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A Starbucks barista quit her job after her manager asked her to postpone the slaughter of her family dog ​​so she wouldn’t miss her shift


Auralee Smith in her Starbucks uniform and with her dog, Gandy.Courtesy of Auralee Smith.

  • A Starbucks employee said she quit after her boss asked her to postpone the slaughter of her sick dog.

  • Auralee Smith worked at Starbucks for more than two years before quitting, calling the culture “insensitive”.

  • Her beloved rescue dog, Gandy, was her “best friend” until she had cancer and needed to be put down.

A 21-year-old student quit her job as a barista at Starbucks after her manager asked her to reschedule an appointment to slaughter her dog so 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 about 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 was finally happy that she wasn’t in a stressful, horrible situation.”

The family joked that Gandy was a “cat-dog” because of how much she loved to nap in the sun. Smith, who gives piano lessons in New Jersey, said Gandy “sings” when she plays the piano.

“I would play a note and she would try to associate it with a howl,” Smith said. “It was really, really sweet. She loved it.”

It was devastating when Gandy’s family found out she had cancer and the vet recommended against surgery due to Gandy’s advanced age. While dealing with the pain of choosing to drop Gandy, Smith said the last thing she expected was her Starbucks manager “literally asking me to change the day I put her to sleep” when Smith said she had requested that her shift be covered. .

A Starbucks barista quit her job after her manager asked her to postpone the slaughter of her family dog ​​so she wouldn’t miss her shift

Auralee Smith’s dog, Gandy.Courtesy of Auralee Smith.

“I’m sorry to do this, but I’m trying to find cover for my Sunday shift. I have to put my dog ​​down on Saturday night and I’ll be a total mess. She’s my best friend,” Smith said in a text. to his boss in February, adding “I’m going to text some people and see if they can help.”

“I’m really going to need you to find cover,” Smith’s manager replied. “I understand it’s a difficult situation, but you have a lot of notice, so it won’t be approved if you don’t come. Is there a way to do it on an evening when you’re not working the next day ?”

After more than two years working for Starbucks, Smith said texting was the last straw.

“I read that last sentence, and I clearly said, ‘Oh. What is this? How?’ How was it the decision of what to tell me?” said Smith. “That was such a harsh answer for me, just wondering if I could change the day I put her to sleep.”

In response to her manager, Smith texted: “I’ll do my best to find a blanket. I’m sorry this is awkward but she’s the family dog ​​and she’s very sick and that’s what that my family decided to do. I can’t reschedule my appointment when I put my dog ​​at Starbucks. I’m also the one officially spending my two weeks. I’ve worked for this company for 2.5 years and I appreciate what she’s done for me, but I’m ready to move on.

While upsetting, Smith said she wasn’t entirely surprised by her manager’s response and didn’t put all the blame on him. It was Starbucks as a company, she said, that cultivated an environment where employees were overworked and undervalued. It has become a common refrain among coffee chain employees, many of whom have joined a union.

“To me, that’s just the mentality that Starbucks promotes behind the scenes,” Smith said. “It only got worse over my time at Starbucks that the mentality of someone asking me to change the day I put my dog ​​to sleep. I already felt like I was exhausted and all that. Then when I just saw that, that was it.”

A Starbucks spokesperson said the text messages Smith posted don’t show the full picture. In text messages shared with Insider, Smith’s manager expressed sympathy for his situation, but argued that Smith needed to find cover for his shift.

“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 labor at this time,” a Starbucks spokesperson said. in a press release.

Smith said she received overwhelming support after posting screenshots of the exchange on Twitter and Reddit after she had time to mourn Gandy, but she remains frustrated with how the company tried to promote a big, happy family atmosphere as employees worked in tense conditions where customers wanted to grab their coffee quickly and get out.

“As they’ve become more toxic and insensitive that way, they’re still – they mean the company – still sticking so hard to this idea that they’re trying to be a little family cafe or something. not the McDonald’s of coffee shops,” Smith said. “It’s not a small, family-run store, and they expect you to act like it is when everything is short-staffed, toxic, and unresponsive.”

Read the original Insider article

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