August 18th, 2014

Update on the SBUX thing

So I posted about an ordering problem at Starbucks here in Acton, yesterday.

I was prepared to accept some of the blame. However, I should not have. I very, very rarely decide consciously not to tip and I did that yesterday and I'm really glad I didn't tip. The order-taker tripped so hard over "single tall soy mocha no whip" that the person making the coffee had to double check to not give me whip. The order-taker asserted that the size of the beverage determined the number of shots so I didn't need to specify.

The order taker was wrong to remove the specification, because there is currently confusion at Starbucks about how many shots go into a drink.

Notice the comments thread goes into this calendar year, and there is extensive, variable experience as to how many shots per beverage.

Also, if I did indeed get two shots, that might help explain why I was awake until after 1 a.m. this morning. 1 shot at 3 p.m. may keep me awake; 2 definitely will.

I'll update this later after I contact customer service.

ETA: Customer service, as always, was lovely. They made sure they got the correct store, they confirmed that it is two shots in a tall, so I _need_ to specify single to get what I want, and they gave me $10 on my card. I also thanked them for adding the kids' temperature hot chocolate, which saves us all kinds of grief and which they were happy to learn is appreciated. They thanked me for letting them know what had happened so they could identify a need to do a little training, which is exactly why I called in the first place. So, SBUX still a good company, just stuck with a tight labor market here in Metrowest and thus hiring young people who haven't got it all figured out yet like us oldsters.

Heard in the background

The kids have the new Furby Boom, the apps and a couple Furblings. A. in particular has gotten _really good_ at figuring out how to keep the Furby happy so it makes eggs, hatch the eggs, level up the Furblings in the app, lather rinse repeat. T. is also good, but A. has been particularly interested in gifting eggs and she really had to nag T. to get him to agree to this. Then there were some issues where it wasn't working, possibly because the iPads were in thick cases and lying on carpeted floor (a bunch of the Furby/app interactions seem to really work best on a table or a hardwood floor; not sure why).

Anyway, I was on the phone to Starbucks, and I had discussed that I would be making this phone call with the kids and they had agreed to it. But while on the phone, the difficulties were causing some distress and A. wanted to get my help; T. was telling her she couldn't. He was yelling, "Because she's on the phone!!!"

He turned 9 yesterday. He may be the best 9 year old on the planet, running interference with a younger sibling to prevent/limit interruptions of the phone call.

UU, pacifism, Religious Education and getting answers by talking to actual people!

I have been thinking for several years that maybe-someday I'd get the kids signed up for Religious Education with the UUs, because I think that's a pretty good way of inoculating people against really dangerous forms of indoctrination. They wouldn't be going into a conversation with an evangelical or worse completely ignorant. But because they are young, and because of some other things, it has not yet been time to really start planning this process. However, with T. recently asking to go to church and both of us enjoying a Tai Chi/Taoism lay-led summer service over in Stow, I got to thinking about it again, and was trying to figure out how to get an answer to my concerns about UU pacifism and also to better understand how to make a hypothetical future interaction with Religious Education work better for my special needs kids. After my usual resort to the web, I said to myself, Self, you are friendly acquaintances/friends with a UU minister. Why are you trying to get an answer to these questions online?

So when I ran into my minister friend while on a walk with T. (it seemed potentially complex to attempt this conversation while walking with M.), I told her the story about T. asking to go to church and we had a very nice conversation about that that very naturally led to answers to my questions. I felt a little bad about bugging a friend with what is essentially a "work" question, but I apologized pre-emptively for that and she completely dismissed that as a concern. I suppose I should have expected that from a minister! She says that the UU community of course is varied, but has been really working on being more supportive of veterans, and they do have a chaplaincy program. She also talked about providing support to military families. Based on what she said, I had no trouble finding confirmation for her assertion that this was a quite new development for UU:

She was also able to make suggestions about which of the nearby UU congregations might have more experience providing special support in Religious Education, and how to go about accessing that support.

Not sure when I'll be able to do anything about this, given the kids' current Sunday schedule, but I'll keep plugging away at the scheduling constraints and presumably something will work out, if not this year, then in a future year. In the meantime, it is a relief to learn that what was obviously the Denomination For Me in every other way is probably even manageable on the pacifism issue.

making a genius bar appointment for a friend

I got a call today when a friend was completely panicked. She had seen a bunch of popups warning her about some security problem in LogMeIn (which she doesn't even have) and after some sort of interaction turned over credit card or maybe debit information to the scam. Because it definitely was a scam. I talked her into turning off the computer and unplugging it from the internet, then calling her bank to have the card changed. She talked to some other people also, who generally agreed with the plan.

I then made a genius bar appointment (on my account because you can't actually do this for someone else) for tomorrow evening. Yay! Had to talk her into really going, because she didn't want to trouble me, but I was so, we are going. Then R. pointed out I'd screwed up; we have company tomorrow evening, so I rescheduled to Wednesday morning. Then I realized I had breakfast with a friend planned for Wednesday morning, so it is now scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. It is a bummer to not use your computer for a day and a half, but I feel that is a minor price to pay to ensure someone who knows what they are doing deals with the aftermath of any possible malware. Also, that someone will speak with a voice of authority about how to not get into this kind of situation again.

I feel like my scheduling screwups were all part of a pattern today: a lot of little things that had to be taken care of (turning paper statements back off, paying bills, re-upping with Verizon to get the better deal on TriplePlay Fios, dropped off stuff at the preschool that should not have come home to us and also picked up things that should have, contacted Starbucks customer service, contacted my bank's customer service, put a bunch of stuff in the trunk of my car to go to the bins, consignment, or be exchanged at the store from whence they came, made blondies, salad and slaw, did some filing, went through a week's worth of mail, continued the slow packing process for a trip on a plane that we are hoping not to check any bags for, sent email about another upcoming trip that someone has recently decided they'd like to participate in, canceled the Babbel and RosettaStone subscriptions that we are not currently using, turned off a signup that I didn't make etc. ad nauseum).

Ah, the privacy justification: update

To catch you up: apparently when you sign up for, it will let you use just any email addresss at all -- it doesn't require you to confirm that address is real in order to continue. Like, ever. So I was getting proposed matches with no obvious way to turn them off. Eventually, it occurred to me I could just log in with my email and go through the password recovery dance, then turn the account off, but before I had that thought, I reached out to customer service.

Then I thought to turn off the account myself. And then I got this back from customer service.

"I appreciate the time you have taken to contact, and I'm sorry to hear that you're receiving unwanted messages from us.

I've issued a request to stop sending all emails to your [my email] address. Most messages should stop immediately. However, you may receive some promotional items for another 7 to 10 business days, and then those should stop as well.

I have also taken appropriate action regarding the account your email address was linked to. Although privacy policies do not allow me to reveal any details, I can tell you that these situations often occur when a member accidentally mistypes their email address when they register on our site.

Again, I apologize that this happened. If this issue persists or if I can do anything else for you, please reply to this email, and I'll be happy to help.

Warm regards,

[First name, Last initial] Customer Care"

So this is pretty interesting in several ways. When I turned off the account, I didn't change the password first. The original person who set it up, if they saved their username/password, can log in, reactivate the account and maybe connect it to their real email. If they don't, and keep using my email, I would presumably have received more email at that time. Possibly customer care has removed my email from this account -- I'm not necessarily interested in poking around the account in an effort to find out.

If were validating emails, there would be no "accidentally mistypes" happening -- you wouldn't be able to set up the account if you couldn't round trip it with the confirmation email, which is standard for online accounts in general (altho I'm encountering exceptions here, disqus, redbox, etc.). The idea that is preserving anyone's privacy in this interaction (given how I dealt with the problem) is exceptionally amusing. FWIW, there were no messages in the inbox (sent or received) or really anything at all. It was just a stub account and the only personalization was the Firstname fields filled in.