The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Simple Humanity

Was reminded today of a barista at a Starbucks I used to frequent, who at the end of the night would give out sandwiches which would otherwise be put in the garbabe, and fill up cups with drinks which would otherwise be poured down the sink.

A very simple kindness, and one which was against company policy.

Good man.


Hunter Biden’s Corruption


Bernie’s Heart Problems


  1. Throw a monkey wrench it.

  2. Mike Barry

    Hopefully your barista wasn’t shot by a cop “who feared for his life.”

  3. StewartM

    At a sandwich shop I worked at while in college, we did something very similar, also against company policy. It was both an act of ‘simple humanity’ and also a rebellion against the senselesness of waste.

    A few years back, when asked by a high-scoring student on the SAT and the other tests about summer jobs, I told him to get a job like I had done in his shoes—grunt work for low pay. Specifically, I told him about my janitor job at a local hospital. Where you had to deal with wildly overoptimistic work outputs drawn up by managers who had never done the work (and on top of that, interruptions), people who carelessly make more work for you, as well as doctors, orderlies, and nurses talking down to you AS IF YOU WERE STUPID. Then you think that while you only have to suffer this for a few months, your coworkers have to put up with this crap every day, year after year. And you wonder how they manage.

    I don’t think the student appreciated my advice, but pulling a stint at the bottom of the economic and social pyramid is a very useful and eye-opening learning experience he would not get elsewhere.

  4. Herman

    @Mike Barry,

    I was thinking this good person might have been fired for this. I hope I am wrong but people today are such sticklers about following rules, at least for the little people. Managers have become much worse about this sort of thing, but even workers seem more prone to snitch on each other today. There is also greater technological surveillance of workers too.

    The thing that makes me really mad is that many Americans would approve of firing a guy like this because Americans, for all of their tough guy talk, are mostly servile bootlickers these days. People used to be more forgiving of breaking rules, especially if it was to help people and didn’t really hurt anyone. Today you have to follow the rules no matter how stupid and petty they are. Anybody who breaks the rules must be punished and never given a second chance. Just another example of widespread social rot.

  5. Ed

    One of the local bagel shops quietly made a deal with the local homeless shelter. If the shelter sent over a volunteer at the end of the day, they’d give them all the bagels that would otherwise be thrown out. The owner was disgruntled when word got out about what he was doing. He felt charity should be done privately.

    You can guess where I buy all my bagels these days.

  6. ponderer

    That’s a nice story. It would be difficult for that to happen today I think. Someone with a MAGA hat, gets an extra cup of coffee and now someone else there has a grudge against the barrista and decides to get him fired. They would rather no one have “free” coffee than it go to their enemies. It could go the other way of course, few are above pettiness in our cancel culture.

  7. @Ed
    “The owner was disgruntled when word got out about what he was doing. He felt charity should be done privately.”

    That’s the best part of the story.

  8. Willy

    Glad somebody mentioned the MAGA hat.

    I go into every retail outlet knowing that I will not be having that store coerce me into do my own checking and bagging. That should be their job, not mine. I wait in line for a real cashier and try to be as pleasant as possible to that employee.

    The last time I scanned my own stuff there was this guy wearing a MAGA hat in front of me, clueless and slow. Sure, I could’ve made the spurious assumption that everybody wearing such a cap is going to be clueless and slow. But he seemed so dumb that I began to entertain the notion that it was performance satire.

    Anyways, I continued to shop there but chose to go through checkstands manned by professionals instead.

  9. Ten Bears

    I am having a hard time visualizing someone in a MAGAt hat down at the bistro indulging in day-old coffee and croissants. Not that it couldn’t happen, of course, I’m just having a hard time picturing it. Nice targets, though, there’s nothing quite like advertising.

  10. Willy

    It was Home Depot, which as a business is going right down one of their crapweasel toilets.

    Since the founders retired they have a new CEO making his own crapitalistic mark. I’d forgotten what a good 2×4 was until I went to an actual (small business) lumber yard. I’d forgotten what good tile was until I went to an actual (small business) tile store. And paint.

    So I’ll throw this one in too. Support your local small business hardware stores. I got a tile saw for 20 percent less (exact same saw) at a small tile supply store, than was being sold at the “warehouse prices” Home Depot. There are no self-scan machines in any of the smaller places either. And the help is actually helpful.

  11. Joan

    I worked a food service job that required us to industrially compost. The compost bin was locked so bears couldn’t get into it. Often a homeless person would linger near the compost bin and ask my employees (I was the manager, but not the owner) for the food. Then some of my employees got spooked when this man approached them late at night, so I had to call security.

    I once asked in a work meeting why we didn’t give our leftovers to the homeless shelter: bagel sandwiches, good hardy stuff. I was told that we could be sued if a homeless person had an allergic reaction to the food and required medical care. That explanation seemed so bizarre to me. I’m sure if each of the homeless people were asked to sign a waiver before eating the food, they would do it.

    Following the rules in that job often made me feel icky, like I was pushing the boundaries of my moral code. At least I looked the other way when my student employees took home food at the end of the night. Since I wasn’t there, I have no idea how much it happened, since I could verify with the inventory that whatever they took would have been composted anyways.

  12. ponderer


    Maybe he figured you’d go to one of the empty registers. He probably told all his friends about how long you stood there fuming. I bet they had a big laugh about it while eating their Russian caviar, smoking cuban cigars, and plotting plotting how to steel another election in 2020 by recognizing that electoral votes have been part of the system for a couple hundred years or so..

  13. Willy

    Meanwhile in reality, there was only one functioning scanner working at 7AM by the contractors door with a long line of pros with loaded orange carts heavy with the usual bulky-heavy building materials. With a single MAGA idiot holding everybody up.

    But ponderer, I did see you across the store with the other do-it-yourselfers in your pink “I’m With Her” sweater.

  14. Ten Bears

    I am often one of those with the heavily loaded orange carts …

  15. Jay Treaty

    I recently saw an online ad from our friends at IBM Security, white text against blue background: \”Compliance Is Liberation\”
    A brief tagline seemed to indicate this was some kind of scheme to improve profits by monitoring employee behavior more closely.
    Taking early retirement at a poverty pension is feeling better every day.

  16. sbt42

    @Jay Treaty:

    A quick translation: “Slavery is Freedom”? I guess the converse of that statement seemed a bit too creepy, eh?

  17. ponderer


    Just cause nobody is using it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Even if the others were “broke” it doesn’t matter what hat the guy had on. If you had thought about it logically you would have offered to help him. That would have gotten everyone in line through faster though it would have taken away from your standing-around-waiting time construction crews love so much. The fact that you and everyone else were too lazy, self absorbed, or hung up over his political affiliations just goes to shows the problems lies with putting tribal affiliation over the good of humanity. He may have been an idiot but at least he had an excuse.

  18. Willy

    You’re right. The “OUT OF ORDER” sign was a ruse.

    You may have never noticed, but at every Home Depot self-scan station grouping there is an attendant who’s there to help train the customers to do his former scanning job. He was helping the MAGA idiot and getting pretty frustrated himself.

    But not to worry. Technology on the way that does away with all retail employees except for security. You’ll simply pick up your items and walk out the door and your bank account will be automatically charged. This will eliminate the nuisance of having to deal with MAGA idiots.

    Of course if you’re mischarged, or the bar code chip is broken, or a computer glitch or some other malfunction or oversight from stressed employees, you’ll have to go through (no doubts) a laborious process in a long line at customer service with the inevitable MAGA cap idiot in front of you, again.

    ponderer, seriously, you’re really reaching with that last comment. Tribalism is a major enemy, but nobody has offered much about what to do about it, besides scolding those who’ve already listened and understood. It is those who cannot listen, those most prone to tribalism, those who make up most of the human population, who wear MAGA caps and IM WITH HER sweaters, whose votes also count, who need to be reached, don’t you think?

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