A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after recounting an experience she had with a customer.
In a clip with over 45,000 views as of Sunday, TikTok user Gillian (@lttlebean) does a play-by-play of the interaction, which occurred after the customer ordered a coffee. The coffee at Gillian’s place of work is self-serve.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” the customer asks, referring to the empty cup. “You gave me the cup, but the coffee’s missing.”
After Gillian explains that the coffee was self-serve, the customer becomes indignant.
“Sweetheart, I paid for this coffee…and it’s your job to go fill up my coffee cup,” the customer says.
When Gillian again explains that this is not, in fact, her job, the customer blames the self-serve process on “COVID restrictions.”
“Your COVID restrictions are absolutely terrible,” the customer says. “You can’t even get coffee for customers anymore? Really? Sell coffee, not politics.”
Gillian says that the last line is an exact quote. Additionally, it’s inaccurate—Gillian claims that the self-serve process is not a result of COVID-19 restrictions and that self-serve was actually stopped during the peak of the pandemic.
@lttlebean Im still confused why he was so angry. #karensgoingwild🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 #foryouu #fyp #yikes #karen #karensgoingwild #hatersgonnahate #goawaykaren #foryoupage #storytime #foryou #foryoupageofficiall #karensoftiktok #foru ♬ original sound – lttlebean
Gillian reiterates to the customer that the self-serve process was not political and that the ordering system was simply designed to allow customers to make coffee “exactly how you want.”
The TikToker eventually refunded the order and asked the customer to leave.
“I don’t care what your political opinion is, but you are acting irrational and screaming, so if you don’t get out, I will call the police,” Gillian says.
At the end of the video, Gillian again states that the interaction had nothing to do with politics and that she doesn’t want viewers to take away a political message from her video. Instead, the focus of her issue with the customer was the fact that they became irate about having to make their own coffee.
In the comments section, users stated that interactions like these are unfortunately common.
“This happened at my job almost exactly the same words and everything,” a user said. “Like self serve coffee always existed here!”
“This reminds me of customers with the self checkouts,” shared another. “At least he didn’t ask where his paycheck is.”
“Like sir i PROMISE i’m doing exactly what my job description says,” exclaimed a third. “It’s SELF SERVE coffee.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Gillian via email.
Update 3:19pm CT, Jul. 23, 2023: In a response video, Gillian clarified that she does not work for Panera, and will keep the identity of her workplace private.