Starbucks Barista Quits After Manager Tells Her to Reschedule Putting Down Her Dog So As to Not Miss Work

Joel Eisenberg

The superchain is facing a wave of outrage over the incident.

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Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Insider.com, Finance.Yahoo.com, Twitter.com, and MSN.com.

Introduction

According to an Insider.com report republished this past weekend by Finance.Yahoo.com, entitled “A Starbucks Barista Quit Her Job After Her Manager Asked Her to Reschedule Putting Down Her Family Dog So She Wouldn’t Miss Her Shift,” the employee was a 21-year-old college student.

As excerpted from the article: A 21-year-old college student quit her job as a Starbucks barista after her manager asked her to reschedule an appointment to put down her dog so that she wouldn't miss work. Auralee Smith said her family's rescue dog, Gandy, was her "best friend." The family adopted Gandy when she was around eight years old, and Gandy was "really scared and stuff when we got her," Smith told Insider. "My family helped her come out of her shell," Smith said. "It was like she just was finally happy to not be in a stressful, horrible situation." 

Auralee went on to call the company culture “callous.”

Though neither the company nor the manager responsible for maintaining employees for her shift did anything illegal, morality has come into play in this issue.

Let us explore further.

Fall Out

As could reasonably be expected, fall out has been swift. Auralee shared her conversation on Twitter and other outlets, and has won admirers for her actions:

"I'm sorry to do this but I'm trying to find coverage for my Sunday shift. I have to put my dog down on Saturday night and I will be an absolute mess. She's my best friend," Smith said in a text to her boss in February, adding "I'm going to text some people and see if they can help out." 

"I'm really gonna need you to find coverage," Smith's manager responded. "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?"

According to MSN.com, the callousness of the company culture — which in part has led to the recent controversial calls for unionization — precipitated her exit: In response to her manager, Smith texted: "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. 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." 

MSN.com also posted a formal response from Starbucks: A spokesperson for Starbucks said the text messages posted by Smith do not show the full picture. In text messages shared with Insider, Smith's manager expressed sympathy for her situation but maintained that Smith needed to find coverage for her shift. The spokesperson added that the company offers personal and sick leave, though in this case, Smith did not ask for it, and her manager did not offer it. "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 said in a statement. 

Conclusion

I will post updates of this still-developing story here, on NewsBreak, as they are reported.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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