Barista comps a police officer’s drink. Then he says her minimum wage shouldn’t go up

@jorlala/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Small talk is absolutely fine until it’s not’: Barista comps a police officer’s drink. Then he says her minimum wage shouldn’t go up

'Just smile and nod, it's the only way to handle those customers.'


Beau Paul


Posted on Jan 4, 2024   Updated on Jan 4, 2024, 7:15 pm CST

Some service industry jobs should come with hazard pay for navigating conversational minefields. That’s how one California barista is feeling after being told point blank that employees like her don’t deserve a better wage—by the police officer she just gave a free drink to.

California-based TikToker Bhad Bharista (@jorlala) said she doesn’t usually comp law enforcement officers drinks when they come to her workplace, but a few days ago, she was feeling generous. Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished.

Bhad Bharista told the story of what happened in a video posted to her TikTok account on Tuesday. The video now has over 88,000 views and counting.

“So, I never mark [comp] the cops’ drinks when they come in. I never mark them out,” she told her viewers. But she said she was feeling generous when an officer came into her unidentified workplace after New Year’s.

The TikToker said the officer was only buying gift cards, but she offered to give him a free green tea to “be nice.” After the officer accepted, Bhad Bharista said he mentioned being from the East Coast, prompting her to say that her mother’s family is from Pennsylvania to make small talk.

Unfortunately, the conversation went sideways fast.

“He was like, ‘Yeah, I hate California. It’s [a] f*cking communist state. Like, it’s f*cking bullsh*t living here,’ and I was like, ‘Oh no, oh no, I messed up,'” she said.

She said she told the officer, “I’m just happy that minimum wage is going up,” referring to the state’s recent decision to raise the minimum wage of fast food workers to $20 an hour.

“That’s a problem” the officer reportedly replied to her.

Bhad Bharista said the officer then asked, “If minimum wage goes up and fast food employees are making 20 an hour, then how does that look for everybody else?”

According to the TikToker, the officer went on an anti-Biden rant after she replied that everyone should make a livable wage. Then, he supposedly made the rather bizarre statement that Donald Trump was “the Michael Jackson of politics.”

“I think I just looked at him, like, with nothing behind my eyes,” Bhad Bharista continued. She said the officer “explained” that “Michael Jackson is a great pop singer and all these things, but he’s a pedophile.”

“Cue silence,” the TikToker told her viewers while looking incredulously at the camera.

“It was just so confusing. It was so all over the place,” she said of the officer’s explanations.

“I’ll never mark out a cop’s drink ever again,” she concluded.

@jorlala #baristatok #baristalife #customerstories #customerstorytime #workstories #worklife #baristastories ♬ original sound – bhadbharista

The TikToker received plenty of sympathy in the video’s comments section. Many were incredulous at the officer’s statements.

“The ‘Michael Jackson of Presidents’ WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN,” one viewer asked.

“So he was like an internet troll- in real life,” a second commented.

“Just smile and nod, it’s the only way to handle those customers,” another advised.

As for the officer’s opinion on minimum wage, one viewer remarked, “It’s not a competition between workers over who has the best paycheck lol we all need to work together to increase our salaries.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Bhad Bharista via email for further comment.

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 4, 2024, 11:00 pm CST