perhaps you can have them setup on one of those shows that exposes people like them. It could help this poor man’s case. Either way I think the media is your best chance at really getting the company’s attention and an actionary response. Unlike you, I am political when it comes to our equal rights and advocate for myself and others on a constant basis. I used to not be a political person and really would prefer not to be one, but I can’t just let people deny us and insult us because they claim we don’t deserve to be equal. They have given us the same “separate and not equal” treatment that was once the law in regards to people of any skin color other than pale and pink. In of all places, the state that is the birthplace of Broadway, where millions of people came to escape religious and political persecution and famine, it is a sad day when idiots like those homophobic trolls (there’s another word I’d like to use that starts with a “c”, but I’ll keep it family-friendly) can exist and spread their hateful beliefs in a public establishment full of customers. Their actions and attitudes leave me in such shock that I am truly at a loss for words. Making me speechless is not an easy thing to do seeing as how I’ve seen and heard a lot in my life and my parents didn’t believe in censorship. I certainly hope that Jeremy sees this post and knows that despite the fact that we don’t know him, that all of these people here are showing their support and care for him. *Hugz* for Jeremy. Know that everyone here (other than the random homophobic troll or 2 whose comments hopefully will be deleted) accepts you for who you are and there’s nothing wrong with being gay.

    • “Please contact the media with this story.”

      I rather think the internet is ‘the media’ at this point, certainly once a story goes viral, which this has :)

  72. Sorry I meant to say Jeffrey. Misread the name.

  73. Really sad that this actually happened, but I have confidence that Starbucks will take action on this. That’s a HUGE disregard for company policy. I know that wouldn’t fly here in Seattle, there would be a riot in the store on the spot. Mostly because there’s so many of us homos here and every Starbucks has no less than 20 people in it at one time, but still.

  74. Amy L. Coryer

    Mr. Schultz did say he was moving away from the touchy feely Starbucks, but the line has been crossed. The 33 million weekly customers need to step back and take a stand on this type of behavior. I have been passing around a petition asking Starbucks to purchase diary from a humane source and I think they are paying someone full time to go in and delete my posts. Come on, Starbucks, customers. Let’s not support this ignorance!!

  75. Amy L. Coryer

    Let’s stop this and other inappropriate behavior at Starbucks.

    Please sign my petition!!!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-starbucks-to-stop-cruelty-to-cows-and-purchase-milk-from-a-certified-humane-source

    • Um, NO. And you really are crass to be using a forum on discrimination for your own socio-political agenda. There is a time and a place for that… namely YOUR OWN blog. To hijack a forum on an ENTIRELY different subject, particularly one that is sure to get tons more readers than your own subject, is uncouth… at best.

    • You do realize at this point in cattle breeding that most of these animals are incapable of understanding pain and are bred to be the stupidest animals on the planet, right?

      Because today’s modern livestock – cows, chickens and pigs – are mostly of a stock that were bred and genetically tailored to be food. You cannot expect the cow that’s bred to be bacon to ever have a sentient thought or an expressed sentiment. There is no upwards evolution for these animals.

      Please stop equating them with humans and saying they need humane treatment.

      • Um… cows aren’t bred to be bacon… pigs are. :)

      • I hate to point it out, but the only creature who truly knows what a cow does feel… would be another cow. See where I’m going with this?

      • There’s little more ridiculous than a human being suggesting that they comprehend fully how an animal feels. How do know they don’t feel pain? Are you suggesting that because we eat them they should be slaughtered in any brutal way possible? Give your head a shake.

  76. congrats to you!!!! I may not like Starbucks, but I go to them all the time and have for the better part of 2 decades( as they are on every street corner it seems here in Portland). I once figured out about a decade ago I probably could have bought a house with the money I have spent on the first decade I went to starbucks. I usually get an 8 shot vanilla latte — I get several (and by several I mean anywhere between 2-6 a day). I am appalled that this happened. I wish there was a way for all of us to know what happens to the manager and the 2 employees that were involved. I will go a little farther and get my drinks else where until something is done. I have a Peets coffee near my house and a Kobos right next to my work. I will go to either one of those and actually spend way less. I go to Starbucks (even though they are not my favorites… infact they are the last on my list) because of the good work they do, and the things they support. Even locally Starbucks is active and have always liked that.

    I think your letter was well written and hooray for you my dear!!! You are indeed setting a wonderful example for your daughter, and I hope she will look upon this when she is older and see how strong you are!

    Please Starbucks if you take the time to read the comments, know this….. we are serious. I will be telling people about this as well. Please take action on the employees that humiliated a worker in the middle of the floor. Even if his performance was horrible, the letting go should have been done not in front of employees and certainly not in front of your guests. I will be letting ALL my friends know about this and may be inclined to tell random strangers while I am purchasing my insane amount of daily coffee at other places.

  77. Please send Jeffrey to the Starbucks in Pittsburgh where I work. We’d love to have him! As for the other three, they need not bother. I feel embarrassed to have to associate with 3 people who have found a way to be so blatantly hateful while wearing the same uniform that I do, in

  78. (whoops) …part because my uniform is one that represents a company that celebrates everyone, equally. The women are entitled to their beliefs–we all have things with which others vehemently disagree (and, of course, I disagree with the stance of these women, but they have the right to be wrong, too!). However, they are not entitled to treat others in a manner that lacks compassion, decorum, professionalism, or even a dose of common sense. I guarantee you that there is nothing in any training manual or memo released by Starbucks that would commend these women for their actions. I’m glad you are speaking out in the name of someone whose voice was not heard–I have always been proud to be a Starbucks partner, and would hate for that to change.

  79. Even if you take away the issue of all employees’ rights to be treated decently, and the issue of the obvious dirty trick to cover up what she was really doing, and the issue of the blatant inappropriateness of conducting *any* kind of management discussion in front of customers, and the issue of forcing those customers, who have come there to enjoy a cup of coffee, to witness such toxic behavior, and the issue of how wrong and cruel it is to publicly humiliate anyone, and the growing public outrage, you STILL have the not-so-little matter of plausible liabilities and potential legal recourse. Once Jeffrey dries his tears, he may well call a lawyer, and absolutely should.

    Starbucks, this woman is absolutely, positively, ***NOT*** management material, for so many — many –many — many — many reasons.

  80. Thank you for taking the time to do something. All too often people hear or see something terrible like this and do nothing. It’s Starbuck’s turn…I want to see them do something! Please keep us informed if they send you any sort of response. I hope Jeffery sees this one day and realizes that there are many of us out here that hurt for him.

  81. I have to tell you that I completely admire that you wrote this letter. I found the link from a friend’s facebook page, and am sharing the link on my own page as well. My mother is a regular at various Starbucks in Virginia, and one of her favorite baristas is gay. They have the best chats in the morning. It hurts my heart to hear that Jeffrey was treated this way, in an area that should be, theoretically, more tolerant than Virginia. I sincerely hope that the executives listen to you, and all the other supporters gathered here.

  82. I am stunned. I am not a Starbucks fan because of the fact that it is a large corporation that pushes out local independent coffee cafes, but I buy bags of organic fair trade beans from them in an effort to be a little voice that says If You Are Going to Be In My Neighborhood, Then By Golly You Had Better Keep Selling This Product. I wish they would do more. I have never once thought they were a bigoted corporation. Eye-rollingly hipster, but not bigoted. I sincerely hope you got the attention of Starbucks suits and something positive can come out of this ridiculous and humiliating episode. Firing the manager and having a zero tolerance policy would be a dandy start.

    Shared.

    • I just want to register my incredible amusement at someone, in one paragraph, criticizing Starbucks for being a “large corporation that pushes out local independent coffee cafes (sic)” and for being “eye-rollingly hipster.”

      Do you not own a mirror?

      What about a pot or a kettle?

      • I fail to see anything grammatically incorrect, or amusing, about my comment regarding independent coffee cafes. What is the point of you quibbling with my comment… because I buy organic and support locally owned businesses? Yeah, that is so funny.

      • fail troll is fail. STFU

  83. How terrible for Jeffrey… I’m so sorry that happened to him. It is so great that you were there to show him some support. I am sure you plan to do this, but please post the Starbucks response as soon as you hear something. Thanks for saying something about this!

  84. Hi, from the front page of Reddit!

    I just want to applaud you for writing this letter. I agree with those who say that this needs to be forwarded to the Department of Labor and such.

    I hope they handle this situation and that you get a response. And again, thank you for doing the right thing by writing this =]

  85. I will be watching to see if they make good or ignore basic human dignity and equality. The ball is in their court. What they do, or don’t do, next will determine if they have my business or not. My prayers go out for Jeffrey.

  86. You lost me at “Centereach”. Bigotry on Long Island? Not plausible.

    • I have spent less than 2 days on LI and I can tell you that, in my experience, it is more bigoted than Mobile, LA – where I have spent weeks. I certainly hope your comment was sarcasm, because if it is not, then you should perhaps consider removing the blinders.

    • Tell that to the homophobic and transphobic so-and-so I had to listen to in Roslyn last week. Took all my willpower to not scream at him.

    • I have direct personal experience of bigotry on Long Island from both homophobes and anti-Semites; I was bullied growing up in Valley Stream for being Jewish. I had a shaving cream swastika painted on my lawn, my home vandalized, and was spat on, hit, and berated starting at the age of 10 when my family moved there.

      While I didn’t realize I was queer until college, there was one out gay guy in my high school who was bullied horribly. Yes, this was 20 years ago, but I have no doubt that this incident happened just as it was described.

      I’m now married to a man, and we have a four year old son; if this outrage had happened within my earshot I would like to believe I’d have taken similar actions to report the incident and provide support to Jeffrey.

      What saddens me is that whether the manager and employees in question are warned, sent to diversity training, or fired, it is likely that their homophobia and hate speech will redouble– but Starbucks may have the opportunity to compensate Jeffrey and work to ensure that other employees will not have to face the same discrimination.

      • Bullied in Lawn Guy Land for being…JEWISH??? That’s like being bullied in Little Italy for being Italian! Long Island is Jew Heaven! You want to see prejudice towards Jews? Move to Central Florida. Not Miami. Not the East Coast…but West Central Florida. Home of the KKK. It is very difficult to be Jewish here because no one recognizes Judaism here. In three towns, we have TWO Jewish temples. That’s it. Passover comes…and there are NO kosher foods on the shelves. Channukah is not even recognized by the local Walmart here, despite my complaints year after year.

        I am so sorry you were bullied…I just find it jaw dropping ironic that it was towards a Jew in Long Island! That amazes me. That really sucks that that happened to you. IF you lived on MY end of the Island (I lived in Nesconset and in Centereach where this took place) we would have embraced your Judaism AND your gayness! There is nothing a Jewish girl loves more than a gay Jewish man!

        xxoxoox I’m glad you found happiness eventually.

    • Bigotry is everywhere where fear, a lack of education and a catalyst (like religious fundamentalism) combine into one.

  87. Thank you for writing that letter.

    While not a regular customer of Starbucks, I have always been a fan of the company I knew them to be. Had I witnessed this personally, I’d never return and I’d tell my friends to go elsewhere. That type of behavior, in a professional setting or otherwise, cannot be tolerated. We are, as a society, better than that, and we need to act like it.

  88. Oooooh just wait til the next time I walk into Starbucks in Centereach. I may have a few (diplomatic) choice words when I ask “Is Jeffrey working today?” and I get the response that he’s not working there anymore. I am absolutely appalled by this. I wouldn’t have known about this had a friend of mine not posted it on Facebook, and I’m glad she did. I am a fighter for gay youth equality and this will not be rock unturned in my mission to make things better for us all.

  89. This makes me sick and very very sad. I will not be a Starbucks customer any longer.

    Starbucks, what do you have to say for yourself?

    • Not fair to blame the actions of ONE manager on the entire company. Starbucks is NOT a homophobic corporation at all. This one manager happened to slip by. I don’t think it is fair to penalize the entire company over one persons actions. Do consider, instead, writing a letter of support for “Jeffrey” and that you would like to see this manager terminated. That would be the better response.

  90. Not right. Not right. Thank you for posting. Starbucks needs an HR supervisor to review and discipline. And to restate “out loud” their policy on anti-harassment and what good in-store HR looks like. I’d highly recommend Jeffrey to file a complaint with Starbucks and with whatever state and federal departments apply.

  91. I’m only a semi-loyal Starbucks person as I don’t drink coffee. But I am an ex Long Islander. It is possible to find the location for this store on the Starbucks website. Unfortunately, that lookup doesn’t give the store number. which is the only thing I would have added to that letter. The tactic you took of addressing the fact that the manager did this in public in the main serving area was the proper tactic. The issue that is actionable – from your point of view – is her unprofessional behavior in general since you did not witness “Jeffrey”‘s actions.

    I hope you do have some way to contact “Jeffrey” because I have one phrase for him – “NYS department of labor board of standards”. Or whatever they are calling it this week. They can be found in the state office building in Hauppauge. That store deserves to have the inspectors from that department come by & chat with that manager. Why? “Hostile Work Environment.” He said it, you heard it & that is a known Bad Thing ™ by their standards. I must in all fairness, however, point out that it could be used by the other co-workers against “Jeffrey” if they say he created the hostile environment. (as implied by your testimony regarding the “after conversation”.) I’m not saying they would be right to say that – just that it could happen.

    As a matter of fact, you could probably contact that department yourself, explain what you witnessed and that you think the manager & her practices should be investigated – especially since she did that in front of customers and that does make it a hostile environment. I daresay, the good amount of time that would be spent by the manager explaining herself to the inspectors might balance the damage you and the other customers took in witnessing the incident.

    Another thought – Have you considered contacting News 12 Long Island? or possibly George Takei via the “It’s okay to be Takei” group on FB? They might like to do some research & pursue the issue further. (I have to admit, I would like to see the manager be the subject of one of George’s “douchebag” rants. *wickedly mischievous grin*)

    I do understand that this might be considered “going a bit far” and that even “Jeffrey” might not want to push it any further. However, I applaud your courage and determination in just standing up & saying *something*. Not only did you comfort “Jeffrey” & write to Starbucks, you allowed it to be posted & re-linked here on the ‘Net. Please stick to your guns & if “Jeffery” decides to pursue a case against that manager through legal avenues, please consider testifying in his support?

    Thank you again – it is because of people like you that “It Does Get Better.” *hugs*

  92. Thank you for taking the time to write and post this letter. I hope the word gets out to Starbucks and I will definitely do what I can to spread this around. Homophobia should not be tolerated.

  93. Please update us if you get any kind of response. If they refuse, I think that serious action should be taken, especially against that individual store. I wish we had the names of the manager and employees who participated in this public shaming, they should all be fired… That manager especially should lose her job and be listed as un-hirable, completely unprofessional…. I don’t care what he did to prompt this “talk”, to do it in front of customers is unforgivable even if had been a minor reprimand. To terminate in front of customers is even worse.

    This is completely unacceptable, unforgivable. If starbucks does not take action, they’re effectively condoning this behavior and don’t deserve our business any longer.

    I admire Missy’s restraint, I don’t think I’d have been able to stop myself from telling this woman what a worthless excuse for humanity she is.

  94. Unfortunately, that’s the issue of ultra-conservative people nowadays. They think they have the ability to avoid rules and ethics because their anti-gay cause is righteous and dignified. The reality is that it’s the exact opposite – it’s often insulting and totally not legal to behave this way. Even if you stepped in, there would have been nothing you could do to convince them otherwise – it’s just the way these people are, and they’ll avoid both reality and logic to hammer on people they despise.

    Also, for everyone laying this at Starbuck’s feet – you need to realize this is a large chain, and that what one store does is not the policy or appearance of the entire chain. Chances are, because there are so many people in the country with different opinions that are easily concealable, these people got hired because they didn’t openly express their “politics” when interviewing. Only by weasling their way into management did they feel they now had enough clout to openly bash a gay person. Starbucks district managers would tear these people apart (and probably will when they get a complaint handed to them).

    I feel sorry for the guy. Even if he wasn’t gay, that’s still no way to treat your employees. It is harassment, in certain cases. I hope Jefferey finds a better job that makes him feel more empowered.

    • Again with the prejudiced statements. Sad, sad. You really are as bigoted against religious/conservative/Republican as the manager was against gays, aren’t you?

      PLEASE be aware that things are not learned without examples being set. When you show them that you are as prejudiced against them as they are against you, no progress will ever be made.

      I am religious. I am a Republican. I live a faith-based life. I also have no prejudices against GLBT (or any race/creed), and in fact spent 17 years in fishnets at the Rocky Horror Picture Show, in the Deep South, starting LONG before such things were ‘acceptable.” I have had gay roommates. My wife and my best friend is bi. I have been an advisor to the founders of many GLBT/alternative lifestyle conventions in Jersey.

      Based on your commentary, someone like me should be a physical impossibility. Yet here I am; I exist. There is NO SUCH THING as a true blanket statement.

      The best way to receive understanding is to give it.

      • Most would not call you ultra conservative either. Just saying. Personally, I wish there were more people like you too. While you may not agree with being gay on a personal level, you’re tolerant enough to realize that there are a lot of us out there and that love and understanding is more important. So while we may say the conservative/religious/Republican, keep in mind that is where the majority of people who act as the manager did come from. Once again, thank you for being the open and caring person that you are.

      • YOU are full of BS! Attacking others and trying to say reacting against evil like MOST Republican Homophobes is “just as bad as they are” is compleate CRAP! YOU may be the exception, but that does NOT change the fact that the majority of those who are Christian/Republican/Conservatives ARE Bigots!

        Giving understanding to those who hate and degrade you does NOTHING but allow them to get away with their bad behaviour without consequence!

        You have blinders on!

      • I am so impressed by your reply. I really am. Moreover, I am impressed with your lifestyle…that you defy logic and reason for civility and human decency. You could have really tore into this person, but instead, you chose to educate. Bravo to you, Coop. There should be billions more just like you!

      • Unfortunately, the ultraconservatives who are intolerant are the ones making the most noise, getting the most attention.

        There are many conservative and moderate Christians who do not agree with these people, but nationally, their voices often go unnoticed.

        Fortunately, the do seem to be fairly effective at being a voice for peace and understanding locally.

      • Larry, I am not ULTRAconservative. I do, however, believe in family values, but this does not require that the “family” be mommy/daddy/children. I do not agree or disagree with homosexuality, but not because I do not have personal feelings on it (personally, I have absolutely NO problem whatsoever with it), but more so that I feel I do not have a right to “judge.” Like abortion, assisted suicide or any other deeply personal decision (and I only use the word decision for lack of a better one to describe the situation – I am in absolutely NO manner saying that homosexuality is a “choice” because that would be an anthropologically incorrect statement) I think sexuality should be left to the individual.

        My best friend in high school was gay; I knew it before he did. Sadly, a few years back he got back in touch with me just long enough to tell me he was going to one of those self-immersion things in California so he could “fix” his problem. It was a sickening, disgusting and gut-wrenching moment for me. I Loved him for him, and to think of him forcibly changing himself in this manner was (and still is) very disheartening.

        Tristan, that was not an attack, that was an observation that the person posting was acting in the same manner that they were berating. If 30 people in 100 act in a crass manner, that does not make it o.k. for 5 people in 100 to act in a crass manner. Crass is crass, regardless of percentages. Do you not realize that it only takes ONE person in a group to sour thousands of people’s opinions on the entire group? You should, since that is what has happened to the Republican party. As Donald pointed out, the squeakiest wheel gets the oil… or in this case the attention. Do you think there will be any news stories about me or the hundreds of thousands of Republicans like me when there are Westboro churches to report on? Laughable. There is no money in reporting on the positive, and TONS of money reporting on dirty laundry.

        Assuming you are the SF&F artist, I have known of you for a very long time. That happens in the fandom community. The form of militant heterophobia you have expressed here and elsewhere for years IS more damaging to your cause than helpful, and IS just as prejudiced as the most right-wing conservative. The MAJORITY of Christians/Republicans are not homophobes, just the noisy ones.

        Again, there is no such thing as a true blanket statement. By default, there will always be exceptions.

        I will, however, grant you that most ultra-conservatives have a few screws loose, but so do most ultra-liberals (or most ultra-anything, for that matter – zealotism in any form IS living in blinders, an observation you would probably do well to realize).

      • If you VOTE AGAINST GAY CIVIL RIGHTS by supporting conservative christian politics YOU are a bigot. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to call yourself “non-bigoted” and claim that you have no problem with gays AT THE SAME TIME you use your VOTE to crush our rights. INTOLERANCE of bigotry is NOT bigoted.

        Again. STFU.

      • Well, to respond to your comment –

        Don’t get me wrong, because I dislike all extremist positions. Especially when they target a group of people unfairly. When I said ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE, I don’t mean all conservatives. I’m a moderate conservative. I believe in moderation, fiscal responsibility and tradition, among other conservative views. I merely have an open mind when it comes to people’s rights and homosexuality.

        However, I never did say REPUBLICAN. You brought that into the conversation yourself. But if you want to go there, I was a Republican for like 17+ years. I voted on political issues and for Republicans that weren’t uber-religious or ultra-conservative. There weren’t that many when I started voting. Recently, however, it seems that social issues based solely on religious belief are the things that Republicans (especially the nutty Tea Party) care about. And often it means oppressing people based on their sexual preferences and ideals. That’s not the Republican party I joined – that’s some sort of perversion of the originals goal of less government/smarter diplomacy/stronger economic responsibility that the Republican party used to believe in. So I became Independent.

        Again, I don’t hate ultra-Conservatives but I do think they are largely misguided and very hypocritical in their narrow-mindedness. And that leads to bad decisions and poor actions on their part that hurts society as a whole. They are extremists, much on par with other extremists – liberal, Islamic, Anti-Semite, etc. The goal of ultra-Conservatives is to impose a set of Christian religious ethics and beliefs upon society. If you don’t like that definition – well, I’m sorry but that’s the definition sociologists have attributed to “ultra-Conservative.” If you aren’t one, then cool off, don’t get defensive and don’t feel like I’m targeting you.

        Because I am not.

      • I only brought Republican into the queue to describe MYSELF, so it should have remained a non-issue. But, given the context I used I can understand how you feel that I was making it a part of the discussion.

        I am sadly and painfully aware of the difference between Republican and Conservative, and the difference between Democrat and Liberal. if only the media, or the populace in general were aware of such.

        And again, I don’t take thinks said on the internet, or in any case not specifically to me, as a personal offense, affront or attack.

        I think the problem that ultimately is arising here is the SELF definition that people referring to themselves as ultra-Conservative (or even ultra-Liberal) have created. Both of these groups would do well to realize that just because you define yourself as something, does not mean you meet the standards of the root definition(s). I have met some of the most un-Christlike Christians, as well as some of the most intolerant of others Liberals, as there could possibly exist.

        Given your self-description, you are perhaps a little to the “right” of me. I describe myself best as a “Heinlein Republican,” if you understand (grok?) that reference. A social liberal, a fiscal conservative, and a strong believer that the government should butt out as much as possible and let folks succeed or fail on their own, getting assistance only from those willing to give it (and this is often a situational decision).

  95. this manager needs some sensitivity training!!!!!!!!!!!!! she should be fired , hope Karma comes around and hits her full force !!!!!

  96. That is horrible. Reading that letter actually made me teary. I hope that having this letter out in the world and having people repost it has an impact. I don’t know if it will impact Jeffrey, but hopefully the next person will not be treated so shabbily and that the “manager” has some repercussions.

  97. would love to hear what Starbuck’s response is to this.

  98. Horrified, shocked, and dismayed. I will have to rethink my loyalties. No one should ever be treated in such a manner. My heart breaks for Jeffery and seethes toward the perpetrators of the exchange.

  99. I’ll tell you, I worked for Starbucks for 12 years and left due to a situation with my own last store manager. However, it is not the company that is the issue per se. Its the store manager. It is by no means a homophobic company, and I’m sure they’ll be looking into this situation. I had gay managers, gay district managers, you name it.
    If a discussion concerning a partner’s personal issues ever were to come up, that is to take place in the backroom between the partner and the manager. Not where anyone else could listen in. Let’s please not fan the flames by assuming its anything else.
    The problem is, the choices for store management sometimes are very wrong. At the various stores I worked at I was just as likely to have a store manager who knew what they were doing as not.

  100. My partner is a loyal Starbuck’s gold card (or whatever that thing is) customer and I’m forwarding this to him. I’m a casual non-water drinker at best but on occasion I go with him to Stabuck’s and get their passion fruit lemonade thing. I’m very disappointed to read this, and saddened by it. I live in Astoria New York and I’d like to think this state is more tolerant than where I come from (Texas). Please keep us posted on how Starbuck’s responds to your letter. Even if it is no response after a week that would be indication enough for me that they aren’t taking your complaint seriously.

  101. As a former Starbucks employee of over four years this sickens me. The homophobia and hypocrisy displayed by the management of that store is unforgivable. Starbucks does however in many cases hire management from outside the company. It is a policy that, in my opinion, leads to situations like this where the management does not conform to the ideals of the company as a whole. I hope that Starbucks will resolve this situation.

  102. Angela Belliveau

    I am completely disgusted and appalled at their behavior. The ‘manager’ and the other two co-workers should be fired and Jeffery should be offered his job back with some type of compensation. They have just opened a new Starbucks up the street from me last month. This is one customer that will be walking the extra block to Tim Hortons from now on!

  103. Great letter, and thanks for taking a stand and doing something about this.
    I think you’re letting Starbucks off too easy. Clearly something *isn’t* right with their corporate culture if a person like this could be placed in a position of authority over others, and if the climate in one their stores is such that employees feel comfortable committing such despicable acts openly and notoriously, in front of each other and even in front of customers. Starbucks failed to select people properly, and it failed to train them properly, and it failed to monitor them properly. It doesn’t matter what kind of lip-service they are paying to diversity at the top–if that doesn’t translate to actual behavior that permeates the company down to its lowest levels, it’s just empty feel-good rhetoric.

    Think of it this way: An airline can *say* all it wants that safety is its top priority. People at the top might even sincerely believe that. But if the maintenance crews are drinking on the job and making a lot of mistakes, it’s *not* a safe airline. Similarly with Starbucks–its whole reputation of being progressive and supporting diversity is on the line, because clearly, that’s just not the case.

  104. I am not the most loyal Starbucks customer, but we do buy bags of their coffee at least once a month. I don’t think I can continue to do so unless they respond to this incident in a public and prompt manner.

  105. While I can understand your hesitance to boycott Starbucks in general, after all it may indeed just be a horribly managed store, have you thought about no longer patronizing that particular store? Perhaps even making the rounds with friends, family and others who go to this store.

    I think that may get attention along with a letter to the store cc’ing corporate: i.e. until you remove the bigoted leadership of this location we will not be bringing profit to this store, thank you!

    Awareness is the key and you are absolutely right this behavior is unacceptable. It is very possible the employee in question may had non-related performance issues, but that the conversation occurred on the floor, personal aspects were referenced and the after-conversation specifically related to his sexual preference makes the entire scene disgusting.

    I am not so convinced this young gentleman doesn’t have a civil case on his hands and while I am adverse to knee-jerk litigation, this case warrants it completely.

    The message here needs to be: “Not okay, Starbucks.”

  106. While many companies have policies regarding gender and sexuality and discrimination the “company” is just a name on paper. It’s the staff at each individual store that really sets the tone.

    I used to work at the Starbucks at Annapolis Harbor Center in Maryland and had nothing but good experiences until the manager changed.

    He was ready to train me as the assistant part time manager of the store and had nothing but good things to say about me until a few days later.

    I had been talking to HR about being transgendered and was starting to go “full time” and he needed to be notified. The meeting, as far as I could tell, went fine and I thought everything was going well.

    Then after two weeks of hell, apparently now I couldn’t do anything right and was totally unqualified, he fired me.

    The company backed his decision.

    It’s not about the companies policies, it’s about the staff.

  107. Hi Missy:

    I saw this through a friend’s Facebook link. APPALLED! and Angry. Thank you and your partner for helping to expose mean-spirited homophobia. I hope we hear about some positive results from your letter and your partner’s post. You gals are FIERCE in the best possible way and I salute you!

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men {and women!} do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

    -Scott in Atlanta

  108. Thank you for writing this story and doing something for Jeffery, which IS the good thing coming out of this horrible incidence Jeffery has to suffer through.

    You are a great mom for setting a great example for your child!

  109. 1) I am not a Starbuck’s patron, except for picking up the occasional 4-pack of light Frappacinos while grocery shopping. While tasty and delicious, they are going on the “verbotten” list until further notice.

    2) There are far too many inexcusable components to this story to choose which to be most furious about.

    A: Choosing a public venue and outnumbering the other person when confronting someone on a lesser power differential professionally/sociologically is nothing but a show of dominance. Period. This is the oldest gradeschool playground bullying logic ever and has absolutely no place masked as adult professional interaction. Shame on all three of them.

    B: Making public any details about another’s private life in the course of a job-related exchange is grossly unethical. That alone would result in termination from my job. Also, as this is still the same country where people are still regularly threatened, discriminated against and attacked because of gender orientation; “outing” anyone compromises his or her right to self-determination and wellbeing. The fact these women did so in the middle of an open Starbucks in front of customers ought to be actionable.

    C: Far too many faces worn by people I love ferociously could be Jeffrey’s for me to be unbiased about this story. When I imagine this happening to a gay friend or family member, I think this: Yay, Starbucks, for being “tolerant.” But how about moving from tolerance to true aceptance? In a truly accepting environment, those three troglodytes would be dealt with as summarily as if they had bullied Jeffrey into leaving his job because of his gender, his race/ethnicity or ability status.

    Fix this, Starbucks. I’ll make it a point to drink your coffee if you fix this.

    • I agree, handing a HR issue in public and in front of other employees is not only unprofessional but, in my opnion, grounds for being fired. You just don’t do that EVER!! This person was not acting as a manager but a bully and head of her little “gang” of minions. I too have people I love and care for that are gay and transgendered and it would piss me off to no end if something like this ever happened to them. Starbucks needs to step in and clean house starting with the brainless bully they call a manager.

  110. I thoroughly agree that this was inexusable behavior. However, I’m sorry, but, I think Missy should have said something! Her silence in this situation, seem to be silent appoval of the behavior. The reason I say this is, the three workers were well aware that she was aware of their conversation, even if not fully aware of the details. But the details listed in the letter were enough to cause an outrageous response from this customer. As a homosexual man, I do not understand how any homosexual could sit there and not step in. this was a non-violent situation. I believe, had Missy stepped in and Said something, the situation would have been diffused. After all, even a homophobic manager would understand her position was illegal and subject to corporate discipline. All Missy would have had to do as ask the Manager for her name and the name of her immidiate supervisor, so she could report this incident as both intolerable and illegal. If we homosexuals are not going to stand up for ourselves in such situations, why should we expect some corporate heterosexual stand up for us? Missy, my response is totally from a hindsight point of view, so, I am not saying that what you did was totally wrong, but what made you feel comfortable doing at that point in time. Sometimes we must step out of the comfortable box and take a stand. Everything you did was nice and sweet for the young man, after the fact. So, thank you for that. However if you should encounter such a situation in any retail location, I should hope you would make your opinion known to the people doing the homophobic activities.

    • Glad someone else said it. I completely agree. The manager should have had her name taken…and when she queried why…she should have been told that a letter was going to be written about her for the way she treated that young man, as well as what her daughter was exposed to on the service floor. It is a completely non violent situation. I am not saying she was wrong either…just what I would have done. If we don’t call out injustice as we see it, nothing will ever be done about it.

      I commend her for consoling Jeffrey, but what that boy needed was a hero to step up to the plate for him. We need to be heroes to these kids and let them know that strangers of all sexual orientations will not tolerate homophobia in any form.

    • Not everyone is born with a ‘confrontation gene’. I don’t think is it fair, in any way, to cast aspersions and “shoulddas” on Missy as regards what she should or should NOT have done.

      Her weapon in the battle, which was evidently highly effective, was to use her “voice” to appeal to the powers in charge of the corporation.

      They (@starbucks) are aware of and are investigating the matter, BECAUSE of what Missy chose to do. We all respond differently, but, clearly, her method achieved the goal, entirely.

      Brava Missy! And Thank you!

      • Actually I think what Missy has done, has achieved far more than a store confrontation could have done. I probably would have reacted the same way. I’m generally an introvert and quiet person by nature and I would have felt overwhelmed by the situation and probably would not have thought what to do until after the fact. Confrontation does not always make a situation better, in fact it can make things escalate into a situation that can become volitale even in a Starbucks. While I appreciate the thought that people should intervene, one has to discern when that is the best option and when it is not.

  111. For you to stand up for someone that you don’t know is what gave me goosebumps. I’ve had similar incidences at places of employment and it would have mean so much if someone took the time to stand up for a perfect stranger. Thank you for sharing this and I hope something is done about these people in authority holding positions who tend to take advantage of them. I hope Jeffrey reads this someday, somewhere and realizes that his experience was noticed and not all people are like that. I really hope he doesn’t shut down and in essence “expect” this treatment in the future (as I sort of got from the words he spoke back to you). Though I don’t know you, I admire your courage and beliefs to send such a well-written letter to a major company in today’s society. I hope it is taken seriously. Please update us if a response is given! Thanks again and God Bless you for your encouragement and support to the gay community. They are people to and regardless if we chose to partake in the homosexual way of life doesn’t give us the right to treat another inhumane in as if they haven’t the same feelings as us.

  112. Signal boosted at the Big Ugly Man Doll; well said, Missy.

  113. What has happened to this world? How can hate and intolerance have become so common place & acceptable? How can we have lost sight of our common bonds of basic humanity?
    It tears me up inside to see all of the hatered that shatters lives across the globe. This is not just Jeffey. He is symbol of all people who live with the day to day bigotry that is rampant from everyday people, to governments across the world.
    Sadly, this one letter will not likely make much of a change. But if enough people read it, and are as moved as I by it, perhapse it will help change the views of a few. And those few may change the hearts of a few more. We have to start somewhere.
    Thank you so much for sharing this letter.
    I am not sure I have ever been so moved.

  114. Wow. I’m so very impressed and inspired by your letter. I hope that Starbucks does the right thing. This “Manager” may have chosen her words wisely to Jeffrey, but her words after the fact are just as damning to her, and to Starbucks in the legal arena. MORE IMPORTANTLY, thank YOU for comforting Jeffrey – a complete stranger to you. Thank you for standing up for him in the way you have. We can all take a page from this book and fight injustices we see – its the only way we’ll get our society the way it SHOULD be.

  115. I have never approved of same sex relationships BUT THAT IS NOT MY LIFE SO IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS JUST NOT MY CHOICE in saying that NO MATTER WHAT A PERSONS PREFERENCE IS JEFFERY SHOULD HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN TREATED IN SUCH A WAY. One has to wonder if that mngr was so bold to be that cruel over something that is none of her business anyway HOW MANY OTHER FOLKS HAS SHE TREATED THAT WAY hopefully starbucks will search her file for previous complaints..It is not likely that this is her first offense. on behalf of humanity jeffery I AM SO SORRY YOU WERE TREATED IN THAT MANNER! untill we see some type of discipline WE WILL BOYCOTT STARBUCKS! RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG NOMATTER WHAT LIFE STYLE YOU HAVE OR WHAT COLOR YOUR SKIN IS! A HUMAN IS A HUMAN WE ALL BREATHE THE SAME AIR!

    • Bravo, Rena. I am always impressed by someone who can say, “that lifestyle is not for me, but I defend your right to live it.”

      Good job.

    • We never asked for your approval. I don’t like straight people always PUSHING THEIR DISGUSTING PDA in MY face. See how that feels?

  116. Jeffery’s situation sounds very similar to the reason I was let go from a large winery. Not due to my sexuality but due to my religious beliefs, which I never mentioned in the workplace until a supervisor asked me my religion point blank, assuring me in the same breath that she wasn’t judgemental. When she found out I wasn’t a Christian like her, she screamed “DEVIL-WORSHIPPER!!!!” at the top of her lungs and made my life a living hell. I endured it for months before I had the courage to go to HR. While I trembled with fear, they told me they couldn’t help me if I refused to tell them my religion as well (I did not want to repeat it to anyone else for fear of the same reaction). I believed their lies and told them … and that only made my discrimination corporately sanctioned. I will share this with everyone I know, and Starbuck’s has had enough of my dollars, I think. I wish Jeffrey the absolute best. Having been there, I know how low it feels.

    • That HR department lied to you. You have a federal case on your hands. It’s up to you whether you’d want to pursue it.

      But don’t pretend there’s nothing you can do.

    • That pathetic whack-o sounds like the “God Warrior”. -.-
      Definitely report this and get just compensation.

  117. Just wanted to say that Sbucks itself is a tolerant company and your writing this is excellent so they become aware and correct the wrong that has been done. That “manager” was grossly out of line and could be sued for reprimanding him in front of other employees. That fella needs to get a lawyer. I’m a proud gay man living in Portland, Oregon, and I feel like printing this out and cruising up to Seattle to drop it off. I hope you get a reply to this and update everyone on what happens.

    I’ve reposted this to Facebook. In this modern tech age this should be all over the web in a few days.

  118. Thank you for sharing this information. I made sure to send your link to someone I know who works at Starbucks in LI and to another person I know who works at http://www.ligaly.org

  119. For your friend who wrote the letter: Many Starbucks are franchises. I would strongly suggest that you find who owns this franchise and send them a copy of your letter to Corporate. State the day and time of your visit, as they can track down the staff that was on duty at that time and at that franchise. People must be held accountable. // It was kind of you to go after Jeffrey but you could also have given him your contact information so that, should he have wanted to lodge a complaint, he could have contacted you as a witness. And thirdly, it does not help to keep quiet. I would have said something to the staff behind the counter, expressing my concern at their unlawful and unprofessional behaviour.

    I’m sure they violated eeo laws.

    • Actually most Starbucks are company owned. They have a few licensing agreements with big chains like Safeway and Target and with entities that do not allow company operated stores like airports and universities but they are the exception rather than the rule. I can assure that Starbucks corporate will deal with this swiftly.

    • There are no SBUX franchises Licensed stores and approved vendors of SBUX products and coffee. Howard Shultz is the one to write letters/emails to..

  120. Yikes. Read through the comments, hoping Starbucks HQ would’ve responded by now, but I guess not. Hope you hear back from them soon, and that they rectify the problems you witnessed. Hard to believe stuff like this still happens. :(

  121. Reposted this to my FB. As a nominally straight (is “heteroflexible” funny or trying too hard?) woman, they would have made a mistake in assuming _I_ wouldn’t be offended. If I’d been there, they would have been kicking me out of the store by the time I’d finished “speaking.” The discussion you’ve related is just nauseating.

  122. Thank you so much for taking the time to construct an eloquent and logical account of what you witnessed and calling for action. I am also a frequent customer, but I will not buy their coffee until this issue is formally addressed.

  123. I hope that manager gets fired and Jeffrey gets her job.

  124. The “manager” who was in charge of this incident has absolutely no business being in a leadership position. While everyone who works for a company should be viewed as a representative of that company`s standards and policy (they should because they were made aware of them before they were hired and sent out to serve the public) those in management should be especially aware of the image they present to the public and their subordinates. This woman was basically telling everyone there (the public included) that Starbucks as a company feels it`s completely acceptable to treat their employees this way and to do so in the open and out on the floor in front of customers.
    If Starbucks allows this woman`s behavior to stand unopposed and uncorrected then it is only a matter of time before you`ll have to be defending your manager`s actions in a courtroom. This woman has indeed created a hostile environment. She is also telling the others at the table (I assume they were also employees) that it is OK with Starbucks if they discriminate against others and engage in at least one type of illegal activity. If I had been there I would have asked for the woman`s name and employee ID number and then reported her to the proper legal authorities. No employee deserves to be treated that way and the customers shouldn`t have been disrespected in such a manner either.
    Sexual orientation should have no bearing in this. It comes down to simple human dignity and respect for whoever walks thru the door,customer and employee alike

  125. I have shared this on my wall on FB and my friends will follow suit- this is getting bigger by the minute

  126. Wow. The manager depicted in this letter needs to be fired, blacklisted, and required to attend therapy sessions. Whatever “Jeffery’s” issues might have been up until that point, there was no excuse – NONE – that can justify treating an employee (or a person, period) this way, in public. If she had a problem with his behavior around the shop, that needed to be discussed in private. In this case, however, it’s probably a good thing it was so public; had that “review” been conducted behind doors, her bigotry – and the bigotry of their co-workers – could have remained concealed. I’m glad, as repugnant as this incident has been, that they’ve been revealed for the vicious prejudicial “mean girls” that they are.

    Had Jeffery been a member of any other group despised by his co-workers, he would have a monumental lawsuit in his pocket. As it is, the manager still probably thinks she did nothing wrong. She ought to be reminded just how wrong she is, at the end of an unemployment line. I hope Starbucks tracks down the manager in question and boots her to the curb… preferably teeth-first.

  127. Everything about that display was unprofessional, unconscionable and inexcusable.

    I like Starbucks, an awful lot (and have for the better part of my adult life) — but not enough to support a company that permits this kind of behavior from its employees. I’ve no problem NOT patronizing them until something is done about this event, and action is taken to prevent something like this from happening again within their organization.

  128. Hello Missy –

    Your signal is being spread through Facebook, which is how I ended up here. I too have posted a link and will keep spreading the signal.

    I will be contacting Starbucks with three demands before I will stop pushing this story through blogs and social media.

    1) verify that this incident happened (unfortunately necessary in the era of corporate social media smears)
    2) rehire Jeffrey
    3) fire and publicly name the manager and the other individuals who participated in this incident.

    If they want to make him “un-hireable”, then they should receive the same fate by making their names associated with hateful, bigoted and legally actionable behavior to any hiring manager wise enough to use a search engine prior to hiring.

    Thank you for posting this.

  129. I don’t have anything profound to say–I think the letter said it all–I just wanted to throw my support in by leaving a comment and am hoping that thousands more do so too!! My heart goes out to Jeffery and I sincerely hope that Starbucks steps up and takes care of this–and not just covers it up! They need to do right by him and every employee in their company! <3 <3 <3

  130. I have posted this on my FB. Maybe if we tell Starbucks corporate how many people are seeing this, they will realize that something must be done. I just posted it for 292 of my nearest and dearest to see.

  131. I can’t believe the bigotry of that manager. It is appalling, and disgusting. I am also not political in any way, but something needs to be done with those employees. Think I will stick with dutch Bro’s from now on, unless those employees are fired. Please keep me posted on what happens. I sincerely hope Starbucks takes this letter seriously, and takes action.

  132. I believe Starbucks’s attention has been caught! I, along with many other supporters, posted about this on Starbucks’s facebook page, and within 10 minutes got a response. “We are very concerned about the blog post and are looking into it as we speak. We have a zero tolerance discrimination policy.” Here’s hoping something will be done about the vultures in Centereach, Long Island!!

  133. This was insanely wrong, and horrible, and disgusting. The abusiveness, and… I don’t even have the words. I don’t whether I wish I had been there, or am glad that I wasn’t, as I tend to get somewhat brazen and outspoken about things like this.

    Thank you, a thousand times, for writing this letter, for sending it. I hope they listen, and take some action.

  134. I honestly believe had I been there that day, all three of those woman would have lost their jobs by days end. Furthermore that young man would have one of the best lawyers on his hands, and a suit against the three woman [NOT Starbucks] would have been filed. This is so disturbing to hear and yet it is far too commonplace. It needs to be stopped, and the only way its going to happen is education, and tolerance. Bless that poor man, and his family and the writers and hers. What a disgusting display of inconsiderate, inapropriate, intolerant treatment. makes me sick, WolfGoddess

    • WolfGoddess, “one of the best lawyers” — nay, even a MEDIOCRE lawyer, would know that there is absolutely no way to successfully sue the other employees over this incident without also suing Starbucks.

      As a matter of law.

  135. If it were my call, those employees would be out the door and he would be rehired. There is NO place in America where this should be tolerated. It is my sincere hope that Jeffrey files suit and winds up with a nice workplace settlement.

    UNLESS Starbucks takes this soon-to-be-viral situation and addresses it PUBLICLY. It’s up to the employer to do the right thing.

  136. I cannot believe that this would happen so blatantly in today’s world. This level and display of intolerance is absurd in any environment, let alone conducting such matters in public where the transgressed party is put on trial by those he/she worked with and for.

    A song from the 80’s said “People are People, why should it be, we get along so awfully” . We, teach our kids to be tolerant of other races and religions, so why is it that sexual orientation is still such a huge hurdle for our society to overcome, accept, and teach tolerance?

    I would hope that this message gets out to corporate America and they start to look in their own houses for such transgressions, integrate diversity, foster tolerance, and confront ignorance!

  137. If you thought for a MINUTE that Starbucks was ethical, then no wonder this surprises you. Recently they fired someone for being too short. Bullying Ethiopia. What they do to communities. Lack of REAL commitment to sustainability and fair trade. Court problems in California where the boss forced employees to share tips. Until recently, growth hormones in the milk they used (when most supermarkets somehow manage to avoid that). It goes on and on, which is weird, because their coffee is pretty awful.

    • Every Starbucks I’ve ever been to or worked at shares tips from a communal tip jar. Customers put tips in the jar without directing them to specific emplyees and you get tipped out based on how many hours you work. Pretty fair I’d say, considering that, unlike a restaurant, each person on the floor has an equal hand in the customer’s experience (taking theirr order, making the drink, keeping the store clean). Not trying to say that Starbucks is a flawless company but they try alot harder than most to do some good.

  138. I wouldn’t want a faggot working for me either.

    • And I wouldn’t want you working for me

    • Good thing it was just a gay man, then.

    • A “bundle of sticks” is an inanimate object, thus it wouldn’t be a very productive employee.

      Jeffrey, on the other hand, is a human being, and an employee deserving of a non-hostile work environment.

      If you take that attitude, you just might be the next one with a lawsuit on your hands.

      It shouldn’t be hard to be a good person and not an asshole.

    • None. You are the worst kind of scum there is in this world! You are no better than anybody else and so kindly take your bigoted comments back to the stone age where you OBVIOUSLY belong! This 2011 not 190. There are not cavemen (outside of you!) roaming the streets. There are giant beasts wandering around. And I am here to tell you that even though I am not gay I am an advocate against the closed-minded trailer trash that you are! And one of these days scum like you will have to accept that homosexuals are out there and it’s a natural part of their being. Unfortunately I can’t excuse your hatred and pitiness as that is learned and taught by those like you. I shall pray for you to change and hope that you think of this, if you can pry open what passes for a mind: If we were all the same the world would be a very boring place in which to live.

      White straight Texas Bitch

  139. Kathleen Marsocci

    Starbucks just responded to my Facebook post and advised that they are aware of the situation and have begun investigating it.

  140. Is this a joke? Please tell me it’s April Fools Day or something! Damn! Who fires an employee in front of customers? How humiliating for everybody in that store. God. This makes me sick. I would have butted in. Maybe not everybody would feel comfortable doing that, and I understand. But I’ve been in management (not Starbucks) and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this was just plain wrong and stupid! If you ever see Jeffrey I know you will tell him about all the support he got here. Damn!

  141. Sadly, I *can* believe that this goes on in this day & age – it shouldn’t, obviously, but it does; I don’t drink coffee, so Starbucks has never appealed to me, but they’ve always struck me as the Wal-mart of coffee shops, the 800-pound gorilla moving in, wiping-out competition, so I never bothered to learn what their purported philosophy is, and frankly, I don’t care – if this kind of activity is being done on their property by their employees, then by default, it becomes their philosophy. We’ll see if they care enough to do something about this (ideally, firing and marking as un-hireable everyone involved in this incident and not only hiring Jeffrey back, but putting him in charge with a big raise and back pay). If they do the right thing (which, frankly, I doubt since the political climate is, unfortunately, favoring this kind of behavior), I will be impressed – I still won’t be a customer since I don’t like coffee, but I’ll definitely stop discouraging people from doing business with them.

  142. I, along with some friends, shared the link to this post on my facebook page with the note, “Personally, I don’t drink Starbucks coffee, except for the rare holiday treat if I happen to be at the one Genuardis grocery store while that Starbucks kiosk is open. Other than that kiosk and the random turnpike rest stop, I couldn’t tell you where another store is… However, this is enough to make me reconsider even that…”

  143. Back in 2004 I was “let go” from starbucks for being gay. My manager wrote me up for sexual harassment, because I made the other women uncomfortable in the work place.

  144. Thank you for taking a stand against intolerance and prejudice in such an appropriate way. There are still far too many people who are part of the “Silent Majority” (yes, that shows my age) when it comes to witnessing biased behavior. I hope you will let us know if Starbucks takes your contact seriously or not.

  145. Wow, where exactly does somebody’s head need to be in order to think that humiliating an employee in front of all the customers is “OK”? Are they all so embroiled in their own little worlds they forget other people exist? I’m just amazed. I’m glad you’ve written this letter and I will be keeping my eye out for a response from Starbucks but what I liked the best is the fact that you reached out to Jeffery. You showed support and acceptance. Thank you.

  146. completely unacceptable, shame on that manager and those co-workers for not behaving with modicum of professional courtesy and respect in the workplace. I hope the employee will take his concerns to a lawyer and give them the “lesson” that they thought they were dishing out to him

  147. Jahzzie Marselas

    The coworkers and the manager who got on this poor kids case should be ashamed of their behavior. There are many outlets for this info to be let out to and brought out into the daylight. Help Me Howard and the NY News Teams are just a start. Another poster made a good point, going to corporate is one move, but bringing this to the DM’s eyes would be a faster approach.

  148. TIME FOR A PHONE BOMB http://goo.gl/maps/yJZo – Chase this meme back up the tree, post this as a comment whereever you got this from.. Everyone who is “outraged” should call, ask to speak to a manager, and demand an explination.

  149. It’s sad that people like this manager are out there in positions of power and are abusing that power for their own agenda. I will think twice before walking into a Starbucks again, and I’ve spent my fair share there. Obviously the chain needs to do some employee training on diversity, starting with management. Discrimination is wrong no matter how you color or phrase it, not to mention several laws may have been broken. I hope the offended gentleman has the courage to contact a lawyer and make this right. I’m not gay, but I do believe we are all one human family. I don’t like to see people lose their jobs, but in this case the wrong person was let go, Starbucks needs to correct this quickly and publicly, with apologies.

  150. My jaw is to the floor. In addition to what happened to Jeffrey, I’m appalled that the Manager/HR person did all of that in front of customers and your child. They have to respond. Starbucks *has* to respond to this letter. Please, please post what response you get. This is so wrong.

  151. I am a “situational” bi woman, and this letter just makes me want to DRIVE to NY from VA and stage a sit-in to protest the treatment of Jeffery. My spouse is an avid coffee drinker and as a treat we go to Starbucks. I think we should all join in the writing campaign to the company and not stop until this situation is rectified!!

  152. As someone who has been fired for my “politics” (haha I’m using that word for at least a month to describe my orientation now!) I appriciate people like you Missy. Now that I am older, I stand up better for things, however when it happens to you, and you are young, as i assume Jeffrey was, it just makes you shake, and feel like your life is worth nothing.
    I really hope Starbucks pays attention… you are so right, no one should be treated that way, and no one should have to see “internal” company issues at a store. That is what a managers office is for.

  153. Why didn’t you stand up and stop the conversation? Why are adults afraid to tell other adults when they are doing something wrong? You could have asked for the manager’s boss’s name right then. Sometimes we just have to have the eggs to stand up for someone’s rights at the exact moment that bad stuff is going down. Go back to the store right now and tell the staff how it is. Other customers living near by who are reading could do the same. You could have told her you were a lawyer, you could have offered to represent Jeffrey right then and told her you had recorded her entire conversation on your phone. Thatd scare the crap out of her! It could be handled immediately and effectively and make a more bold impact if folks would stand up and do what’s right, at the time of the problem. :( Get to the root of the issue, today. Make it better for Jeffrey today.

    • Doing the things you suggest would not have made the manager change, they would have just made her more careful. lying as a means to an end never goes well anyway.

      She has been VERY clear why she did not say anything at the time. Sadly, “phone bombing” and otherwise contacting the particular location will undermine the purpose of her silence. Managers like this need to be caught out without warning. Even a handfull of calls to the location will let them know this has gone public.

      • I sort of agree, but sort of disagree.

        I don’t know that I would have warned the manager that I intended to follow up with her company, but, at that given moment, “Jeffrey” needed a hero. He needed someone to stand up for him…to call out the injustice as it was happening. We have to protect our children at all costs. If we don’t stand up for one another, we will all fall collectively. At that point in time, when Jeffrey was being admonished, the woman should have been told that she was being a homophobe, unprofessional and had no regard for either her staff or the clients who were just within earshot of her hatred. But most of all, she needs to be stopped from doing this in the future. That is where I come back in agreement with you. I think the “phone bombing” is utterly immature and unneeded. It will teach her nothing. You’re right about that.

      • CP, she gave Jeffrey support individually, and I commend that as well. Admonishing the manager in front of him would not have accomplished any change, and more than likely would have only embarrassed Jeffrey further than he already was. Too many people were already witnessing this travesty… to drag it out further would have only tortured the young man beyond his endurance.

  154. You are to be commended for writing and sharing this letter. When I see employees being abused by a customer I speak up. I’ve never encountered anything like this before. You did a good thing.

  155. You know, as a person who works at Jeffery’s level, this kind of thing is not uncommon (the bigotry that is). That being said, there are certain aspects of this whole thing that are just completely wrong. Firstly, that he was scolded in public. Every manager should know that this kind of business of disciplining an employee for an infraction needs to happen outside of public view. Secondly, THEY FORCED HIM TO QUIT AND ASKED FOR HIS KEYS! So many people today can’t get unemployment because of this simple tactic. It’s complete and utter B.S. It’s happened to me twice. Lastly, if you are going to hire outside of your company, you don’t put them in complete control of things. They don’t know your policies and your business practices, and more than likely will make you look like something you scrape off your shoe.

    To Jeffery;
    As someone who has been in your shoes before, I send my condolences. It doesn’t get much better in the public retail market. The best advice anyone can give you is to try to get into a different career path through either schooling or job training. It pays better, there are more educated and non-bigoted people, and chances are you will be a lot happier. If you’re not able to go that route, just ask your next employers how tolerant they are of diversity. Their responses will give a big clue as to if you should accept the position. Best wishes.

  156. Thank you for writing that letter and for standing up for peoples rights. Please keep us posted if Starbucks writes back. And I hope Jeffrey is found, would love to hear from him too! :)

  157. Missy’s observations are very concerning and not with our values and who we are as a company. Starbucks has supported the LGBT community since the very early days and we have a zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We are looking into this situation as we speak.

  158. Thank you for posting your letter. While I, like you, am shocked and mortified at the situation (on so many different levels), I can’t tell you how much it means to know there are others in the world who stand up for what they believe in. “It Gets Better” because of people like you..

  159. Wow, this is pretty shocking. Those involved should be ashamed of themselves and I hope they are fired. I also hope Starbucks is appalled by this behvaiour, as I can’t really see this as being how they want their company represented.

    That said, Starbucks is hardly what I’d call “tolerant.” They refuse to hire people with (tasteful) tattoos unless they cover them with clothes or bandages. Now, I understand that while getting tattoos is a choice and being gay is not, but I still find that such dress code policies are hardly the marker for a “tolerant” company.

    Good for you for comforting the man who was belittled as well as for writing this letter. I only happened upon it after Starbucks made a reference to it on their Twitter saying they were “looking into it” – here’s hoping they will be a bit more cautious with the (non-tattooed) homophobes they’re hiring from now on.

  160. I’ve worked at Starbucks for 9 years and almost every single queer person who has worked with me has been fired more quit because they couldn’t handle being constantly singled out. See discrimination usually isn’t as obvious as what you saw the other day, it’s usually very subtle- certain rules don’t apply to certain people… for instance some employees are aloud to show up a little late once and a while (things happen, people show up late sometimes) and not get in trouble, but I noticed if you’re a feminine gay man you can not screw up in ANYWAY at all or you’re toast. I just counted in my head 8 people who where fired/quit because of their queerness- all of them feminine gay men.

    The way Starbucks and my other corporate jobs works is that there are so many rules that you can’t go one day without bending at least one of them- it makes it easy for management to fire whoever they don’t like- gays, transgender people, union supporters, etc. People depend on their jobs for healthcare and food and it’s sad that one bigot could ruin someone else’s life.

    • THIS: “I’ve worked at Starbucks for 9 years and almost every single queer person who has worked with me has been fired more quit because they couldn’t handle being constantly singled out.”

      IS WHY STARBUCKS AS A WHOLE should be called out as A WHOLE

  161. Starbucks is not an anti-gay, homophobic company. Period. No buts about it. To suggest otherwise is to try to damage one of the most LGBT-supportive, diverse corporations out there (more damage than a bad manager has done, locally), and THAT is counter-productive for LGBT workers, everywhere. Witness the respondents on this blog making idiotic ultimatums demanding personal emails about hypothetical future personnel actions or they will take their business elsewhere. Witness the respondents saying they will never go to Starbucks, again, and will “punish” stores that have absolutely nothing to do with the problem and may even be very LGBT-friendly. Perhaps they just want an excuse or don’t patronize Starbucks, anyway. Starbucks isn’t the culprit here – just the setting – but you’re post title has made Starbucks the scapegoat for the people who don’t bother to read, when the problem is the store manager.

    This story is about a bad manager – one who should be fired. Bad managers exist everywhere. Companies don’t like them anymore than customers do – especially when a bad manager is the public face of the company. This is about insensitive employees making private, internal matters public, without regard for their customers – employees who need training.

    If you REALLY want to do something about this, then print a copy of your open letter and go back to THAT STORE and put it in the customer feedback box, with your contact information attached. Be polite. While you are there, get the business card for the DISTRICT MANAGER of that store and send your open letter to the District Manager, with complete store information and links to your blog. Call the District Manager’s office and ask for the contact information for the REGIONAL MANAGER of that District, and send your open letter to the Regional Manager with complete store information and links to your blog. Including the Regional Manager is very important (because you may have witnessed the actions of a bad District Manager). Those are the people who will deal with the bad manager. They DO pay attention to customer feedback and what customers put in those comment boxes. They DO pay attention to customer correspondence at the district and regional levels. This is how you effect change, if you are serious about it. This is true, grassroots activism.

    I live in a bastion of southern conservatism. Off the top of my head, I know of two Starbucks store managers, several shift supervisors and at least 5 partners who are openly gay, in two districts in my local area, and that’s just the employees I know personally. I’m sure there are more. Starbucks treats the life partners of its gay employees just like the life partners of its hetero employees. They get full major medical coverage, and they are treated like any other family – absolutely equally. This is SO much more important, at a very real and practical level, than a bad manager at one store. Help them identify and get rid of a bad manager that they don’t want anymore than you do; don’t make them into an enemy of the LGBT community when they are not. There are many things to criticize about Starbucks. Being anti-gay and homophobic aren’t among them.

    “Jeffrey” may be no angel. You don’t know, one way or another, what he may have done to engender that kind of hostility in his co-workers – maybe nothing, but maybe something. The bottom line is that NO employee, gay or straight, deserves that kind of public humiliation and treatment. Hopefully, you would be as outraged if it were a hetero employee on the receiving end of that unprofessional manager’s behavior and the unprofessional public behavior afterwards by his former coworkers.

    Four in my family have been Starbucks partners for years, so I know the good AND THE BAD of it. Thank you for speaking up and not idly standing by.

    • Cara Gundersen

      Tom – I live in the town where this occurred and I did just what you said. I printed out the blog (comments and all, 45 pages) and I left it there for the manager or anyone else to look at. I got the name and contact info for the district manager (the boss of the woman who did this). I emailed her the link to this blog and I called her to tell her I had sent the email. I also sent a copy of my email to Starbucks corporate HQ. It has also been shared with the ACLU, Proud Ally and Give A Dmn Campaign, as well as on my personal Facebook wall.

    • Your argument is invalid. And actually fucking stupid as all get out. People dont get screamed at in public about about being straight. NOR ARE THEY EVER FIRED FOR IT. Gays and starights are NOT on an even playing field. This is a case of the dominant culture oppressing a historically opressed group. But yeah, IF people did get harrassed for being straight during a public firing I would be as upset, the problem with your’e stupid argument is that IT NEVER FUCKING HAPPENS.

      please take your self-rightous hetero false equilvalency and shove it.

  162. This is absolutely sick, I hope something is done about that disgusting woman! How dare she!
    I seriously dont think this is a problem of Starbucks but defiantly a problem to society, honestly.. she should be killed the bitch.

  163. Very disappointing to know that Starbucks would allow someone like that to be a Manager. Her actions were totally unacceptable, as were the actions of her co-workers.

  164. Lil Family Blog

    About 24 hours after we emailed Starbucks we got a (generic) response.

    “Thank you for your feedback and we will look into the situation.”

    But now…. it seems that the situation has reached the eyes of some higher ups. We look forward to hearing your resolutions and apologies.

    • Someone gave the store a one-star review on Yelp mentioning the incident. A huge number of people have posted a link to the blog on the Starbucks page.

      They are taking notice now.

      Please share if you see a resolution to this.

      Thank you for letting all of us know.

  165. Thank you for going up and talking to Jeffrey; that validation from a complete stranger almost certainly helped, a bit, make his day less terrible.

  166. For all I knew it may have very well been a district manager that was scolding him (although I would hope they would have more decorum).

    I didn’t know who the woman was that I referred to as the “Manager” all I knew was that she was his boss, and he had keys to the store. I did not want to wind up chasing my own tail, reporting it to the culprit.

    I hope that makes sense…

  167. Thank you Alison (and family) for standing up for equality and fighting the good fight!

  168. Which starbucks in Centereach is it? There are like three. I’d like to call and speak to the manager.

  169. Jessica, I suspect – I don’t know, of course, because how could I? – I suspect that this varies depending on where in the country you are and what the culture of the local stores is. An organization as big as Starbucks is will struggle to have a consistent corporate culture across the country, and as local Starbucks subcultures developed, they would have been extremely responsive to the personalities of the people involved in the developing … meaning that Starbucks in one area is likely to be far more accepting than Starbucks in other areas.

  170. I have to disagree with Jake.

    The very last thing Starbucks would want is a story like this going viral. I suggest skipping straight to the president of the company, and be as specific as you can about exactly which store this happened in (there are at least two in Centereach), the time, date, the names (or descriptions if you can’t remember names) of each person involved, but VERY specifically about the employee “Jeffery” and this manager.

    I have very little doubt that this manager will be contacted by HER manager, once that person’s manager is contacted, etc., etc. Sbx takes its public relations quite seriously, in fact spends millions on that very thing.

    Based on what I’ve read on your blog today, this manager is thoroughly in need of some sensitivity training, or an immediate demotion, whichever works best.

  171. I came across this post via Twitter, and Missy, all I can say is, “YOU GO, GIRL!” I am so glad and thankful that you wrote a letter to Starbucks. Jeffrey did not deserve that treatment AT ALL, and the fact that you, a total stranger, have reached out and taken a stand for him blows my mind…in the best possible way. While I was reading this post, my heart was sinking; all I could think was, “Is THIS the world we live in today? SERIOUSLY?” But then, as I kept reading your heartfelt words and comments (with the exception of Ellen Sue Sam Claire Patsy, whatever), it gave me a little pocket of hope for humanity. Compassion, people. COMPASSION. I don’t know you, but I am so proud of you and what you’ve sparked. I hope Jeffrey gets justice.

  172. Hopefully with the info you’ve given, Starbucks can investigate this. And I am glad you have reported this. We all handle these things differently and have varying degrees of comfort in confronting people. But for your and others’ future reference, the names and positions of those involved need to be given for any real action to be taken. You had every right, as an offended customer, and witness to an act of discrimination, to know the name of the manager, and the people involved in this incident who offended you as a customer and a queer person. You are a witness to this act of discriminaton and harrassment. Yes, they will all stick together and cover each other’s asses, that’s what employees often do. But you will be there to counteract that.

    To all my fellow queers reading this: We all have an obligation to stop letting ourselves and fellow queers be harrassed, belittled, and discriminated against. We all need to step up and speak out and do whatever it takes to stop what happens to one of our people. We have many straight allies, some of whom will speak up when they see this type of behavior, but it is up to us, really, to take on this responsibility.

  173. Thank you, for caring enough about another person to write this letter. May God bless you always with a kind heart and a soft word

  174. MISSY ALISON!!! MISSY ALISON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I adore you for your missive to Starbucks. They need to KNOW! That DRAGON of a “manager” needs to KNOW! The pecking HENS that chimed in ALL need to KNOW! Jeffrey, bless his heart, needs to know…

    the entire episode was reprehensible, incredible, unprofessional and disgusting. Starbucks should be mortified and offer the victim a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally lovely settlement, and, if deserving, a promotion to management, heading up a GLBTI sensitivity training program for their employees… or face a HUGE lawsuit.

    Never give up on loving and respecting yourself Jeffrey. I DOES get better!

    Now… Ms. Alison: I want to have you on my show this weekend. Are you game for it?? you can find me on facebook. Here’s a link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marcinhosavant

    I really want to speak with you about this incident. And to thank you for standing up! BRAVA!!!!! Please get in touch with me ASAP. I realize you’re no ‘activist’. Nor am I. But the truth is a stream that nurtures LIFE along its banks!

    Warm regards,

  175. I live RIGHT near that Starbucks and that made reading this even MORE upsetting to me. He totally has a case…and really hope Starbucks reads your letter and he contacts corporate and says something about this. It would be clear on investigation if any or all of those co-workers have hate in their hearts.
    I would be VERY surprised if corporate did NOT step in and do something in this case.

    Good for you for talking to him! I’m sure that made a big difference in his day. That feeling of humiliation could only have been compounded by the loneliness that follows such treatment without some validation or support.

  176. You are the scum of the earth- leave or change your thoughts on life.

    • Obviously I was being ignorant and replied before I read this. But, oh my gosh, I honestly love you. You stood up for people you don’t even know!

  177. I’m not sure if this is the exact way to go, but have you tried the Better Business Bureau? Their website is super easy to navigate and they take complaints very seriously. They will send it to the attention of the proper department within the corporation.

    I found this via a post on facebook. I don’t know you, I dont’ know Jeffrey, I don’t know the manager in question. I hope your actions bring results.

  178. Kevin Cureton

    Thank you Missy for your story! We must change the world so people like Jeffery don’t have to suffer daily until they are driven from their jobs.

  179. Warren Nelson

    We’ve never met, but the events you describe so well made me email Starbucks with a link to this blog and a polite question.

  180. I am horrified by this. This took place at the Starbucks in my hometown. I go there frequently. I have printed out this blog – along with 45 pages of comments – with the intention of confronting this woman with it, to find out who HER boss is, and to make her aware that a LOT of people are aware of this incident and that it is speading like wildfire. I have shared it on my Facebook wall and have asked my friends to do so as well. By the end of the day, I WILL have notified her supervisor of this.

  181. This blog post brought me to tears. It makes me think of our behavior back in the 1950s towards African Americans. Has this country learned nothing from our mistakes? This makes me sick.

  182. This type of behavior is tragic. It makes me sick to see that the bigotry continues & so publicly. This letter begs the question for me however, why wasn’t anything said at the time? Why didn’t someone stand up for this kid in the middle of it all & put the women in their place?

  183. I applaud you for all I have read.. How disgusting that this person was treated in such a way. Your hug would have made this person feel so much better.. this letter will elevate him! Please do let us know if there is a comeback from your letter… I would very much like to know how it was handled!

  184. I just sent them a link to this blog along with my own letter coming from a very loyal Starbucks customer who also happens to be Wife of Shelly and mother to 4 amazing, tolerant and accepting children.

  185. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. I wish Jeffery the best and hope Starbucks makes some changes at that location.

  186. I read this while sitting at a Starbucks and drinking their coffee–and suddenly I’m feeling sick to my stomach.

  187. This is absolutely horrible. Thank you for relaying this story though.. I am already sharing it with others.

  188. this is stupid. Sure, these people shouldn’t have been giving that guy a hard time because of his sexual orientation, but whining to the corporate office isn’t going to change anything because this had nothing to do with the company. This is a case of misplaced anger toward the company, when it was in fact agents of that company that perpetrated the offense. granted, it was the work environment that brought these people together and gave them the opportunity for this ridicule to take place, but this ugliness could have just as easily reared its head in a public place, or an academic institution. When people are forced to be together in any environment, an unfortunate reality is that some people are highly intolerant of others. Although the act was deplorable, I do not believe the company to be responsible for it.

    • Saddened in Cali

      Actually as they’re a corporate environment, and this took place at their establishment, it is their job to handle it. As this occurred at a work place, there are RULES and LAWS that protect employees, so she has every right to take this to corporate, it’s the only way this woman will be fired. She’s the only person speaking up at this time, but I’m certain Starbucks does not want to lose business thanks to the inappropriate behavior of employees, so they need to be made aware, so they can protect their own business interests, prevent being fined or sued etc.

    • Any company is responsible for the action of its employees. And a responsible company will respond by removing those employees from their payroll. I don’t think anyone is saying that Starbucks The Corporation is evil and homophobic. What’s being advocated is that Starbucks The Corporation flex whatever policies it has and prove that it is a decent, tolerant, non-discriminatory place to work. And that anyone who is employed by the Corporation is expected to also be decent, tolerant, and non-discriminatory. Starbucks is expected to do what’s right, and by that measure they will prove themselves as a decent company. If they ignore the problem or stand behind the employees who were harassing another employee, then they lose the moral high ground and any hope of legitimacy as a forward-thinking company.

    • The company should absolutely be responsible for its employees behavior!

    • Cara Gundersen

      DA – the point is that termination based on sexual orientation is illegal. I think we all realize that the actions of this one woman do not necessarily reflect those of Starbucks at large. However, she should not be in a management position if she is not going to carry out corporate policies OR if she is going to break the law on the job. Starbucks is accountable for their employees while those employees are on the clock working for them. So yes, corrective action must be taken against this woman. If people do NOT speak up, things like this fall through the cracks and are allowed to happen. Starbucks does not tolerate this kind of behavior so they need to know it has happened and correct the situation so that it doesn’t happen again.

  189. I live in Seattle, about 10 min from Starbucks Corp Offices. I printed a copy of your blog post and will drop it off there today. I hope it helps.

  190. Only a day later and I’m reading this via Facebook. Your message is spreading like wildfire and hopefully we all get to hear about Starbucks’ response.

  191. Ok, so the woman writing the article was so ‘disgusted’ that her daughter had to hear this…yeat she stuck around for the entire 15-20 minutes exposing her daughter to this “bigotry?”

    Also, talking about your daugher’s tennis camp is different than talking about your sexual exploits. Remember that sexual harrasment goes in every direction. Any talk of a sexual nature that would make anyone uncomfortable is deemed sexual harrassment among other things.

    So, the fact that he was scolded by the “manager” and told that nobody wanted to hear about it may have been true. Not knowing the entire history it’s hard to pass judgement…especially considering that even what you did hear did not sound objectionable, but only cruel.

    • This comment is the perfect example of heternormativity.

    • Where does the author say they were unhappy about him discussing him “sexual exploits”? That’s quite an assumption you’re making, since she said he had been talking about “who he was dating.” If you assume talk of dating includes talk of sex, then you’ve got a dirty mind.

    • “Ok, so the woman writing the article was so ‘disgusted’ that her daughter had to hear this…yeat she stuck around for the entire 15-20 minutes exposing her daughter to this “bigotry?””

      yes, it is called a “life lesson.” It was a perfect opportunity to let her child observe this behavior, and then afterwards use the time on the ride home to explain why that behavior was wrong. Commonly, this practice is known as “parenting.” Quickly becoming a lost art, but still occasionally used. To shelter her child from such behavior is not only unfair to the child, but creates a sense of false reality where everything is gumdrops and lollipops.

      “Also, talking about your daugher’s tennis camp is different than talking about your sexual exploits. Remember that sexual harrasment goes in every direction. Any talk of a sexual nature that would make anyone uncomfortable is deemed sexual harrassment among other things.”

      Already covered – but I will reiterate that talking about who you are dating (not what you are doing with them) is no more personal than the women talking about who they are dating… or what their children are doing.

      “So, the fact that he was scolded by the “manager” and told that nobody wanted to hear about it may have been true. Not knowing the entire history it’s hard to pass judgement…especially considering that even what you did hear did not sound objectionable, but only cruel.”

      No, being told that PUBLICLY is known as being hypocritical. If “nobody” wants to hear about it, then berating him in front of CUSTOMERS is a contradiction. If he were fired for this, then the district manager or manager that was speaking should also have been fired. And quite honestly, and PROFESSIONAL manager would have had a one-on-one private conversation with Jeffrey, not a three-on-one confrontation in the main seating area.

      Oh, and ANY cruelty by a manager is not only objectionable by nature, in most business setting it is grounds for termination; often without prior notification.

    • YOU assume that all gays come to work talking about their “sexual exploits” as you put it. You don’t know that’s what happened. But even if it did.. the strait kids NEVER brag about their last lay now do they? If you think the staright 20-somethings keep their private lives totally private at work you’re fucking deluded. o wait …you are fucking deluded.

  192. This has made me really upset. I have retweeted the link . Good on you for getting things started,

    I do hope someone finds Jeffery soon or that he knows this message is spreading.

    Waits with anticipation for a while and guess I will miss my strawberries and cream frappucino for a while.

  193. To Jeffrey: I hope somehow you are aware of this blog and reading it. I hope it gives you some measure of comfort to know that what happened to you has outraged and angered so many people. It will not be tolerated. Please contact your local gay organizations and get the name of a good attorney. This was clearly discrimination. The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and other organizations will be very interested in this case. Know that many of us stand with you Jeffrey, you are not alone.

  194. I really hope that Starbucks addresses this issue. I know that my branch is very inclusive and would NEVER discriminate in this manner. Those employees need to be taught some RESPECT!

  195. How disgusting! Who are these judgmental Starbucks vultures who did this?I want to see faces with names. They deserve for the whole world to know who they are so they will not be eligible for hire ANYWHERE!

  196. How could you sit there for 20 minutes letting those homophobes bash this kid? You had a responsibility to intervene in the homophobia, not just mommy the kid afterward. A letter to Starbucks vs. direct personal intervention is NOT politics.

  197. Saddened in Cali

    A public firing, I’m sorry, a public request that he put in his notice that was not needed, seriously? That’s just the first layer of inappropriate and firing worthy offense this woman perpetrated. AFAIK even while using the careful term “politics”… you still can’t be fired/asked to leave for having an opinion. No matter how she said it this woman was wrong, and all that took part in the harassment, and wrongful termination of this employee need to be terminated and placed on a “un–hireable” list. Honestly if she was so offended by his discussion of his life, you can’t separate him from the crowd, you have to make a rule that NO ONE can talk about their personal lives at work. She was stupid on so many levels. =(

  198. @Jesse: You are assuming that he was talking about his sexual exploits. You don’t know exactly what he was talking about that made these people react this way. The point is the way they acted was EXTREMELY INAPPROPRIATE. Someone can mention a boyfriend or girlfriend and not be committing sexual harassment. However what these people did was work place harassment and bullying, which ARE illegal.

  199. I have been a devout consumer of Starbucks for years, I have had Starbucks from California to New York and back again. I have always believed that Starbucks was a “good” corporation, I buy Starbucks coffee in the cup and in the bag, it is my choice of coffee brands. I admit to it freely. However, after reading this I can only sit aghast wondering how many other incidents like this have happen within the corporation of liquid dreaminess, it could very well be that my idea of Starbucks will be one of a nightmare. To think that anyone could be treated with so much discrimination right in public and be ‘okay’ with it. I have had my own incidents of discrimination but that it happened that way, don’t they know that the evil power of intolerance belongs in a dark back room full of heavy breathing and whimpers of pain?

    I want to see and know how Starbucks deals with not just this situation, but how it WILL deal with this in the future as well. The last thing I plan on doing is rushing out for my favorite blend if I know the last thing they will care about is equality!

  200. @jesse

    i know you’re trying to be objective about this situation, but wouldn’t you stick around to see how it transpired? the manager clearly had beef with the employee’s sexual orientation. i don’t care what he said, be it about his midnight rendezvous. she has no grounds to fire him in that manner (in front of other employees and customers). that’s tasteless in so many ways.

  201. Zach Sullivan

    Thanks for writing this and especially for offering the young man some comfort…I am getting in touch with my friends in Centereach and sharing this with them in hopes that they will think twice about buying there again.

  202. Hello,

    I was wondering if you could leave more specific information about the location of the store? I work for The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading organization in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. As many of you may be aware, environmental rejection puts LGBTQ youth at risk for suicide. Sexual minority youth are 8 times as likely to attempt suicide then their straight peers. This is NOT because they identify as LGBTQ but because society is based off of a system of heteronormativity. I would love to offer this Starbucks team a free professional development workshop on the power of their words, warning signs of suicide and how actions can put young people at risk. With more information about the location I can reach out to them to offer this life saving resource.

  203. It too me awhile to finish reading this as I sat here sipping my coffee. I am so many different kinds of sad and mad right now, I can’t even begin to express it.

    Whoever this manager was she had less than zero management skills. Negative management skills. Who knew that was even possible? The things she did and said were wrong, and to do them in front of customers, including small children, was beyond wrong. So many kinds of wrong going on.

    I think I would have been tempted to prop my phone against my coffee cup and start recording so the “non-fired” Jefferey would have a video clip of the conversation to approach higher management with.

  204. Lil Family Blog

    Starbucks has reached out to us.

    Please see our update here: https://lilfamilyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/starbucks-update-part-1/

  205. That is dreadful. I hope that Starbucks Corporate comes down on that “manager” like a ton of bricks. She’s a bigot and so are her employees. Replace them all – and put Jeffrey in charge of the store. That would be justice.

  206. mjvt84@gmail.com

    Thank you for writing this. Jeff is a friend of mine and I was horrified to hear what happened. Very glad someone from our community was there to witness it and say something! That kind of work environment is absolutely disgusting. That store should be ashamed of themselves.

  207. The district manager for the Starbucks region that includes Centereach is Alexis Vertucci and her phone number is 917-658-9326. Please call her and let her know that this is unacceptable.

  208. I think your anger is a bit misplaced…

    In this day and age, companies, especially one as huge as Star Bucks can not afford laws suits based on discrimination of any kind. I highly doubt its “their” policy to treat a worker in such a manner based on thier sexual preference. With so many franchise locations, it is EXTREMELY difficult to keep tabs on EVERY single employee. You shouldn’t judge a company based on one bad experience. Obviously that women is a prejudice c&%t and deserves to be fired.

    Now, what you should have done and most likely would have gotten better results, was contact the owner of the franchise its self. This is the actual person that needs to know how their business is being ran and can do something about it.

    Keep in mind, something boycotting is not the immediate answer. You not just effecting the company, but also all the innocent people that work for the company that had nothing to do with that experience.

  209. Lil Family Blog

    Starbucks has reached out to us.
    Please see our update here: https://lilfamilyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/starbucks-update-part-1/

  210. Sasha Johnson

    The fact that the “manager” spoke about him, and his employ with any other employee is a violation of his rights, no matter his age, sex, race, or creed.

  211. This is completely unacceptable. If there isn’t already a rule in the corporate handbook against this blatant bigotry and discrimination, they need to make one RIGHT NOW.

  212. This is so horrible and I feel so badly for Jeffery and it’s so awesome to know that he has you in his corner!!! Spreading this all that I can as it is truly awful. Truly.

  213. That’s absolutely horrific. I don’t think I could’ve sat and listened to all that without speaking up. That said, I’m straight, married, and appear to be white, so I realize it’s easier for me to jump up and get involved and indignant than it can be for others.

    I hope Starbucks makes this right, quickly. Those three horrible people should be fired, and Jeffrey should get his job back with a promotion and a raise.

  214. No one should EVER be spoken down to at their work place esp in front of customers!! I have also seen another incident where a manager was yelling at a barista again in front of customers. If management can’t manage their emotions and beliefs then they should be fired! How can we trust them to care for a business that is not theirs. I don’t care what a person’s sexual orientation is, what political party the subscribe to or what their religious beliefs are every person is to be treated with dignity and repect. I feel if I had been there I would have stood up and told that manager to shut up because she was really making herself look stupid and foolish!

    Jeffrey, I send my hugs and prayers out to you!

  215. Please do not let this matter go untouched.
    Regardless of your feelings about sexuality, no one deserves to be singled out, degraded, publicly humiliated, and then fired for anything. If this overheard conversation involved race or religion there would be no contest as to how abhorrent this manager’s behavior was but because the conversation involved sexuality, there is less of an outcry from the majority of the population. I ask that you please send this to as many people as possible regardless of their moral or religious beliefs on sexuality. It is wrong to be treated like that for ANY reason. If it helps, think of this situation taking place because someone was Muslim or Jewish or Hindi and the people around them didn’t like hearing about their religion or what they did at their place of worship that day. Would you still stand for the manager treating them in such a way? How about if they said comments like:
    “I’m done. I’m done. Nobody wants to hear it anymore. I don’t care who he is worshiping. I don’t want to hear about it.”
    “He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned Muslim yesterday.”
    “He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned black yesterday.”
    “I used to listen to it, now I’m just sick of hearing about it.”
    “Nobody does, but it’s over now. You won’t have to hear about it anymore.”
    I am in no way equating religion, whether in general or specifically, to that of being homosexual or bisexual. Simply stating that in terms of how this situation was handled by those in power, this would have been VERY different if religion or race was involved and that is just unacceptable.

    Keep in mind this is an outside observer’s view. She was not involved in the discussion/dispute in any manner, so the fact that a customer is the one who witnessed this is even more appalling.

  216. What a wonderful women having the guts and giving her time to speak out for someone and not have that ‘not my business’ attitude, ignorance is not bliss! She should have free coffee for life and that poor guy should become that tw*t of a ‘managers’ boss then kick her arse untill she resembles coffee granuals! I’m not going into a Starbucks again…Costa Coffee rules!!

  217. Glad to see that Starbucks has made contact. I live in South Carolina where homophobia is rampant, but our local Starbucks are diverse, friendly, and hard-working. A few openly gay employees work there and seem to be very happy. So, as you mention, this behavior is out of character for the corporation. I’m confident they will do the right thing!

  218. Disgusting and awful! Good for you for taking a stand and doing something about it, Missy!

  219. My main point of my above comment is directed at those who may brush this off because they do not “agree” with homosexuality for moral or religious reasons. I think it is sad that things like this will be ignored by such a large part of the population simply because they do not agree with that lifestyle.

  220. oh shit i really did not need to cry at work, but thank you so much for your kindness and compassion and extending yourself to this kid as you did. the world needs more people like you.
    marcus
    san francisco

  221. “She was going to sleep soundly that night.”

    That right there probably turns my stomach the most out of everything in this (very well-written, BTW) letter – it breaks my heart to know that there is STILL so much ignorant intolerance in the world. :(

  222. beheadingbridezillaEcho27

    This is awful. I am not gay, but I will not be purchasing anything at Starbucks until they make some public statement or apology. I think it’s very important for those of us who don’t identify as GLBT stand up for our fellow brothers and sisters. Let’s show the bigots that it’s not only a “minority” fighting for gay rights. It’s a majority of people who believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity.

  223. I’ve sent a letter to Starbucks expressing my concern. I know that they’ve already gone to press emphasizing their zero-tolerance policy, so you can feel free to enjoy your caramel macchiato in peace. :)

  224. I’m speechless – I can’t believe that this type of abuse occurred in the plain sight of the public. I felt the need to share this via Facebook – I too, am a loyal Starbucks customer. I too speak their language. I too have been discriminated against, but not to the extent that this barrista was. We still have so much work ahead of us…thank you for sharing this, I really do hope that Starbucks does right by Jeffrey.

  225. I live around there. who else wants to picket and boycott?

  226. Wow, this is awful, but I am so glad you took action. I can’t threaten not going there, as I don’t care for their coffee anyway (sorry) and I like to support local businesses, but I will help spread the word.

  227. This letter has gone viral already! I live in San Francisco, and it has been posted on mine, and the walls of many people that I know, some as far as Canada! Homophobia is not okay on any level, especially in the workplace. There are laws in this country that protect Jefferey from such hatred and bigotry. I have to say, you are a stronger woman that I would ever be, since I am a gay man born and raised in Boston (I know how the hatred spreads like wildfire on the East Coast) and I would not have been able to sit there and keep my mouth shut! And I probably would have contacted the district office as it was happening. Please update on the result of what has transpired. I would really like to know if those bitches are filing for unemployment!

  228. Starbucks makes really good coffee, have good service, and the coffees I’ve had from them have been thoroughly enjoyed (I’m a Grande latte man), but I’m not a Starbucks fan. Not really, in fact in the last 10 years or so I’ve been in their shops less than 20 times.

    Also, I’m not gay.

    But this is very wrong, and I hope the manager (and the rest of her team) are appropriately disciplined, or kindly asked to go find a different job, and the employee re-instated in a different store.
    Society will never be @ harmony/ truly inclusive and peaceful if one dominant group continues its self-righteous animosity towards other helpless group.

  229. That was one of the best letters, and one of the best ways of handling that situation, I’ve ever seen.

    Thank you for showing me it is possible to be a moderate, to stand up for what is right without being an extremist to either side.

    Wild applause.

  230. What an amazingly well written sentiment. As a former employee of Starbucks I can attest that what you witnessed was totally incorrect. It is a very tolerant company, however sometimes, as you noticed, the people who work there don’t always get that. I hope you get a reply :)

  231. Terrible instance, but come on now….it’s STARBUCKS. In CENTEREACH.

    This is a company that forces customers to use its own pseudo-orwellian language. Tolerant is not the first word to pop into my head when I think of Starbucks.

    And no offense Long Islanders, but Centereach is a dump. Not as bad as Coram, but it’s not the shop in Islip

  232. it seems you were heard. great job speaking up.

  233. New Jersey law makes it illegal to discriminate against an employee because of her/his sexual orientation and/or gender identity, as well as race, sex, etc. If you can contact Jeffrey, please recommend that he contact the Civil Rights Division of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and file a complaint against Starbucks: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/dcr/law.html. The laws that we work so hard to get passed are less than worthless if we don’t put them to use when they are so blatantly violated.

  234. I really hope those employees are dealt with accordingly. I know my Starbucks isn’t anything like that. I’m sure IRS difficult not to sometimes talk about your personal life while at work, but it’s utterly ridiculous for that woman to berate Jeffrey for his personal life while everyone else not only talks about theirs but then rag on him in the meantime. That is wholly unprofessional and also disgusting. I’m not sure I could have sat through that without making a scene, or rather, more of one.

    So Starbucks, what’s it going to be?

  235. I agree that the way the conversation was help was inappropriate. These types of “meetings” should never be held on the floor.

    However, it’s possible that the reasoning behind the disciplinary actions are not what any of us think. We do not know the whole story.

    This DOES NOT condone the behavior of the women. But I think that before throwing around the idea that he was fired for being gay, one should consider all the options.

    It’s very possible the young man was constantly talking about his love life, or that he was caught dating someone in the store, perhaps management. The point is, while it is a possibility that he was “fired for being gay”, the actual reason in unknown.

    Ultimately, the young man was wronged with their behavior. I trust that Starbucks will look into this and right the wrongs.

  236. I want to personally tell this lady that she is amazing. By hugging that boy, she did the great thing of falling out of the mediocre life she claims to live. I hope she reads the good comments because she is now one of my heroes.

  237. Thank you so much for writing this!!!
    The behavior exhibited by the *manager* and coworkers towards Jeffrey was inexcusable. I hope Starbucks takes swift disciplinary action towards them, and that Jeffrey gets the apology and redress he deserves!!! I’ve never read this blog before, but I’m so glad I found it!!! Thank you so much, ladies, for standing up for this person, the world does indeed need more people like you :)

  238. The lady who fired Jefferey needs to be terminated AND she should have to issue him a public apology before she goes.

    It is illegal to fire one employee for something that everyone does. She should have made the decision to warn everyone who talks about their personal/dating life, not single out the one gay guy at the store who does it by firing him. Jefferey will have no problem fighting this in court, and I hope he does just so this lady can be made a public example of how NOT to act as a manager/leader within a giant corporation.

    Starbucks better act on this quick, before word gets out that they let homophobes make HR decisions.

  239. Just a short “+1″.

    Michael Elbert
    Vienna, Austria, Europe

  240. Boosting the signal. Thank you for standing up for this poor guy. I know a lot of people wouldn’t have bothered. And you did it with eloquence and heart.

  241. Just goes to show that bullying is not just a problem in the schools, doesn’t it? It can happen among adults right in your own neighborhood Starbucks. And people wonder where kids learn this? I’ll be Sue Ellen or whatever his name is, is raising some nice little bullies in his/her household.

  242. It’s a great letter, Missy, albeit a little long so they may not even get to your point. I am familiar with the store in Centereach, having lived there and taught there (at Dawnwood) for many years.

    What does surprise me, however, is that you did not say something. I think it is terrific that you consoled “Jeffrey” and I commend you for that. But, when you heard those vultures hawking about, YOU should have stood up and admonished them. How can we teach our kids to stand up for injustice when we see it when we are not willing to do so ourselves?

    Don’t take this the wrong way. I think what you did was great with the letter. You would have made a much larger impact had you told this manager that not only did you think her behavior was disgraceful, but that you intend to write her up and see that action is taken against her for the way she treated this young man. You should have gotten HER name and HER rank in the company and made HER sweat bullets all day long that she was about to be turned in for a sexual harassment charge. Put HER in Jeffrey’s shoes.

    The poor kid probably will end up quitting if from nothing else than unbearable conditions and humiliation.

    Also, I agree with Jake WAY up there, that you are reaching too high on the corporate ladder to get any grass root action done. I wouldn’t send this to HR where they would look to squash it. I would send this to the store, district and regional managers. Then, if you get no satisfaction, take it a little higher. I would definitely shorten the letter though….especially the beginning. You let them know you are a satisfied happy customer…now, get to the meat and potatoes. Most PR execs get very bored, very quickly when reading “fan mail”.

  243. I am so sorry to hear that you had to witness this. Prejudice aside for a moment, the actions by the manager or HR or whomever she was are unacceptable. I am so DISGUSTED with the structure, methods and practices of HR departments I encounter. It is utterly disgusting and more about cliques and shaming than actually making employee experiences great. I could spit bullets about how I feel about how some HR departments operate. It was totally unprofessional for them to fire or suggest that he he leave (so that he cannot get unemployment…oldest and slimiest trick in the book) and do this all on the floor. Customers should not even see this occur.

    Now back to the prejudice. I hope this kid pursues this further because if they cannot specifically cite things that he did to violate his employment agreement, it will be clear that it was done because of prejudice. I lived through racist and sexist workplaces my entire 20s. I don’t know the experience of homophobia personally as I am straight but I know hell and prejudice in the workplace. I truly do. No one deserves the hell of prejudice for any classification they may have, including this kid for being gay. It is not right and I am SICK of it.

    I love Starbucks as a company because my experiences have been great as a customer and when they were not, the company rectified it quickly. They seem to have a good company culture. I have been to branches in many states and several countries and never saw anything like this occur. I am sure that Starbucks will do the right thing and look into this because I cannot imagine a good company would allow people with such garbage attitudes and ignorant mindsets to ruin their good name. Thanks for bringing this to light.

  244. Saw this on tumblr and the story broke my heart! I can’t believe this happened out in the open in front of customers and the reason is unlawful! no one deserves to be treated this way. I hope this guy gets a chance at switching stores, and forget demotion for the “manager”, fire her immediately! Hate is not welcome in the work place and giving her a slap on the wrist would not be enough to stop her from doing it to someone else.

  245. As an HR professional working on my PhD in the field, I have to say that the experience that you described at the particular Starbucks you were at is extremely inappropriate if not down right illegal. If there was an issue with Jeffery it should number 1 been done behind closed doors and not in front of customers let alone other employees. The manager, if that is what she was, should be reprimanded for her actions and in my personal opinion terminated for gross misconduct herself. Her actions should not be tolerated. Not only did she mishandle the situation she most likely lost customers to her location. I feel that you did the right thing by putting this virally out there but also feel that it needs to be brought the regional directors and the corporate offices attention.

  246. Wow . . . that’s horrifying. I can say that I’ve never witnessed anything like that at my local Starbucks where a young man, whom I presume is gay based on the bumper stickers on his car and his affect, is treated just the same as any of the other barristas. But I have personal experience with an Ikea in Northern Virginia (another company that I’d always considered to be forward looking and gay-friendly) firing my gay brother for what they called “passive sexual harassment” because his flamboyance made other employees “uncomfortable.” So, whatever the overall attitude of corporate may be, there are always cases where it’s not reflected in individual franchises and stores – my brother was unwilling to fight and ultimately moved out of that area of the country. I’m so glad you’re willing to speak up for Jeffrey.

  247. While I appreciate the letter, it isn’t clear what, if anything you did in the moment. Did you ask for the manager? Is it possible that there was someone there at a higher level of management?

  248. Starbucks is generally a tolerant organization; that woman was a bad choice of an employee. The CEO, Howard Schultz, set up the company to be gay-friendly, even extending benefits to live-in boyfriends/girlfriends/partners because so many gay people cannot marry. If memory serves, Schultz has a gay relative, perhaps a son, who inspired this; but, don’t quote me on that. If he heard about this, he would be going through the roof.

    However, this letter is not the way to handle this incident. Starbucks will, most likely, never read this blog or the letter sent to them. Every single Starbucks has a card for the manager and a card for the district manager. In this case, both people should have been contacted with your concerns. Even if the woman who was berating him WAS the manager, the fact that someone called her on her BS and was going to call the DM on her would probably put her in her place, at least for a bit. Starbucks WILL FIRE people for discrimination.

    Corporate probably gets hundreds, if not thousands, of letters every week. A store manager maybe fields 5 calls/week, a DM maybe 25-50, depending on district size, and all of the DMs I have encountered actually read and respond. These are the people that have to directly answer to corporate for the actions of their store and district. It probably isn’t too late to go in and get those numbers and take care of this in a way that WILL be noticed.

    I feel your anger, too. I’m telling you this so that you can take the opportunity to make absolutely sure you’re heard!

    • One way or another, the message WAS received.

  249. I hope you will post a follow up. While I live in the Seattle area, obviously, I’ve gone into Starbucks when I’m travelling and that includes New York. I’d really like to know if the corporation responds on this. Reading your account of this was very upsetting.

  250. A company is only as good as the people it hires. In this case, these horrors of management have sullied Starbuck’s name and reputation. I’m sure this wasn’t the only incident, as that type of behavior is usually caused by tacit approval and no repercussions. I’m sure no one has ever stood up to these morons and corporate has never been notified. If nothing happens as a result of this, then it is indeed a failure of the corporation, but the damage to this young man has already been done. No one should be subject to that in the workplace and no customer should have to witness it.

  251. Stephanie Shewbert

    Please forward this letter to every news outlet possible. That was downright illegal. No matter what the supposed “offense” that caused his firing was, it was obvious that his firing was due to his sexual orientation, which is discrimnation and should not be allowed to happen.

  252. HUGE kudos to you for writing that letter! I hate when associates are ‘talked to’ on the floor (period, it’s just rude to everyone) and the fact that he was ganged up, fired and humiliated publicly is wrong no matter what. Also, I have worked with many gay people over the years, some of who have been dear friends, and their dating stories are usually much less traumatic then my straight friends!

    I applaud you seeing a terrible wrong and speaking out against it.

  253. I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said by multiple people in the comments above, but I’m leaving this note to say that I’m sharing this with 164 friends on Facebook–right after the post I just made about Neil Patrick Harris at the Tonys.

  254. Concerned employee

    As a Starbucks partner I find this appalling. It is also illegal. I can assure you that situations of this sort are taken VERY seriously here. I do not work in a department where I can get directly involved but I have submitted the incident into our internal business ethics and compliance where it will be routed directly to our legal department. With an incident such as this getting fired will only be the beginning of that managers long legal nightmare as she can be held personally liable for any damages Starbucks might incur through a lawsuit from Jeffery.

  255. (This may have been covered in other people’s notes, but there are so many of them. I just wanted to put my $.02 in, as a former barista. (Best job I ever had.))
    Not to say that you shouldn’t write corporate, because you should. But their hands are a little tied because of the way they structured the company. New York and California are the only two places that have (last I heard) had to resort to unionizing because of the treatment the employees get, but because Sbux was naive and idealistic, they wanted to promote from the ground up and they wanted every region to be reflective of itself, and sometimes that’s not good. They can’t seem to understand that people aren’t always good, and that not everywhere is Seattle.
    If you want to make an impression, talk to the district manager, and if that doesn’t work go up to regional. Those people have more power over what’s going on at the local level. That bull wouldn’t fly in Seattle, let me tell you, and if Howard saw it he’d bring down the Apocalypse.

  256. I’ve shared this blog post via bot Twitter and Facebook. I added the following to my Facebook:

    “My dear Facebook followers, please take a few minutes to read this, comment on the WRITER’S wordpress blog, and then share it. If this is happening on Long Island, NY you can only guess where else this travesty is taking place in the land of the free and the home of he brave. Namaste. ”

    We cannot be silent. If we don’t say it the rocks are gonna cry out! We cannot be silent in the face of bigotry, hatred, and bullying! NEVER AGAIN

  257. Hi everyone … I saw this via Facebook … and have to say that after working in the Corporate American Sewage Tank for the last 20 years no matter what a company’s documented policy or anything, all it takes is ONE BAD MANAGER to make an employee’s work experience and life hell. In my opinion, what Starbuck’s does with this complaint is what matters. As for those other catty bitches, well, that’s what they are. Catty bitches. Some people just suck (and I haven’t read up on the next posting).. FYI, I’ve been in a relationship with my wife for the last 27 years and we have a 14 year old daughter, who has two moms legally. I work in San Francisco, and while I’ve never been bullied for being gay, I have been bullied at work by people that are just assholes.

  258. I am completely shocked by this situation and am literally shaking with anger. I can’t believe this happened in 2011 and at a Starbucks. Not only is it illegal but the fact that it was done on the floor in front of customers and loud enough that you were able to hear what was going on word for word it sounds as if their HR Manager needs a bit of HR Training herself. Not only is she a bigot but she’s a complete moron who has no idea how to do her job. Starbucks had better do the right thing here and let go of each of those employees ASAP and I agree you need to be specific time, date, address of store and if you know their names put those down too. I shared this on my Facebook and Twitter and I’m thinking of doing a video blog about it anything I can do to help. I’m a NJ native just moved to Stamford CT and I will not have this happen right in my backyard. I’m appalled and embarrassed. I will def think twice before choosing Starbucks again if nothing is done about this and I’m a HUGE fan of Starbucks I’m like you I will go out of my way to get coffee from them.

    Please keep us up to date on what happens if you hear anything from Starbucks, also send this to the local newspaper in Long Island I think they’d like to know what’s happening in their home area.

  259. He should be thanking her, for ending the humiliation. At least he won’t have to be harassed day in and out by those ugly people. He should sue these people. I don’t think that Starbucks should be the one to take the blame — unless they take no action on those who harassed this man — but these women should definitely be punished to the fullest extent of the law. They should be humiliated, too, but I guess we’re beyond ye olden days of throwing rotten fruit.

    I’m grateful that you ran outside to console him. It’s miserable to be humiliated and then feel like no one watching is on your side. I’m so, so glad you were there for him that day.

  260. Well done. This letter is so well written and detailed, and above all, fair. I hope that Starbucks sees this, and all of the feedback both here and on Facebook. The underlying reason for the employee being humiliated like that was foul, but to treat ANY employee in such a way is unacceptable. Even for valid criticism, such a discussion needs to take place in private, never within hearing of customers. Never. Thank you for taking the time to do this, and please keep us posted on any feedback you receive.

    Also, the above poster slamming Centereach is hardly helpful. I don’t care if this incident took place in BumF— Egypt, it’s unacceptable.

  261. Thanks for sharing this Missy – I’m another longtime Starbucks customer (in-store, grocery store coffee, online, etc…) – some of the shine’s gone off over the last year or so with their insistence on making your choices Pike’s Blend, Pike’s Blend, or Pike’s Blend – someone above noted an overall shift toward conservative, homogeneous ideas, and I hope this manager isn’t reflecting some new trend toward intolerance for diversity and personal choice!

    I think she’s simply a really bad manager (and human being) and strongly hope Starbucks is swift to get their logo off her uniform and that of her minions in the store. And I’ll be sad if I have to stop buying Starbucks products – but until I hear that she is no longer employed by them, along with a public affirmation FROM Starbucks that she in no way reflects their official policy or unofficial beliefs, I can’t spend anymore money with them.

    And while you’re at it, Starbucks, please remind your managers that screaming at your employees about *anything* in front of customers and their children (or gossiping about them) makes your coffee taste sour.

  262. thank you for speaking out! We need more people like you in the world!

  263. Starbucks; This is unacceptable. Human kindness is the greatest gift we have to share. Step up. Find this young man and make sure he does not have a blemish on his employment record,and find him another place at Starbucks. Find the woman who handled this so badly and send her to school. She has lessons to learn. Take care of this.

  264. Debbie Scribner

    Outrageous ! That woman needs to be FIRED ! I would stop going to Starbucks if they kept someone like her on staff !

  265. Why are people so quick to believe everything they read? Let it not go unnoticed this woman refers to herself as having a three year old daughter with two mommys. WELL HELLO. And she seems to have been able to recount a helluva lot of this alleged conversation/altercation she claims to have witnessed. The bottom line – this is ONE person’s view of something she claims to have happened. If it were so egregious, where’s Jeffrey’s voice? I’d bet money this woman witnessed something minor and is blowing it way out of proportion for some public recognition. After all, the first half of her novel is all about what a loyal customer she is….eventually she gets around to what she claims happened. Look, people… unless you were there and witnessed the events, don’t necessarily believe that one woman’s account is the gospel truth.

    • and dont be so quick to say it isnt true. like you said, we weren’t there, meaning you weren’t either. also i do not get your point “let it not go unnoticed this woman refers to herself as having a three year old daughter with two mommys”? whats your point? and i think stuff like that is not something you easily forget. and she did mention things that Jeffrey said as well. i do not think she is blowing this occurance out of proportion, i think you are trying to belittle the situation.this is a letter, not a novel. and she takes the first “half” (which is really a paragraph) of the LETTER to show how loyal she is to also show how shocked she is by this woman’s actions. she trusted starbucks and this event was a betrayal of hers (and many others) trust. look, pgalaustx… unless you were there and witnessed the events, dont belittle this very big issue. why the hell would someone want to make this up? why would they go through so much trouble? how about this: quit being a jerk

  266. Adam O'Rourke

    Thank you.

  267. ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE!!! All three of the employees that participated in this “hatefest” should be fired! My heart just breaks for this young man :(

  268. I saw this link on Starbucks FB page. They have seen this, they have read it, now lets hope they fix it. Thank you for being a caring soul and doing what’s right.

  269. Wow…I work at a Starbucks location in florida and I know three of my male co-workers are gay. I may not agree with the lifestyle but they are some of the greatest people I have worked with and I keep my thoughts to myself if the topic comes up in a morale, religious, or political discussion. I am proud to work at Starbucks but I am mortified at what I read in this letter. Though I wouldn’t agree with the life style if one of my friends(co-workers) wanted to discuss their personal life, beliefs and politics with me I would more than gladly engage in the conversation and share some of my life with them. I truly care about everyone (not trying to sound like a hippie or something of that nature), even if I don’t agree with every aspect of them. No one is going to believe the same thing or share the same views and we all have our own opinions. The best way to reach someone is by that relationship established and we each leave our own imprints on eachother good or bad. I feel very strongly for this young man, he shouldn’t have been treated in such a manner and its militants against gays that make me angry…just as much as any other militant about their belief and opinion. I believe what I believe, we can agree or disagree, but I wont try to change your mind so don’t try to change mine or tell me how I am wrong because I won’t do it back.

  270. It does not matter what your beliefs are when it comes to homosexuality; everyone has the basic right to dignity and to be treated in a respectful manner. Even the catholic schools that I went to which do not condone homosexuality managed to convey this lesson to their students.

  271. I am a Store Manager, my boss yelled at me in the middle of a rush! The DM yells at their Store Manager in front customers all the time. This happenends more than Starbucks wants you to think. DM’s treat their Store Manager very bad. Too bad we can’t do anything about, b/c we will loose our jobs. Store Manager work 50 to 60 hours a week and we are told w are bad people and to watch our backs. I love my customers and love my partners, but I didn’t sign up to not be treated this bad.

  272. Jeffrey Stephenson

    Sounds like the “Manager” was very unprofessional in her handling of the situation. And that should be dealt with.

    However, Starbucks has the right to ask him not to air his gay politital and religious views, if indeed other employees are not allowed to air their other political and religious views. If Starbucks is supportive of all, then it’s hard to ask him to stay quiet.

    I know as a customer, if my children and I were in there, we would have left for two reasons, 1. We don’t want to support a place that acts unprofessional in that way. 2. We don’t want to have to hear about someone’s gay lifestyle when we are eating and drinking.

    So I think Starbucks has a lot to consider in this.

    I don’t know why this is any of our concerns. We were not there, so it’s all hearsay and not factual to us anyway. So I am not sure my comments are even relivant.

    Peace all,

    J

    • There’s no reason to think his discussion of his sexuality was either political or religious just because the manager put it that way. “I wish I had a boyfriend” or “My boyfriend brought me flowers for our anniversary” wouldn’t be deemed political or religious if a woman said it… and it doesn’t automatically become political or religious if the person saying it is a man.

      Labeling homosexuality as ‘political’ or ‘religious’ doesn’t make it so. There are politics attached to it – such as passing laws against discrimination. And there are certainly religious questions to be answered such as wondering if ‘what you do to the least of these you do to Me’ might mean in this context – but no on is forcing their politics or religion into the mix simply by not HIDING their sexuality as if it were something shameful.

      • A former partner of mine is bisexual. At the time of this incident, her primary partner was a woman. She was working at a phlebotomy (blood draw for testing) lab. The other women in her office would often talk in fairly explicit detail about the weekends they had. She kept quiet for the sake of the workplace.

        Her partner would occasionally show up to take her out to lunch. This was just fine until one of the co-workers realized that this woman was “more than a friend.” Suddenly, she found it offensive to her religious beliefs and filed a discrimination suit with the company.

        My friend was not fired, but she was transferred to another lab in which she was the only person and had a much longer commute (adding logistical problems with child transportation).

        The two never engaged in public displays–it was enough that the co-worker found homosexuality offensive.

  273. nicole whitwood

    I am sure this has been said more then once but I am going to say it any way, I am not gay but have alot of gay friends.I do march in pride parades,and show my suport any way that I can. I belive in diversity in the work place and that no matter your sex ,race, or who you sleep with sould ever choose weather you have a well paying job or not. So if Jeffery is reading any of these I just wonted to say I dont know you but I love you keep your head up and be proud of who you are!!!
    Nicole…

  274. Tears are rolling down my eyes as I read your post. To think in this great land of liberty and freedom that anyone should be treated in such a way makes me sick beyond words. As a 28 yr old female from Jamaica who dreams of all the possibility this country has, it makes me even more sad. Thank you for standing up and giving a voice to any and everyone who feels they are voiceless…May God bless and keep u and your family Healthy and happy…From a passer by Anneelia S.

  275. I’m not quite sure what to say except that this event is truly horrible. That poor guy being treated like crap. I am very disappointed in Starbucks for hiring (and keeping) such foul employees as the one who berated Jeffrey the way they did. I hope he is allowed to return to work and the rest of the vultures are shown to the door.

  276. I’m going to print this letter and forward it to starbucks with my pre-paid card and see if I can get a refund. Otherwise I am willing to take the loss…just to prove a point.

  277. Hello from Croatia!
    i have read your story about Starbucks, and how disgusted you were by the fact that one person was so humiliated for being different. i want to share the story of Croatian pride parade held this Saturday on dalmatian coast, in the city of Split, where 150 people in the parade were attacked by 8 000 hooligans while 600 police officers were supposed to protect the parade. the parade was stoned, explosives were thrown, they were spitting on the parade, calling them names, and why, well only because they are different. we are having another parade, in our capital city of zagreb, this saturday. and honestly, no one is sure what’s going to happen, because after my friends were stoned, which resembles 16th century, we are afraid of their acts. and i cannot be surprised as much by the incident at starbucks, because incidents like that are almost everday thing in croatia.
    cheers and all the best to you! :)
    morena

  278. I think this is a case that should not be directed at the company, but rather those specific employees. I can guarantee that those employees will be reprimanded. Starbucks is a company that has thrived on respecting its employees all the way from their farmers to their baristas. This case is an example of bad leadership within an individual store.

    I have worked for Starbucks for 5 years and have always felt completely accepted for who I am. For the past 3 years, I have even been a part of the Seattle Gay Pride Parade and walked with Starbucks. Starbucks has always embraced equality and even promoted LGBT awareness. They have also offered me and my partner benefits when other companies have not.

    Starbucks does not tolerate any sort of discrimination, which makes this story so upsetting. Starbucks is a great company to work for and I know that the issue will be resolved immediately. Unfortunately, sometimes even the greatest of companies can get a few bad apples.

  279. You do not know how much of his personal business this Jeffrey was telling. Some people OVERSHARE to the point of making those within ear shot uncomfortable. You do not know if this man was speaking in a graphic nature or was just a little TOO comfortable sharing his dates and encounters. How can you assume anything when you do not have ALL the facts?

    • Nobody needs “all the facts” to be 100% clear that this method of handling it, regardless of his potential guilt, was at best piggy, and at worst illegal. What the manager did was wrong, regardless. Ugly, unprofessional, immature, and lots of other words about how never to act.

    • Yasmine – you may be right – Jeffrey may well not have been the best employee ever… but here’s the thing: part of the manager’s job (any manager) is to make absolutely sure they have their own ducks in a row when it comes to hiring and firing, because boy, it should would be bad if a company wound up having to PAY a bad former employee because the manager can’t follow proper procedure, eh?

      Missy knows 1) that Jeffrey was let go 2) that Jeffrey was gay, 3) that the manager and coworkers don’t like or support Jeffrey’s personal life based on things he has shared with them while working.

      Why does Missy know this? Because Jeffrey OVERSHARED and Missy heard it? NOPE. Because the MANAGER and her silly minions decided to talk about it loudly and at great length while Missy, her daughter and whoever else was there at the time happened to present trying to enjoy an expensive Starbucks beverage in peace.

      No assumptions needed – Missy would neither know or care a single thing regarding Jeffrey and his private life had the MANAGER not forced her to know. What else do you need to know in order to come to a determination over whether the manager behaved appropriately or not?

    • That may be. Maybe he was deserving of a discussion or reprimand. But that should never take place in front of coworkers or customers. Employee discipline should always be a private discussion between a manager and an employee. It’s degrading to do it in public, no matter what the employee’s behavior. And other employees ranting about him in front of customers? Unbelievably unprofessional.

  280. Rose from the Grave

    I’m so glad you wrote to Sbux, that IS aweful! I am also a former partner (1st and best job I ever had) and have experienced some managerial disscrimination problems as well. (specifically ageism) Starbucks is the greatest, but like any job there are bound to be problems with individuals, I just wish there was a readily available safe person/place that employees could contact to discuss their work relationships and issues without repercussion.

  281. I just cannot stop crying…

  282. As a starbucks employee myself I’m completely appalled at this. I’m so sorry that you had to witness it and that it ever had to take place. In my store (located in St. Petersburg, Florida) we have all kinds of sexualities that work with us and embrace it openly. I can easily say that I have never been a witness to rude treatment and can not believe that this actually happened. Thank you for sending this letter. I have only been part of Starbucks for 7 months now but I love and embrace every single part of it so incredibly much. I always want the company to improve, no matter what it may be.

  283. So many apologists.

    I would like to say to those criticizing Missy for not confronting the manager in the store. I expect the manager would have dismissed Missy’s claim, especially if she’d seen the wife.

    Instead, the manager is not being criticized by “one or two lesbians,” She’s now attracted Corporate’s attention, as well as a multitude across the continent, L, G, B, T, and Straight.

    Because of this issue, I expect that Starbucks will take steps to make sure that this kind of behavior is even more clearly discouraged, no matter the region.

  284. Well I live on Long Island and honestly this is no surprise to me. It is awful here. Racist homophobic people every where. And very few people with alternative lifestyles. Sad really.

  285. oh my god, this is awful! ive never really been a big fan of starbucks but i do go to it because of its convenience at my local barnes and noble. however, after reading this i dont think i want to anymore. i think starbucks should make a public apology and show that these woman have been fired and that jeffery either got his job back or got an amazing letter of recommendation to another business from starbucks. i really think this should be an issue put in the newspaper

  286. I wish there were more people in the world willing to stand up for one another as you have. You should be commended for your strength and courage in standing up to such a well established corporation. I have friends who are gay and I don’t see them any different than any other person in the world. I value their friendship and am grateful to be a apart of their lives. They have both told me stories about intolerance and the judgmental attitudes they receive from co-workers and employers and co-workers, I can only wish that they had someone there for them as you were for this young man.

    Thank you

  287. I can tell you that Starbucks in El Paso does not discriminate at all all against the gay or lesbian community. Starbucks needs to let their employees, including upper managment, know they will not deal with this type of behavior. I am happy it was brought to their attention. I have seen customers be extremely rude and mean to baristas because they are gay or lesbian or because they have acne. There are homophobics all over, unfortunately one made it to the upper level at Starbucks and has been called out on such bad behavior.

  288. Missy, Thank you for your kindness, your actions that day and with this letter and for the hug you gave to Jeffery. Too many of us just sit by and let things like this happen without “doing” something. Thank you for “doing”

  289. Wow, if this is true then that guy has a major case against Starbucks. He could sue them for big money, and he should. You don’t need to write Starbucks about this, you need to find that poor guy a lawyer. I’m sure any lawyer would jump at a case like that, especially if you would agree to testify.

  290. THIS BLOG IS GOING VIRAL. GOOD. SORRY STARBUCKS…..I’M DONE WITH YOU. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY COFFEE POT ON THE BLOCK. BUH BYE.

  291. I’m a former Barista, and I. Am. Appalled. Missy, you are a better person than I… I probably would’ve recorded the whole thing and told the Manager half-way through that I’m taking the poor kid to file his lawsuit once she’s done! Not only is chewing someone out in front of CUSTOMERS incredibly inappropriate, but inserting homophobia into it is just disgusting. I hope that manager is FIRED and not just told “Don’t do it again”. She shouldn’t be around customers, baristas… or humankind.

  292. This was a horrible display to witness, or for the “manager” to have done at all……. but, it is important to remember that All of Starbucks is not this way. It is impossible for them to see and know every single employee and in every single business out there will have some employees that will make horrible mistakes. Important thing is for them to show their true colors and deal with it appropriately. But they should not be punished for one store out of so many by spreading such ill humor throughout this huge world wide medium, until they had a chance to show they care and react appropriately. If they don’t, then it’s time to rile the troops. I think this was a wonderfully written letter, and I agree with everything in it. But, everyone makes mistakes in trust and that needs to be remembered. Hopefully they will deal with it well. Should never have taken place at all, and especially not out where everyone can hear, and embarrass Jeffrey. But I have found our local Starbucks to be diverse and tolerant and extremely kind to their employees and customers, so it would not be fair to punish and entire company for it. Hurts these employees that are gracious, and treated well, too.

  293. Ok here goes.

    I’m the parent of two children whose mom is gay. We all still partially live together to raise the children. Her partner included. Most of the people in my house on any given day are gay. I feel like Stephen Colbert, “I don’t see color.” Please remember that.

    I’m trying to see both sides of this, because I’ve read the letter a couple times and I’m not sure that Manager was wrong or Jefferey was wronged, but only based on the letter. As a piece of literature, it’s very one sided, as it should be, it’s written by one person. But in the sake of equality (which we all want, right?) I’m trying to see all sides of this. I didn’t see anywhere that said he was fired BECAUSE he was gay. I didn’t see anything that said he was fired because the employees are tired of him BEING gay. What it sounded like, what I inferred, was that he may have been too public about his relationships or was just very outspoken about being who he was. So perhaps he wasn’t fired for being gay, but for being obnoxious. I don’t know, it’s hard to glean that information from this letter.

    Here’s an example. We’ve all worked with that guy, you know that guy, the guy from Office Space with the O-Face. He loves talking about the girls he’s slept with and the plans he’s got with so-and-so, right? He’s not gonna be fired because he’s straight, but because he’s obnoxious and possibly harassing people. Now make him gay and what happens? He’s fired because of his “beliefs” and corp. HQ is looking into it. If he was straight, it’s a no brainer and no one is sorry he’s gone.

    I know I’m going to get absolutely crucified for this and fair enough, I wrote it publicly. I just can’t be Okay to be Tekai until we know what actually happened. From this letter and Missy’s recounting, i can’t tell. Unless I’m missing something crucial and if I am I IMPLORE someone to point it out. I really hope we can fight for this guy and if Sbux is in the wrong then they should offer serious recompense; not least of which would be to replace the staff and make this guy manager. But can we hear from both sides before then?

    • I think the bigger issue here is that, regardless of WHY he was being reprimanded or WHY he was being passive-agressively fired, it was done in such a public display which is unprofessional by anyone’s standards. The writer was very clear that she “didn’t know” all of the details of what had transpired but was left with an “impression” and a negative one. Yes, we all have had to deal with “that guy” but I wouldn’t think that management or HR should deal with “that guy’s” obnoxiousness in a public manner. And in this case, public meant litterally in front of customers not just employees.

  294. This is an awesomely well-written letter that is getting results! LOVE it.

  295. I am disgusted by the treatment you’ve witnessed at Starbucks. I’m personally affiliated with them, but as a semi-regular customer, I am horrified by the display you’ve seen.

    This kind of intolerance is the root of all things that will break the unity of our country. No individual should be subject to such treatment.

    And though I hope a peaceful resolution come about, the core of the issues present should be the focus of readers. Discrimination is alive and well in this day and age.

  296. I haven’t read all the comments, so I will just add mine.

    The workers should be fired for treating ANYBODY like that. I don’t think that’s Starbucks policy. I don’t blame Starbucks, but they can make things better by firing these women… and hopefully releasing a statement (and marking them as unhirable)!

    However, I was born and raised on Long Island, and I want to say that these women, to me, are unfortunately the typical Long Islanders I was raised around. I wish I would say that this selfish and ostracising behaviour is some WEIRD thing that you really never see around there, but let’s call this what it is. This is what these people are like… so much so that a guy could build an entire TV show around a bunch of selfish, neurotic wackos who are (at the end) revealed for what they are: mean-spirited and racist. It’s called Seinfeld. I could never watch that show because it reminded me of the annoying people I had to deal with growing up.

    I’m not trying to say every person on or from LI is bad. But if you ever lived there or do now, you know what I mean. I once pulled my town’s Postmaster aside. She was giving a tour to what looked like 1st graders, and she was picking on one of the little girls. I ripped her a new one after those kids left. The Postmaster thought she was being cute and funny, and that little girl was SO upset. This is what I saw around LI. People have NO clue about how what they say and how they say it affects people around them. They appear to live in individual bubbles. I left as soon as I could!

    This is what my parents are like. This is what my sister is like. This is what the kids in my school were like. This is what the teachers were like. This is what strangers are like. This type of behaviour is just what I saw and lived through every day I spent there. It’s an incredibly intolerant place, masquerading as being liberal.

    I bet these women think they are very modern and forward thinking. Liberal even. I hope they are taught a good lesson by their employer. But it reminds us that even in a blue state, there is still a long way to go when it comes to how humans treat each other.

  297. The three people that were “running” this meeting are obviously COLD hearted. How anyone can act that way is beyond me. To the writer, thank you SO much for not letting this go unnoticed. To Jeffery, I hope that you can hold your head high! Look at the support you have. I hope you are able to focus on this, and let someone else deal with the asshats that treated you like trash. Good luck to you my friend.

  298. Thank you for sharing this story, and more importantly, trying to do something about what you witnessed.

  299. Omg, this is no right. Starbucks needs to do something about this!!

  300. The manager and the two employees should be fired. Heartless and mean. If it was done in private we would not hear of it so am glad it was done in front of Missy Alison. I will await to see what Starbucks will do next.

  301. By all means let this blog be as public as it can and let this issue go as high up in “ranks” as possible but please let Jeffrey walk away from it all with his head high and find a job somewhere where what he does in his free time is no issue but a point of interest for his colleagues….

  302. We’re watching you, Starbucks. This woman should be fired and a public apology from the company given to Jeffrey, as well as paying for a headhunter to get him a better job where people treat him as he deserves.

  303. so did anyone notice how the guy says she is his wife, they have a kid, and then this woman says that she is gay?

  304. Kudos to you for your letter to Corporate! Your words and how you relayed the events made me want to cry. Too often people will witness something like this but will do nothing, say nothing, perhaps just boycott the company. It definitely had an impact because I read about this via link posted on facebook by Starbucks (I too am a fan). I am very curious to know how this all tuns out for Jeffery. Bless you for your good deed and not letting it go ignored.

  305. Oh man. This made me cry.

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -MLK

    Thanks for taking a stand, and thanks to our allies for helping us be heard. <3

  306. I just wanted to say, if the woman who treated Jeffrey so terrible is an HR person, she is a horrible representation of what a human resources professional should be. I’ve been in HR for over 15 years and it disgusts me to think that she thought what she was doing/saying was “right” or “appropriate”. Employees should be treated with respect and honesty and tolerance.

  307. I’m glad you witnessed it… and that you can forward…They say the surest way to assure the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

    I applied to work at Sbux when I was in college and the opening sentence to the interview was… “You know I don’t like to hire white people they’re lazy and tend to walk off and quit without notice, but I said I’d interview you anyway because you XX’s friend.” At the time I didn’t care so much saw it as he was loosing out because of small minded stereotypes and let’s face it given history and we deserve a little retribution even if I had to bite that bullet….but later in retrospect I realized it wasn’t so…It was basically a statement of I can abuse my ethnic employees so much more because they are used to having their rights trampled on.

  308. First and foremost, I am a gay Brit. Secondly, I thank and commend you for taking the time and effort to bring this severe injustice to people’s attention and highlighting so well that even in “the land of the free”, such disgraceful acts of evil are perpetrated. However, I feel somewhat obliged to point out a few things.

    Firstly, please do not refer to his sexuality, either directly, indirectly or inadvertently, as a “lifestyle”. Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle choice” any more than being heterosexual is. I have also met some pretty incredibly “gay” and camp straight men, whilst I myself would not fall into any known gay stereotype. So please in future, do not mix terms.

    Secondly, whilst I again commend you for taking the time to report this incident, I cannot help feeling that you or anybody else in the store should have acted in the gentleman’s defence. If the personal attack against him was as savage as you describe, and if the portion of the attack you witnessed was largely based around his sexuality, then I would hope that someone would have had the courage to stand up and defend a fellow human being. The fact that nobody did unfortunately says a great deal about the patrons of the store, as much as the attack says about the perpetrators. It may be a trite phrase, but “all that is needed for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing” is particularly true here. The women would have taken tacit approval of their actions through the inaction of those in the store at the time.

    Now, if you don’t like or believe in the “good men to do nothing” angle then try this one: doing nothing doesn’t set a particularly good example to your daughter. When such an injustice as the one described in the letter is being done, people should feel able to make a stand against it. This should be especially true in a country which supposedly puts justice above all else. Moreover, what would your daughter think, of her gay mother sitting there just watching a homophobic attack?

    Finally, my third point. You make mention on several occasions that the sort of discussion held on the shop floor should have been held behind closed doors. Unfortunately, I cannot disagree with you more. That sort of conversation, i.e. a homophobic rant, should be unacceptable anywhere, on the shop floor, in a manager’s office or otherwise. Disciplinary matters are clearly never for the shop floor, or to be held in front of other members of staff, but you should make it absolutely clear in your letter that the sort of behaviour you witnessed was unbecoming of any human being, anywhere and at anytime.

    • She didn’t exactly do nothing. with her young daughter there, she couldn’t exactly confront the manager, and she did find him as he was leaving and let him know he wasn’t alone. Plus, she worte this up and contacted Starbucks on his behalf as an interested bystander. A confronatation with the manager would have done little good, and may have ended up with one or both women hurt, possibly the child injured from jumping in to defend mommy, and the possibility of assault charges.

      And yes, a homophobic rant should be unacceptable anywhere, but any time you are in the position to fire an employee, or discipline an employee in any way, that should be done in a professional manner, off the floor. Praise in public, chastise in private is what I was taught, but you always focus on the specific offense, i.e. theft or tardiness (I mention these because an earlier poster brought them up as what he was doing, which I don’t believe, but they make an excellent example of legitimate reasons to fire an employee), and keep any mention of the employee’s personal life out of it, no matter who they are or what they do, unless it is something actually illegal, such as drug use. If a company requires a drug screening, and they have been ducking it, then that is an aspect of their personal life you can mention.

      This manager did what she did to humiliate Jeffrey, pure and simple, and it would be wrong no matter who he was, gay, straight, bi or otherwise.

  309. Karen Hjalmarson

    I am speechless. I can’t believe the things I just read actually happened in this world. What if things were the other way around and that “person” was the one who’s sexuality was being brought against her? Shame on her, her family for allowing her to be this way, and anyone who supports her.
    And, just for the record, I am not gay. I am a 54 year old woman who believes that we all live on this planet and we need each other for support and understanding.
    I too am a Starbucks customer but never again if I don’t hear that this has been dealt with in the most stringent manner at the corporation’s disposal.

  310. This made me very sad. Thank you for telling his story.

  311. That is absolutely disgraceful. If there is one thing I cannot stand on this planet, it’s judgement in all ways and shapes.

    These employees need to be fired ASAP.

  312. Barbara Lloyd

    I have no words. Every person who has posted took all my thoughts. As for who and where she should have sent this letter too and worries of it getting lost. Don’t worry everyone because this has surely gone viral. It is all over facebook and every other site you can imagine.
    As for the persons in question, they should be the ones to lose their jobs. Not just the manager. The other 2 employees knew better but followed suit anyways. That’s pure butt kissing in my book. So all 3 need to look for other employment. As for Jeffery, Go fight for your job! Hold you head up high because you have each and everyone of us backing you.
    Corporate get out the big boy pants and take care of your employee. This man deserves the utmost respect and a promotion instead of being overlooked and passed over because of higher ups. If he can do the job give it to him!
    Good luck Jeffery and keep in touch with this sound board because we all want to make sure you are taken care of.

  313. People… it’s a STORY posted on a BLOG. Get real. I personally *despise* Starbucks and most everything about it, but do some research before you start gathering pitchforks and torches about the whole corporation because of an alleged incident involving one manager that needs to be fired, IF this is true. Good grief.

  314. I found this blog via Starbucks blog… personally, I think its pretty cool they are being so open about this incident and are working to investigate it. I’m a casual Starbucks drinker. Love their stuff, but I can’t afford to drink it like I’d like. So its a special treat now and then… and will continue to be. This is not a Starbucks the company problem. This is a manager with a bad attitude… or perhaps an entire store with a bad attitude. Missy, I’m proud of you for writing this and getting this story out there. I think you handled yourself well that day, and you made your point well in your letter. :)

  315. Kristin Alford

    I would like to take a moment and thank you for taking the time to write such an eloquent and mature response to such an unfortunate/horrific incident. If this incident did occur as you have recounted, I am hopeful and trusting that Starbucks will address all involved and/or affected by the situation and take the appropriate necessary actions. I am just a gal who drinks coffee, not affiliated with any one group or belief. However, I am a manager, and a former victim of workplace “bullying” – on any level, the described behavior is unacceptable and disheartening. I appreciate your standing up for Jeffrey, and it is clear Jeffrey appreciates it as well. I can only hope more citizens in the world will follow your lead to help eliminate bigotry/bullying on any level and stand up for those who can’t.

  316. This is the most absurd post and thread of comments. The only thing that has happened as this blogger and her blog is getting lots of publicity. There is no confirmation that this actually happened. There has been no effort to find and assist the employee who was supposedly treated so poorly. And while what happened (public poor treatment of an employee) was unprofessional, we really don’t have any facts about any of it.

    When someone suggests that the blogger should have confronted the store employees, someone suggests that “not everyone has the confrontation gene.” A blogger who doesn’t have the confrontation gene. That’s the funniest thing I ever heard in my life.

    No effort has been made to help the victim file a complaint against non-discrimination which is against the law in NY. We all work fucking hard for laws- we need to USE THEM!!!!!!!!!!

    And because 1 store employee acts so horrifically, doesn’t make a chain homophobic. How totally stupid are all of you idiots? In even the best companies, there are at times bad employees, or employees who act badly. They need to be held accountable for their poor actions, but that doesn’t make the company bad.

    It is THIS stupid over-generalizing with no real facts that keeps the LGBT movement from progressing.

    • Except there is already things being done to help the victim and Starbucks is taking action. Way to read.

    • Happy to amuse you! Blogger or NOT, we’re also speaking about a MOTHER, WITH her young CHILD at her side. Internet ‘conflicts’ have far more safety than “in your face” confrontations involving people whom you do not know. Neither does a person know that THEY might have done to her if she ‘butted in’?

      Are you suggesting that she should have exacerbated the problem by jumping into the heart of the alleged conflict, exposing her child to possible danger or emotional harm? Really.

      • @Marchino

        You are assuming that defending the employee would have exacerbated the problem. How do you know that?

        There are ways and means of dealing with such a situation, and granted, ranting and raving in reply would probably have exacerbated the situation. But that is but one method in myriad of others.

        Moreover, emotional harm? Children cannot be coddled in cotton wool indefinitely. And ultimately, what is better: seeing her mother sit idly by and do nothing, or stand up for what is right and just?

      • @ lateralis;

        Respectfully, I assumed nothing of the sort. I wasn’t there. I have no first hand knowledge of the mood, levels or atmosphere at all. What I DID do was PRESUME that absolutely ANYTHING is possible in public situations. Guilty as charged.

        Mollycoddling is not necessarily a good thing, and children SHOULD be exposed to a MULTITUDE of things as, and when, they are age appropriate.

        That said, I feel it is infinitely better for a child to see her mother maintaining her sense of class, calm and logic. By what law was Missy required to do anything at all? The answer would be “none”. It became and remained a ‘teachable’ moment between mother and child once they were away from the alleged situation. To teach the child about what she had seen.

        I think that’s FAR better than, even the mere possibility, that things could have gotten ugly and the daughter would have possibly seen her mother, or someone else, injured or assaulted.

        What I do assume, is that these appear to be the logical actions of a mother putting her child first. Even in the midst of an ugly ‘scene’ and what has been described as a gross injustice.

        I’m thankful to the poster who presented a different set of ‘facts’ regarding why this row happened in the first place.

        Also grateful to the poster who said that a public lashing of an employee, on the floor, during business hours, in front of customers… was entirely beyond the pale.

    • I’m curious, Thomas – how might one go about finding someone in Long Island based on 1st name only when they no longer work at the one place you might be able to find them… identify, locate, contact, and ‘help them file a complaint’ (because being psychic, we probably know that he isn’t already looking into just that???!)… in the same 30 hour time frame?

      I will guarantee, Starbucks has contacted him by now and if he’s interested in pressing a complaint – and I hope he is – this attention will lead many legal professionals his way to help him do just that. Folks that know a lot more than the blogger who happened to witness the incident.

      What’s with your strong emotional response? Or is namecalling on the internet just your ‘thing’?

  317. Wish people would realize that just because someone is opposed to homosexuality or offended by it, doesn’t mean they are homophobic. Personally, I am not afraid of homosexuals, I simply believe it is a sick and deviant lifestyle. It violates my personal and religious beliefs. And yes, I would be offended if I had to listen to someone discuss their perverted lifestyle choice. I don’t want to see gays making out in front of me. It is sick and discusting in my opinion. It is NOT NORMAL. That doesn’t make me a homophobic. Gays seem to think that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is aftraid of them or something. This woman (who wrote the letter) is obviously gay and was probably just mad that someone spoke out against her own sick lifestyle choice. And that her ‘daughter’ might have heard someone say that her ‘mommies’ were doing something they shouldn’t be. Get over it.
    If Starbucks is so supportive of homosexuality, then I am glad that I don’t go there.

    • yep, not all bigots are homophobes, some are just bigots.

    • Read your first sentence. “…doesn’t mean they are homophobic.” And yet, YOU are homophobic. Why are you even commenting on this blog? Just to put out your OWN politics? We get it. You don’t support the LGBT community. You’ve made your point, “mom4christ” (how creative…except not really?). And Missy is not mad because someone spoke out about their lifestyle choice…I mean, hey, have your opinions. She was upset because of how these opinions were expressed and the malice that their words contained. You should be ASHAMED of yourself. You actually support someone bringing someone down due to their sexuality. “It is not normal.” “Sick choices.” YOU are the reason why hate like this still exists in the world today.

    • Well, mom4christ, let’s look at it this way.

      You have just labelled an entire group of people, without knowing anything about them other than the preferred gender of their romantic encounters, as “sick”, “Deviant”, “disgusting” and “not normal”.

      Those statements are hurtful and they exhibit PLAINLY your fear and mistrust of people who are not like you. THAT, my dear, is homophobia and in turn makes you homophobic. Beyond that, it makes you a bigot.

      As I have previously stated, and others have stated as well, being LGBT is not a “lifestyle choice”. It is who we are. It is how we were made, however you choose to define that, and it is not going away.

      Above all of that, we are PEOPLE and, as such, are entitled to live our lives in a manner that makes US comfortable, whether or not it makes others comfortable as well. Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if you decide you want to spend your life walking on your hands with your hair on fire. You have that right. If I want to take a walk through the park with my partner and hold his hand while doing so, I have that right just as well as you do. If I want to kiss my partner in public, I have that right just as well as you do. If I choose to engage in sexual activity with my partner in PRIVATE, then I have that right as well. Nobody is forcing you to LIKE any of it, but simply ACCEPTING that we are out there and that we are human beings with the same thoughts and feelings as everyone else is apparently beyond your scope and THAT makes you the bigot I described previously.

      All in all, I would just like to remind you that your opinion ends where my nose begins.

    • Mom4christ: Why the parenthesis around the word “daughter” ? just because the mom is gay, it does not make the daughter “not real” ! You are a sick human being.. I am a lesbian, and my gradfather, who was a baptist preacher, tried to find in the Bible where it states I would be wrong and he could not find it…He loved and accepted me just as I am (may he rest in peace) There are alot of things in the Bible that would not hold true today, such as “cut out your daughters tongue for lying, kill your neighbor, etc…. Maybe, YOU need to read the bible…and also, do you drive a car to church? If so, you are NOT living as Jesus did…he drove a Jack-ass to church! You need to get yourself educated …it is people like you that keep the hate going and for that, my dear, YOU will face your judgement on judgement day! I hope YOU are ready! I pitty your “children”, if you have any….

  318. Yup, pretty disgusting. It is unfortunate and the matter should be investigated. Maybe Jeffrey didn’t want to hear about a heterosexuals dating or sex life? why should sharing his personal experiences be any different? A manager or supervisor like this should not be allowed to work in any business these days.
    While I am not a lesbian, I have a heck of a lot of friends who are lesbian and gay, and we equally share our lives with each other. With discretion in and out of the workplace.
    I feel that any kind of “gay bashing” is just as bad as any race related hate crimes, antiquated and juvenile!

  319. I’m very disappointed in those Starbucks employees. That kind of behavior is uncalled for; it embarrasses not only Starbucks but also themselves.

    Not everyone has to be okay or accepting of homosexuality but letting those kinds of feelings into the workplace is not okay.

  320. If you are in contact with Jeffery or anyone who has been discriminated because of being LGBT or their HIV status, please tell them to contact Lambda Legal Help Desk at 866-542-8336. They are a national nonprofit organization that abdicates for the civil rights of LGBT and people with HIV.

  321. Reads like a fiction. Will be interesting to see what ACTUALLY happened because I tend to totally not believe this story!

  322. rebecca cuttino

    Thank you for posting this letter. I am a Starbucks employee and so embarrassed by this happening. But in a way I am glad that it happened “on the floor”. Obviously there are two sides to EVERY story, BUT, there is NO excuse for anyone being treated like this “on” or “off” the floor. If it had happened behind closed doors this guy would have gone away abused and hurt without witnesses, and may have been even worse. Yes, Starbucks is dedicated to wonderful ideals, but, unfortunately, like any company, there are people in authority who shouldn’t be there. I have witnessed this, but, I do hope that Starbucks is different, and will remove those who shouldn’t be in places of authority. Thank you for stepping forward. I also thank you because it has helped me look at the things I say while working, what could be seen as inappropriate or hurtful. Unfortunately, we can get too comfortable, and not think about other people or our customers. As I write this I can think of some things I said, in jest, last night at work that could be overheard, that were not meant maliciously, or to hurt anyone, but possibly could. Its always important to be considerate, in every situation.

  323. Starbucks make this right fire your manager she need to be made responsible for her action an sensitivity classes don’t cut it she’s already be trained.

  324. That is horrible. It is one thing to fire someone, and another to publicly humiliate them and bash their beliefs. As a partner I find this very disgusting, regardless of whether or not he was not doing his job correctly or showing up late. Things like that should be kept in the back, not three feet away from customers. This upsets me. But I want to point out that this one instance does not mean that all Starbucks store employees are like the bigoted, hypocritical woman mentioned above.

    I will also say I find it strange that Starbucks embraces diversity, but will not hire someone with visible tattoos or unnatural hair colors.

  325. Regardless of who he is or what he did or didn’t do, the employee counselling session should not have occured in the hearing of customers. I have been a shift manager, and that is one of the first things they covered in my management training, all employee counseling is between the employee and the person doing the couseling. Okay, he may have not been a model employee, but her phrasing sounds like trying to weasel out of being held accountable for firing him. If he was stealing or constantly late, then you tell him you are firing him for stealing or constant tardiness, not coworkers not liking to hear about his “politics”, last time I checked, you were allowed to fire for theft and excessive tardiness. I like Starbucks, and would go more often if I had the money to, but if they allow managers to be this unprofessional, I’m not sure I would want to go to any Starbucks, you do not counsel an employee on the floor where customers can hear, especially if you can’t keep the volume of your voice to a conversational level, it’s almost as if she wanted everyone to hear, which is wrong on so many levels.

  326. My God I really wish I’d been there. Although I am pleased you managed to write to Starbucks and confront them about that, I REALLY wish you’d have said something in the store. That poor guy had everyone looking at him, being dismissed in the FRONT of SHOP, and nobody got up and said anything to the staff?

    It really upsets me that nobody seems to want to stand up for anyone in public any more.

  327. Missy, I know I wasn’t there, and I suppose maybe it’s just a personality thing…

    But how could you have sat there and watched this for TWENTY MINUTES without saying anything?!?!??!?! I’m sorry, that’s absolutely disgraceful. You were a CUSTOMER, and the manager’s behavior was making you uncomfortable and undermining your ability to enjoy your purchase in peace. Regardless of the “original” incident, as many have pointed out, this “manager” had no business behaving that way. And ALL it would have taken to make that clear, and possibly defuse the situation a bit, would have been for you to say “excuse me, I’m not sure what’s going on, but as a paying customer I find this behavior extremely unpleasant and inappropriate for a place of business like this. If you’re going to insist on making your customer uncomfortable, I’m going to insist that you give me a refund. I will also be contacting your supervisor.”

    But no, no, you SAT THERE IN SILENCE for twenty minutes, watching someone being verbally abused, and then took some kind of pride in comforting him and blogging about it, i.e. closing the barn door after the horse was already dead in the middle of the road.

    I know what happened wasn’t your fault. But if you actually have the convictions you claim, then you need to step up and act on them and stop being such a coward.

  328. As a Starbucks partner and a member of the LGBT community I am appalled at this. I have never seen such a horrible display of homophobia. Starbucks is a wonderful and accepting employer and prides itself in having many members of the LGBT community employed. I know Starbucks and they won’t tolerate this. I know there are two sides to every story, but for this to be displayed in the view of customers and other workers is public humiliation and flat-out rude and inexcusable. I hope this story ends well. Good job to you for taking action and doing something to make it right!

    -Vinny

    http://www.vinnyheartsyou.blogspot.com

  329. As a former Barista I hate to hear that this took place. However, I don’t believe this to be the first time this has taken place. I want to first say that I’m a Christian, meaning I follow the teachings of Christ from what I read in the Bible. I’m not saying that to pass judgement on anyone else who is here or responded. Just to give you background on where I’m coming from. I believe in “live and let live”. So when I was a Barista everyone always shared about their personal life, especially with the customers. We were encouraged by our managers to do so in order to connect with them. Not just to sell them things, but to really know them. Oftentimes, when a customer would share that they were struggling with something, I would ask, “Can I pray for you or if you would rather me not, could I send good thoughts your way?” I never had anyone say no to me even if they believed differently than I did.
    Then one day a manager told me I could no longer do that and I was stepping on her rights as a believer in the Pagan religion. I was told that if I continued to discuss my spiritual life with anyone at the store including customers I would be in trouble. I explained to her that it was hard not to, considering that my spiritual and personal life are weaved together. I was also told that I could not pray during my break.
    So, I have no problem with people believing differently than I do, but as a Christian, what about me? What about my beliefs? Why is it okay to talk about being a Pagan, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, or anything else, but not okay for me to share my feelings?
    I’m no longer a Barista, but I don’t understand why this is so.

    • This is a great point of exactly what not to do at work. The manager was correct to tell you to keep it to yourself. You are not employed to be a grief counselor and you shouldn’t be opening those doors with people. I doubt the rest of the story is accurate. It just doesn’t ring as truth.

      This is a good example of having cordial discussions with coworkers about personal issues, when prompted of course, as opposed to unsolicited discussions. Even so, it’s best to keep to business matters at work and leave personal matters outside of the workplace.

      • I have no problem doing that, BUT…we were told to involve our personal lives and talk about what we are doing outside of the work place. I agree that keeping it simple is a good idea, but when a manager tells you make it personal, that’s what I did.
        It’s fine if you don’t believe the rest to be accurate. You weren’t there so you can’t really say if it was or not and you don’t really know me, so why would you take me at my word.
        Regardless, I agree that personal stuff should be left at home, but it seemed like a bit of a double standard to ask us to talk about our lives outside the workplace and then to get mad when we do.
        By the way, I am a grief counselor by profession.

  330. For Jason and others who have complained Missy only had part of the story, etc……

    Jeffrey may have very well done things (or failed to do things) that led up to his dismissal. But NO COMPANY, at NO TIME, should have ANY CONVERSATION where an employee is either being disciplined or fired IN FRONT OF CUSTOMERS.

    None, ever, ever, ever, ever.

    EVER.

    That’s just HR 101, kids. I don’t care if Jeffery kicked a child or a puppy and/or told a customer to bite him or blow him. You simply DO NOT have a disciplinary conversation in front of customers, in public.

    AND **if** he was being disciplined for talking too much about his personal life, there are a MILLION ways to finesse that and make an employee know his/her focus needs to be elsewhere.

    Clearly, even if there was no intentional homophobia, there was MASSIVE HR FAIL. That is completely and utterly without doubt.

  331. wow this is sad an alot people have to go threw this i hope he gets her job !!!!!!!!!!!

  332. wow, this is amazing! how man people support the cause and support jeffrey!
    thanks for letting us know about this. i’m not a big fan of starbucks but i do know about their policies of equality. i hope starbucks does something about it!

    very well written too! i hope the best for your family :)

  333. Thank you for standing up at taking the time to write Starbucks on behalf of Jeffery. If only there were more people like you that truly believe standing up for justice and not just turning a blind eye and not doing a dang thing about it. So you know, I’m a conservative Christian and even though my faith frowns upon same sex partners (for sexual gratification purposes) I still believe that two same gender couples no matter what they do in the bedroom SHOULD have all EQUAL rights as any civil marriage or any individual’s personal choice of what they do in the bedroom. It should have not been brought up by his “Manager” at work. It disgusts me that Jeffery was publicly discriminated and humiliated or yes even the fact that he was Gay it “IS” and WAS his personal and confidential matter that should not be announced by his Co-worker or Manager to publicly to customers. The Manager should be fired and this IS a matter of Sexual discrimination. Please create a Facebook page in support of Jeffery and hopefully he will find out about this letter so he knows how many people stand behind him and for his rights. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments, DO take this to the highest Management at Starbucks so this incident can not be diluted, lost in translation or forgotten. Thank you Missy Alison! – You are a Great American!

  334. hollie pattock

    Hi, I’m sure that you have herd this before and will here it again I’m deeply moved by your ability to stand up for what you beleave in and do so in a respectful manner. From what I can tell not holding it to starbucks but the person who did such a horrable thing so I say thank you and hope that is enough

  335. If you don’t like that manager, then don’t go to that store. Instead, you are blaming an entire corporation for the actions of 1 employee – and you don’t even know the whole story. Missy, you are an idiot. Furthermore, I perceive your bias and consider you an unreliable witness. I will be certain to purchase all my coffee from Starbucks as often as I can.

    • Well said.

    • David T, it seems more like you are the idiot who did not carefully read the whole letter before spouting off about it. Missy was writing the letter to inform the corporation about the actions of three employees (four, if you count Jeffrey). She said repeatedly that she did not witness what transpired before the HR FAIL that was an employee’s public dismissal in front of other employees and customers, and the subsequent negative conversation about that employee, that was also conducted in public, between a manager and other employees. It doesn’t matter what “bias” Missy might have had, reporting the incident to Starbucks so that they would know about it and investigate was the right thing to do. I perceive your “bias” and consider you to be a bigot. I will be certain to keep my coffee purchases exactly the same as they have ever been.

  336. As a a result of this managers actions I will boycott Starbucks for one week. Please act on this now and reaffirm to you customers, as well as all of your managers and district managers, your policies.

  337. Just wondering why YOU didn’t speak up and confront the manager and other employees? I hope Starbucks deals with the manager but feel that if it was an issue that you felt strongly about, perhaps you should have spoken up when you had an opportunity. I, too, love my Starbucks and will not discontinue my latte addiction at mine because there is a bigoted person working at another. Do hope they address the issue with that particular manager though and let her go!

  338. As someone who experienced this type of treatment from a manager, I feel for Jeffrey. It is so true that it is not what he did, if he deserved to be fired, or anything else that matters in this story. All that matters is that it was done on the store floor and done in front of customers. No one should ever coach an employee on the floor. No one should ever talk about things that could be hurtful to customers on the floor. Those are two of the first rules of retail.

  339. While I said earlier that I would have found it hard to restrain myself from confrontation, I actually think that saying nothing and writing a complaint in this case (especially since it was spread so far and wide and got the attention it did from corporate) was the best way to go.

    I can tell you from experience as an employee in fast food type industry, most companies advise the employees to immediately make a statement to management if an incident occurrs, specifically in cases where they have reason to believe that the customer will file a complaint over the incident. This gives management more deniability in the situation, and covers the employee’s ass by putting their version of the story out first…

    If the manager in question and her cohorts had filed their statements before the outcry, they would have had more time to spin the story to make their actions seem excusable. Reasonable even. This way they were hopefully caught off guard and didn’t have time to get together and come up with any kind of spin. This way corporate was caught off guard, without having been filled in on a spun version of the incident, and their response is more genuine.

    This way is better.

    Course me, I have a temper…

  340. This screams fake plant LGBT plant story.

  341. Missy says nothing about what actually happened or what was said. It seems so out of context and confusing. She is clearly upset but never fully explains why, then goes on a silly, over emotional rant. Maybe we will learn that the employees were wrong, but this tells nothing useful. I’d like to hear both sides.

  342. Regardless of the offense, regardless of whether one agrees with this employee’s lifestyle……there is no excuse for any disciplinary action/discussion/counseling/whatever being conducted in a public forum. There is no excuse for not treating this individual with respect. Yes, it is possible to respectfully fire someone from their position.

    Starbucks was one of the few good guys. This saddens me beyond belief.

  343. All i want to say is. This blogger doesn’t even know if it was the manager or a human resource person. As a starbucks employee i can tell u that when human resources comes in, NO ONE not even the manager sits in with the employee. So knowing this we are left to ASSUME it was the manager, whose to say it wasn’t the SHIFT on duty speaking to this guy. At any rate it should have been handled in the back and we should all wait for FACTS. Cause anyone can sit in a cafe and write a blog about something they think they saw. Remember reality is based off of a person’s OWN perceptions. So make up your own minds and don’t believe everything you read.

  344. And to think that is is heterosexuals passing laws against US, when in fact, it is THEY who need some laws curtailing their immoral behavior.

    Good on you for doing this, ladies.

    I will not purchase another Starbuck product, which I do EVERY SINGLE DAY, until I an certain this has been dealt with by the corporation.

    Oh, the times, they are a changin’, folks!!! Keep fighting the good fight! YOur children are lucky to have you as parents!!!

  345. Elizabeth Lopez

    Missy and Dana – firstly I wod like to say Thank you for doing the right thing and speaking up. Your letter was heartfelt and to the point. I felt every bit of it. Well said!
    Secondly I would like to say that I would be honored to have you as my “loyal” customer at the Starbucks store I manage in Brandon, FL inwould also be honored to meet Jeffrey and have him work for me and give him the hope back that this company does support him NO Matter what choice he makes in his personal relationships. The workplace should be about performance in his role and nothing more.
    Thank you again for bringing this to the attention of the company and I know they will do the right thing by this partner. I have faith in that :) I am so sorry you had this experience and I hope every manager learns something from this for their future development.

  346. Good for you Missy. Glad you got this letter out. People need to hear about how bad it can really be for some people. Thank you for sharing your voice in a professional and diplomatic way!

  347. A little story…

    My first job was at a restaurant in small-town American South, in the late 1980’s. I’d been there a couple months when they re-hired a woman who’d quit a year before. A co-worker warned me: “She’s nice, but… no matter what you say to her, she’ll end up telling how she ——- her boyfriend’s ——.” And it was true! In my first conversation with her, she graphically told me how just last night, she made her boyfriend REALLY happy.

    Everyone in the place heard her say these things, and not only was she NOT fired, she was RE-HIRED after she left! In a small town, in the South, in the 1980’s.

    The point of the story is even if in worst-case scenario, IF Jeffrey was telling his co-workers graphic accounts*, the manager is still in the wrong. You don’t publicly humiliate employees in front of customers, and you don’t “I’m not firing you, but…” You talk to them in private, away from customers AND employees, and if it’s that egregious, you terminate their employment.

    * I doubt strongly that Jeffrey was being graphic. His “politics” were probably, “I met someone and we’re going out Saturday!” Or, “my s/o is freaked out because he’s turning 30.” I’m guessing the problem was it was a Steve and not an Eve.

  348. I have worked for Starbucks is Saint Louis, MO for 4 years. I am a shift supervisor and am absolutely OUTRAGED by how Jeffery was treated! I can assure you that if Howard Schultz had been there, the manager would have been the one being fired! Starbucks is supposed to be a place for everyone and at least at my store it is. I work at Starbucks to support my acting career and meet all kinds of people. The fact that people as homophobic as that work for the same company as I do angers me. I hope very much that Starbucks Co. Reaches out and apologizes to that poor guy. I can tell you that the CEO Howard talks about how it is supposed to be a very diversified inv

  349. Environment. If I had been there, I would have sent home any employees involved and quit out of solidarity! No one should have to go through that ever.

  350. Wooohooo! a gay was put in his place. serves him right!!

    • @Jeff.
      You are no better than “none” is and you too deserve each other! Newsflash to you as yet another scank homophobe! It’s GEN-ET-IC! It’s not a “lifestyle” or a “choice” just like you can’t help having the blonde hair. Do you then expect everybody to think you have nothing between your ears (which is true in YOUR case) just because you’re a blonde????? How the hell would you like it if you got canned because you have too deep of a voice or you are getting laid all the time or even if you can’t help but to try to hit on women because they were well endowed? Same difference. Maybe you should get canned because your have a small dick.

      Would you want to be told in front of others that because you are an egotistiscal jerk you are fired? Do everybody a favor and stay out of the service and hospitality industry. YOur kind is not wanted!

      White straight Texas Bitch

  351. TwoEdgedSword

    One thing that irritates me about things like this, regardless of what “really” happened, is that the individual complaining never steps in or says anything to the supposed offending party. If you are going to rant about a situation that you NEVER tried to remedy at the time, understand that your words will hold little weight. You have no skin in the game. You are playing “armchair quarterback”.

  352. Patricia White

    Either way this happened in front of customers and that still makes it wrong. I say this as I sit in starbucks and hope this so called manager doesn’t get away with her actions.

  353. To Jake at the beginning of this stream of comments— if it was Jeffery’s poor performance that was the REAL issue, his tardiness, etc– then they would have just FIRED him. There would be no talk of “You’re not fired but…” I worked for Starbucks for 5 years, and I live IN SEATTLE. You’re late three times, you’re fired, no need for much discussion outside of “I’m sorry, that’s policy, please turn in your keys.”…and ALWAYS IN THE BACK ROOM. Frankly, it doesn’t matter WHAT was discussed, it should have been handled in the back. Or at the very least, at a time when there weren’t many guests in the lobby, and at the table furthest away from them, and at a volume where nobody’s name could be recognized by a guest. We don’t do it like that here in Seattle. I’ve heard in the past (from customers) that the further you get from Seattle, the worse the SBUX’s get…and I don’t want to believe that. I don’t. I’d like to think that we all work hard to keep things consistent and create that “Third Place” environment for the guests….clearly, that is not happening at this location. CLEARLY. I also posted this on my facebook wall, for many current Starbucks partners to see, all up and down the west coast, and hope that this reaches Howard somehow.

    • I have to say, the Seattle SBUX are on a completely different level than all other stores. I mean you can go into the one at Pike Place and there is a line of 30 people out the door and you still get your drink in less than 5 minutes.

      But I have never experienced any behavior like what Missy observed. Maybe it’s because I am on the west coast but in general all the stores I have been to are welcoming and friendly.

  354. Careful jason. You can get fired or sued for posting personal information about a fellow employee even if he was in the wrong. Bottom line….customers should not have any opportuniyu to form an opinion. The manager is unprofessional and should be fired. She knows better. ..or if she doesn’t …she is underqualified

  355. In Response to Robyn who said:

    Missy was clear that she did not know the other side of the story. What Jeffery did or did not do to get fired was not the point.
    No employee should have any matters discussed with management infront of customers, or even other employees.

    That may be true, but what Missy did was post bullshit and her own story of what happened that was in fact false/misunderstood, and she created an internet firestorm that benefitted no one except herself/ her blog. How self-serving! How unprofessional! No one is even sure if the name of the employee is really Jeffrey!

    Real bloggers- real people who care about justice and equality, get the facts, and post reality, not some bits and pieces of over heard conversation.

  356. I agree that all cases of discipline should be done in private. If the Manager cant do that perhaps she needs someone to teach her how to do her job as a professional.

  357. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! If this blogger was only concerned about the victim’s well being, and justice being served, then why in the hell did you BLOG it!!!! The only purpose of blogging is “look at me!” I’m not saying that what was said and done in front of customers was appropriate in any way shape or form. Nor am I condoning how the victim was treated. But seriously, you’re one of the reasons that bigotry and discrimination still exist in this world. Instead of addressing the proper authorities, you ignite a flame of hatred, anger, hostility and ignorance that spreads like wildfire! If you were just seeking justice, and trying to do the right thing, why the full page biography preceding your concern? I’m quite certain that the Starbucks corporation and they’re approximately 20,000 locations worldwide are not collectively “gay bashers”. The irony, and hypocrisy here is, you are doing exactly the same thing as those you are complaining about. You have undressed an entire world wide organization, whom do amazing things for communities across the globe, in front of the publics eyes. Again, I don’t condone in any way the actions of the employees at this Starbucks location, but I am intelligent enough to realize that this is an isolated incident and not a corporate policy. Maybe think next time before you throw everyone associated with an organization under the bus because a couple of members are ignorant and unprofessional.

    • Rychen, your post makes me think that either you did not read the original post or your reading comprehension is worse than most kindergartners’. The original post was quite clear in blaming no person and no organization other than those she overheard bashing “Jeffrey.” She even specified that she knows the company policy is not in line with the behavior of those few people. Her only error, so far as I can see, is in not confronting those specific people and telling them that she would report the behavior she observed to the company.