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."
"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.
Many, particularly the older generation, chided the barista for ranting on social media, with one user remarking, 'Oh boo boo.'
Internet divided over Starbucks employee meltdown: Is Generational difference to be blamed here?
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."
While many people backed him, many others fiercely attacked his views.
A lot of people supported him for coming forward and expressing the impact of a mismanaged Starbucks work culture on the employees.
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."
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.