When you're 17, your manager gets fired, and every one else calls in sick so you show up to an empty coffee stand and have to run it and close by yourself for 3 hours.


‘Three people’s jobs and I’m only getting paid as one’: Teen says she had to run a Starbucks alone in viral TikTok (updated)

'I'm barely trained and this was a little extra.'


Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz


Posted on Jan 8, 2022   Updated on Jan 11, 2022, 7:50 am CST

A teen Starbucks barista found herself running a closing shift by herself in a viral TikTok, prompting conversations about inadequate pay and labor laws.

TikToker @jenn.ys posted a video this week during her shift at a Starbucks stand inside a Target. In it, she explains that her manager was fired and all her co-workers called in sick. Her video, posted 4 days ago, has since reached over 40,000 views.


“Three people’s jobs and I’m only getting paid as one,” the video caption reads.

 In the comments, @jenn.ys added that she was “barely trained.”

Several commenters questioned whether it was legal for the barista, who is 17, to work alone.

“I don’t think this is okay or allowed,” one user wrote. “She’s a minor and not a manager.”

The TikToker lives in Oregon, where there are no laws requiring adult supervision for minor employees in food service. In a follow-up video, @jenn.ys adds that she wasn’t technically alone—Target employees and higher managers were also working in the building. But she still had to work the Starbucks stand by herself, as her team lead and co-workers were missing.

Many commenters pointed out that @jenn.ys—and service workers as a whole—are underpaid and overworked.

“They should be paying 3x for 3x the work,” one commenter wrote.

“Y’all are willing to do too much for your jobs,” another user wrote. “It’s part of why corporate gets away with walking all over us.”

@jenn.ys explained in the comments that she can’t quit because she has bills to pay. However, she’s currently applying to new jobs.

Last year, as businesses began reopening after pandemic closures, food service workers across the country went viral for posting “Nobody wants to work” signs at their storefronts. They were protesting understaffing and unlivable wages. Now, as the omicron variant rips through the country, service workers are protesting unsafe conditions and inadequate pay.

Update 7:50am CT Jan. 11: When reached for comment, @jenn.ys told the Daily Dot that while she “made this video as a joke for” her close friends, she’s “happy it’s sparking discussion about wages and staffing during covid.”

“I wish I could’ve made α clearer statement with this video. I love my job, and feel supported by those above me and around me there. This was α couple time thing, and I feel I would’ve been supported if I chose not to go through with these shifts,” she said. “I do appreciate everyone’s concerns though.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Target via email.

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*First Published: Jan 8, 2022, 1:22 pm CST