Hot coffee, cold heart.
A young barista has quit her job at Starbucks after her manager purportedly suggested she put her dog down on a different day so that she wouldn’t miss her shift.
Auralee Smith, 21, worked part-time at an undisclosed franchise location in New Jersey for more than two years before she texted her boss saying she may need a day off to recover following the death of her pet pooch, Gandy, back in February.
“I’m sorry to do this but I’m trying to find coverage for my Sunday shift,” Smith allegedly wrote, according to screenshots she posted on Twitter. “I have to put my dog down on Saturday night and I will be an absolute mess. She’s my best friend. I’m just letting you know ahead of time, I’m going to text some people and see if they can help out.”
The manager — who has not been publicly identified — allegedly responded: “I’m really gonna need you to find coverage. I understand it’s a tough situation but you have plenty of notice so it’s not going to be approved if you don’t come in. Is there a way you could do it on a night where you don’t work the next day?”
Smith said she was so stunned by the messages that she replied with her resignation.
“I’ll do my best to find coverage. I’m sorry this is inconvenient but it’s the family dog and she’s very sick and it’s what my family has decided to do. I can’t reschedule when I put my dog down for Starbucks,” a screenshot of the message read. “This is also me putting in my two weeks officially. I’ve worked for this company for 2.5 years and I appreciate what it’s done for me but I’m ready to move on.”
The message exchange has garnered more than 244,000 likes on Twitter since it was posted late last month.
In an interview with Insider, Smith hit out at the coffee giant, claiming the franchise as “toxic” and “callous.”
“To me, this is just the mentality that Starbucks promotes behind the scenes,” she alleged. “It just kept getting worse over my time at Starbucks that the mentality that leads to somebody asking me to change the day I put my dog to sleep.”
She further claimed that Starbucks is “sticking so hard to this idea that they’re trying to be a little family-owned coffee shop or something and not the McDonald’s of coffee shops.”
“It’s not a little mom-and-pop store, and they expect you to act like it is while everything is short-staffed and toxic and callous,” the ex-barista alleged.
In a response to Insider, Starbucks said that Smith did not ask for personal or sick leave, which the company offers. She eventually had her shift covered and did not need to change the day her dog was put down.
“The health and well-being of our partners is and continues to be our top priority. In this instance, we were able to support this partner in getting her work covered at that time,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Insider in a statement.
The Post has reached out to the company for further comment.
Working conditions at Starbucks have been in the headlines this past year after stores across the country started to unionize.
Back in December, a Buffalo-area store became the first Starbucks-owned outlet to unionize in company history, with hundreds of stores subsequently following suit.
As of Aug. 3, 209 Starbucks stores have officially unionized, according to the National Labor Relations Board, with many voting to join the large, established Workers United union.
Starbucks is vehemently opposed to the movement and has hit back, even sending a letter to President Biden in June after the Commander-in-Chief met with a unionizing barista at the White House.
“A majority of our partners (employees) oppose being members of a union and the unionization tactics being deployed by Workers United,” the company wrote.
“We have a drastically more positive vision for our partners and our company than Workers United,” they added. “And our vision is based on listening, connecting, collaborating and engaging directly with our partners.”
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