Working in the foodservice industry can be a thankless job, especially when it comes to fast food chains like Starbucks. During the pandemic, there were a large number of public freakouts from people who were upset they couldn't get their Vanilla Iced Caramel Macchiatos without wearing a mask.
"Barista-Assaulting-Karens" were popping up every week it seemed which culminated in waves of support from folks all over social media to the employees who were often overworked and underpaid for their services.
Now that businesses are opening up again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some customers' behaviors are reportedly only getting worse.
But at least one Starbucks employee has expressed her dread, but not in having to deal with irate customers, but a "toxic" manager who cut her hours for "being late."
However, Krista Webster recorded a 26-minute phone conversation with her boss and uploaded snippets of the conversation to TikTok to show the type of behavior she says she was subjected to as an employee of one of the coffee franchise's locations.
In the call, her boss says that she doesn't "perform her best before 9 a.m." and that Krista "didn't respect" upper management's time off. When she asked why her hours were reduced to zero, her manager tells her that she isn't a good employee.
During their conversation, Krista attempts to rebut her manager's claims, but is then interrupted: "I'm talking, Krista. I'm talking," the manager says.
They then go on to criticize Krista's performance at the job as she puts up a discipline report that was placed against her.
The reason? "Switching roles." Krista went on to say that she filed a report of her own against the manager and intimates that this was the real impetus for her termination at the Starbucks location, not for "being late" as her manager officially recorded.
Throngs of TikTokers commented in support of Krista and shared the video, which is quickly going viral.
Many remarked that their support comes in the face of massive employment restructurings in a post-pandemic landscape and how heartless it was of her manager to treat her the way they did.
An extremely popular TikToker, who worked as a Starbucks barista himself, Spencer Hunt, said that the same manager they worked with did such a poor job of working with him that he ultimately decided to switch locations. Hunt has some 10 million followers on the platform, which only helped to get Krista's message out to more people.
There were other commenters who couldn't believe that the conversation didn't occur during work hours: "This is really unprofessional, sorry you had to deal with that."
Daily Dot followed up with Starbucks to get their take on the situation, and in a response to the outlet, the chain stated that they've had a conversation with Krista and are currently looking into the matter.
"Krista’s experience is not one we want any partner to have and we will take appropriate action based on the findings of our investigation," a spokesperson said in a statement.
There have been tons of complaints online about poor experiences baristas have had with Starbucks' bosses. In a 2017 Reddit post there were some who commented about the great work that their managers did.
However, there were also mentions of people who baristas couldn't understand how they "got [the] job."
Narcimetamorpho writes: "We opened in February. Day one she asks me to sweep. I do, and I alert her to the fact that we don't have a dust pan. She tells me to just sweep it under one of the machines. ON THE DAY OF OUR OPENING WHEN EVERYTHING IS SHINY AND NEW. Like, it'll never be this clean again. I said, 'How about you hand me a bag and I'll sweep it into that?' 'Great idea.' Ugh."
They added: "She lets the laziest people on our team get away with doing nothing on their shifts, taking extra breaks, free drinks (we're supposed to pay for anything that's not a small coffee or tea), etc. Because she knows those of us who work hard will pick up the slack."
Tamaskan also wrote: "I have no idea what to think, honestly. He's been with the company for-e-ver. He believes his staff and definitely cares about us, but it's frustrating how literally he takes "making the moment right", despite knowing that a certain customer is f--king nuts and throws all of us under the bus in order to get free s--t. He always gives it to her, and won't defend us to anyone's faces."
Krista said that she's going to post a YouTube video of the full conversation for further context and seems to be attempting to pursue her firing through a lawsuit with Starbucks.