A barista’s emotional social media plea exposes workplace challenges, sparking a mixed response and raising questions about resilience and accountability.
Evan Sunshine, the exasperated barista, opted for social media to vent his frustrations. A meltdown broadcasted to the world quickly turned comical and everyone associated with his dissatisfaction needs to take a note.
Evan, a transgender barista, activist, and advocate for Starbucks Workers United, works at a Starbucks store in Ithaca, New York. Through a tear-filled social media video, he presented his plea. Regrettably, sympathy was scarce for his woes. The reasons are apparent to anyone from Gen X and younger cohorts.
Amid sobs, Evan began his litany of issues at his workplace. “People question why we need a union at Starbucks,” he states. He tells viewers he was contemplating resigning after a rough day. He confessed to spending time crying in the back room. Juggling 25 work hours per week, full-time studies, and a weekend shift extending over eight and a half hours, Evan was clearly overwhelmed. Despite empathizing with the challenge young adults face balancing work and studies, his grievances do not end here.
The number of working hours isn’t Evan’s only concern. He’s distressed by the busyness of his shifts. He lamented the chronic understaffing at his Starbucks store, which he claims only has 13 employees and four on the floor per day. His manager’s absence, who chose to remove himself from the weekend schedule, added salt to his wounds. “They show no inclination to support us,” Evan laments, blaming the management.
Evan emphasizes the need for a union in his plea, suggesting that such a situation shouldn’t exist. “We need proper scheduling; we need managers who are accountable for aiding their workers,” he continued. He cites instances where customers have yelled at him, misgendered him, and his failure to receive accommodations for being neurodivergent as other sources of his frustrations. Evan, at the end of his tether with his job, is convinced that unionizing will resolve his issues.
Upon sharing his video on Twitter, the public response was unsurprisingly unsympathetic to Evan’s predicament. A writer from Chicks On The Right sarcastically responded to his video by saying, “Oh my goodness. Someone call an ambulance, I’ve strained my eyes from rolling them excessively.”
Work can be stressful; Evan is not alone in feeling this. While we can empathize with his frustrations and understand the difficulties of operating when short-staffed, life sometimes demands resilience. He admits to using his sick leave, an action he claims angers his coworkers. However, when a coworker calls in sick, Evan appears to lack the empathy he expects in return.
Reality demands that sometimes we dig deep and get the job done, no matter who’s present. Contrarily, Evan chooses to leave his three present coworkers in the lurch, sobbing in the backroom instead. It’s hardly the mature way to handle adversity. It comes across as a temper tantrum, further compounding the issues for his coworkers.
Evan complained amidst tears about the multitude of mobile orders. He mentioned the ire of customers when their orders weren’t ready, and his resulting helplessness. Here’s a simple solution, Evan: wipe your tears, compose yourself, and start making the orders. Retreating to the backroom to cry won’t expedite order fulfillment. It merely amplifies the problem.
We all experience bad days. On such days, we can either succumb to tantrums like a toddler, or we can muster our resolve, push through, and persevere. This isn’t out of a desire to be cruel, but a lesson from lived experiences. We’ve all been tempted to let loose like this, but we hold back because that’s what adults do. They certainly don’t broadcast their breakdowns to the world.
In a twist of irony, unionization in Evan’s workplace was short-lived. Ithaca, New York, was the first city to unionize all Starbucks locations. “Everyone was absolutely delighted,” Evan said. Yet, approximately a month later, the College Avenue location, where Evan worked, was shut down. As they say, you win some, you lose some. Better luck next time, Evan.
WATCH the video below:
Trans Barrister has meltdown because 8 hours is too long to work on a day… pic.twitter.com/IfVSzZ4G0w
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 30, 2022