Hot coffee, cold heart.
A young barista quit her job at Starbucks after her manager allegedly suggested that she put her dog to bed another day so she wouldn’t miss her shift.
Auralee Smith, 21, worked part-time at an undisclosed New Jersey franchise for more than two years before texting her boss saying she might need a day off to recuperate after the death of her pooch, Gandy, in February.
“I’m sorry to do this, but I’m trying to find some cover for my Sunday shift,” Smith wrote, according to alleged screenshots she posted on Twitter. “I have to put my dog down on Saturday night and I will be an absolute mess. She is my best friend. I’m just warning you in advance, I’m going to text some people and see if they can help.
The manager – who has not been publicly identified – reportedly replied: “I’m really going to need you to find cover. I understand it’s a difficult situation, but you have enough notice so it won’t be approved if you don’t come. Is there a way to do it on a night when you’re not working the next day?”
Smith said she was so stunned by the posts that she responded with her resignation.
“I’ll do my best to find cover. I’m sorry it’s awkward but she’s the family dog and she’s very sick and that’s what my family decided to do. I can’t reschedule when I drop my dog off for Starbucks,” a screenshot of the post read. “It’s also me who officially dedicates my two weeks. I’ve worked for this company for 2.5 years and appreciate what they’ve done for me, but I’m ready to move on.
The exchange of messages has garnered more than 244,000 likes on Twitter since it was posted late last month.
In an interview with Insider, Smith denounced the coffee giant, saying the franchise was “toxic” and “insensitive.”
“To me, that’s just the mentality that Starbucks promotes behind the scenes,” she claimed. “It only got worse during my time at Starbucks that mentality that leads to someone asking me to change the day I put my dog to sleep.”
She further claimed that Starbucks “sticks so much to that idea that they try to be a little family cafe or something and not the McDonald’s of cafes.”
“It’s not a small, family-owned store, and they expect you to act like everything is short-staffed, toxic, and insensitive,” the ex-barista said.
In a response to Insider, Starbucks said Smith did not request personal or sick leave, which the company offers. She finally got her shift covered and didn’t need to change the day her dog was shot.
“The health and well-being of our partners is and continues to be our top priority. In this case, we were able to help this partner cover her work at that time,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Insider in a statement.
The Post has contacted the company for further comment.
Working conditions at Starbucks made headlines last year after stores across the country began to unionize.
Last December, a Buffalo-area store became the first Starbucks-owned outlet to unionize in company history, followed by hundreds of stores.
As of Aug. 3, 209 Starbucks stores have officially unionized, according to the National Labor Relations Board, and many have voted to join the large, established Workers United union.
Starbucks vehemently opposes the move and has fought back, even sending a letter to President Biden in June after the commander-in-chief met with a union barista at the White House.
“The majority of our partners (employees) oppose union membership and the organizing tactics deployed by Workers United,” the company wrote.
“We have a radically 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.”