A Starbucks worker stated she stop after her boss requested her to reschedule placing her sick canine down.
Auralee Smith labored at Starbucks for over two years earlier than quitting, calling the tradition “callous.”
Her beloved rescue canine, Gandy, was her “best friend” till she obtained most cancers and wanted to be put down.
A 21-year-old faculty pupil stop her job as a Starbucks barista after her supervisor requested her to reschedule an appointment to place down her canine in order that she would not miss work.
Auralee Smith stated her household’s rescue canine, Gandy, was her “best friend.” The household adopted Gandy when she was round eight years outdated, and Gandy was “really scared and stuff when we got her,” Smith advised Insider.
“My family helped her come out of her shell,” Smith stated. “It was like she just was finally happy to not be in a stressful, horrible situation.”
The household joked that Gandy was a “cat-dog” due to how a lot she liked napping within the solar. Smith, who teaches piano classes in New Jersey, stated Gandy would “sing along” when she performed piano.
“I would play a note, and she’d try to match it with howling,” Smith stated. “It was really, really sweet. She loved that.”
It was devastating when Gandy’s household found she had most cancers, and the vet really helpful in opposition to working resulting from Gandy’s outdated age. While coping with the ache of selecting to place Gandy down, Smith stated the very last thing she anticipated was for her Starbucks supervisor to be “literally asking me to change the day I put her to sleep” when Smith stated she requested to get her shift lined.
“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 stated in a textual content to her boss in February, including “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 supervisor 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?”
After over two years working for Starbucks, Smith stated that textual content message was the final straw.
“I read that last sentence, and I audibly was like, ‘Oh. What on earth? How?’ How was that the decision of what to say to me?” Smith stated. “That was such a harsh response to me, just asking me if I could change the day I put her to sleep.”
In response to her supervisor, 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.”
While it was upsetting, Smith stated she wasn’t completely stunned by her supervisor’s response and did not place all of the blame on her. It was Starbucks as an organization, she stated, that cultivated an setting the place staff had been overworked and underappreciated. It has develop into a common refrain among the many coffee-chain’s employees, lots of whom have unionized.
“To me, this is just the mentality that Starbucks promotes behind the scenes,” Smith stated. “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. I already felt like I was getting burnt out and stuff. Then, when I just saw that, that was it.”
A spokesperson for Starbucks stated the textual content messages posted by Smith don’t present the complete image. In textual content messages shared with Insider, Smith’s supervisor expressed sympathy for her scenario however maintained that Smith wanted to seek out protection for her shift.
“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 stated in an announcement.
Smith stated she’s obtained overwhelming help after posting screenshots of the trade on Twitter and Reddit after she had time to grieve Gandy, however she stays pissed off by how the corporate tried to advertise a big-happy-family ambiance whereas staff labored in tense circumstances the place clients needed to get their espresso shortly and get out.
“As they’ve gotten more toxic and callous in that way, they also are still – they meaning the company – are still 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,” Smith stated. “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.”
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