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"He's allowed to be frustrated": Starbucks Barista crying video leaves internet divided as generations to clash online 

Netizens divided over Starbucks barista meltdown (Image via Twitter/@SebGorka)
Netizens divided over Starbucks barista meltdown (Image via Twitter/@SebGorka)

A TikTok video of a Starbucks barista named Avery having a meltdown over long working hours and rude customers has gone viral, earlier this fall. The 2:18 minute-long video, posted on August 8, 2022, has the employee claiming he is "constantly crying." The employee in the video can be heard saying:

"I’m literally about to quit. I don’t know if I’m going to do it, but like, I really want to. I almost walked out today. And I’m crying in the back room, and I almost cried on the floor."

He continues:

"I’m a full-time student. I get scheduled for 25 hours a week, and on weekends they schedule me the entire day — open to close. I’m on the schedule for eight-and-a-half hours, both Saturday and Sunday."

Needless to say, the video became a hot topic of discussion amongst netizens. Many were sympathetic to the barista, with one user saying that he is allowed to be frustrated.

@SebGorka He's allowed to be frustrated at Starbucks and his crappy manager not pulling their weight. People keep bringing up his 8 hrs shifts but working a job on top of being a full time student would be tiring. He's having a vent, so what.

Many, particularly the older generation, chided the barista for ranting on social media, with one user remarking, 'Oh boo boo.'

Image via Twitter/@JCoopWylie
Image via Twitter/@JCoopWylie

Internet divided over Starbucks employee meltdown: Is Generational difference to be blamed here?

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Avery, the barista, also criticized the unfair treatment of workers in his TikTok video and complained about management pressuring staff to perform extra shifts. The video also went viral on Twitter, where many users expressed their dissatisfaction with working long hours and having no social life, writing:

"You people are weird to think overworking is a flex."
A discussion thread debating over the meltdown (Image via Twitter/@ang41033619, @AlexAstora, @SugitaAkira, @PlusMin03340269, @tired_joot))
A discussion thread debating over the meltdown (Image via Twitter/@ang41033619, @AlexAstora, @SugitaAkira, @PlusMin03340269, @tired_joot))
Image via Twitter/@B_Rad_lee55, @_joshyoung der
Image via Twitter/@B_Rad_lee55, @_joshyoung der

While many people backed him, many others fiercely attacked his views.

@KennethRWebster Is this for real ? Or he’s trying to get “DRAMA OF THE YEAR AWARD 🥇 “
You thought serving in the military was tough? Try being a barista at Starbucks. https://t.co/DQLFXg8gnm
@KennethRWebster Learn a trade. Do something useful with yourself.
@KennethRWebster I’m mad at the parents. They failed. If your child is posting videos from the bathroom crying about how hard work is… you failed as a parent on so many levels.And you failed me because somehow I’ll eventually end up forced to pay for your failure.
@KennethRWebster Lil punk crying about only 4 people but then hides to make this video while his coworkers struggle. He don’t care about them. Talking about a union. Pansy ass.
Trans Barrister has meltdown because 8 hours is too long to work on a day... https://t.co/IfVSzZ4G0w

A lot of people supported him for coming forward and expressing the impact of a mismanaged Starbucks work culture on the employees.

@paccdemarco @SebGorka man i’m studying engineering and i’m so tired of seeing this discourse about how working a job like starbucks is easy cause it’s not. Ive worked as a barista before and it’s actually super difficult. engineering is easier for me
@finnie_claire @SebGorka I did 5 years as a student with a part time job at a supermarket as a chashier with the same hours (25 p/week) as this kid between 16-21, and that included an 8 [email protected] on Saturday.We too were often short staffed & had to cover ppl being off.
@SebGorka Wow, you are so brave for bullying a young service worker 🙄A full time college student is expected to do 2-3 hours of homework per every class hourSo if this kiddo is in class 15 hours a week, has 30 hours of homework, and then 25 hours of work that is a 70 hour week
@JouMoore @SebGorka Yeah y’all worked yourselves to death and are still bitter and unhappy about it. Life doesn’t have to be full of unnecessary struggles. As The same generation that don’t belive mental illness exists this isn’t a flex y’all are depressed
@SebGorka This is why everyone hates the older generation because y’all will say you want the best for our generations and then when we want it to be better y’all whine about how you had it worse and essentially say we deserve the same. I will never understand why you wouldn’t want better.

Is Starbucks underpaying and overworking their staff?

Starbucks Corporation is a multinational chain of coffeehouses, headquartered in Seattle. Founded in 1971, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world, with over 33,000 locations in 80 countries as of November 2021.

This is not the first time a Starbucks employee has complained about being overworked and understaffed. In May 2021, about half of the stores reported substantial understaffing, while upper management expressed no concern. A barista previously told Business Insider:

"I love being a barista and I adore them...(however) we are tired, we are worn out, and people are not nice to us."
Image via Twitter/@BusinessInsider
Image via Twitter/@BusinessInsider

As of August 2022, 209 stores have elected to unionize. Commenting on the same, John Logan, a labor and employment studies professor at San Francisco State University, told CNBC:

“A lot of it is concentrated amongst young workers, sometimes college-educated young workers, often working in sort of low-paying service sector jobs: overworked, underpaid, overeducated workers.”

The CNBC article also included another barista's account of how they were so short-staffed that several employees worked more than 50 hours per week, with many being fired or quitting.

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Edited by Vinay Agrawal
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