TikTok/@dahgari Brooke Sjoberg

‘Can we not make service workers do emotional labor’: TikToker asks Starbucks worker to write something that makes them ‘happy’ on cup, sparking debate

'They're a barista not a therapist.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Published Nov 12, 2021   Updated Nov 12, 2021, 10:19 am CST

A TikToker is receiving criticism over their expectations of Starbucks employees after asking for a happy phrase to be written on their cup.

“I asked a Starbucks employee to write me something and this is how it went,” text overlay on the video states.

On their mobile order, the TikToker noted they are “studying for a hard exam” and asked the barista making their order to write something that “makes me happy” on the cup. The worker, according to the TikTok, did not oblige the request.

The video was posted by TikTok user @dahgari and has gained 1.4 million views in the five days since it was posted.


Some viewers found the request odd and urged viewers to not make “Not make service workers do emotional labor.”

“Can we not make service workers do emotional labor on top of how hard they work and relatively poorly they’re paid?” one commenter wrote. “Not cool.”

“They’re a barista not a therapist,” another said.

Another commenter even went as far as to call the TikToker’s behavior “entitled.” “Entitled behavior lmfao they might’ve been in a rush or dealing with three other customers like…” they wrote.

“It’s not their job to cheer you up,” another said.

Starbucks workers, throughout the pandemic, have shared their frustrations of being overworked, understaffed, and mistreated by customers.

“They’re a little too busy for your creative writing prompt,” a third wrote.

However, there were some commenters who criticized the comments section and alleged that it would not have been difficult to fulfill the request.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @dahgari via TikTok direct message regarding the video.

More fast food news

McDonald’s worker shares 6,400-item order she had to prepare in just 4 hours in viral TikTok
Viral TikTok claims to show ‘no tippers section’ at Chipotle for DoorDash orders
‘Y’all both Karens’: TikToker takes money out of tip jar after Dunkin’ worker refuses to remake his drink, sparking debate
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 12, 2021, 8:31 am CST