woman in yellow tank top doing her makeup while explaining her experience as a Starbucks worker

haireena/ShutterStock @mollyrrusso/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Starbucks is by far the worst place I have ever worked at’: Former Starbucks barista says rude customer caused her to have a ‘mental breakdown’ at work

‘Working at Starbucks during the holiday season is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.’


Brooke Sjoberg


A former Starbucks worker’s recounting of a time when a customer’s response to a simple mistake caused a physical manifestation of her anxiety is resonating with viewers.

TikTok is a popular place for current and former employees of the coffee chain to air their grievances and share customer horror stories, from those who lack patience to customers who have no idea what goes into a beverage.

Hundreds of baristas have documented their experiences on TikTok, with Molly (@mollyrrusso) joining their ranks as she shared how a woman’s reaction to being mistakenly charged for two tall coffees caused her to cry and vomit at work.

@mollyrrusso working at starbucks is the worst 😭😭😭 #starbucks #grwm #storytime ♬ original sound – molly 🤠🤡

On Christmas Day in 2019, Molly says she took a drink order from a woman and her elderly relative. The woman allegedly ordered herself a tall drink and got a smaller size for her family member. However, the barista says she accidentally charged her for two of the same size and asked how she could make the situation right, offering to make them a third coffee to go.

The customer, Molly says, had been making rude comments about how people these days didn’t know how to make coffee, and told her she didn’t want her to waste more of her time because of the holiday.

“I don’t know what got me in that moment,” Molly says in the video. “Usually I would be like, laughing at the situation, but I fully just started sobbing right in front of this woman.”

When she tried to find a private place in the Starbucks to calm down, Molly says her shift lead told her to get back out to the store and serve the other customers, as the store was busy. She says her manager also told her that it was “unprofessional” to cry in front of customers.

In addition, the manager allegedly told her the customer who had made her cry was not going to leave until she spoke with her.

“I get myself kind of composed,” she says. “I get myself calmed down, I fix my makeup, whatever, and I go out and I see this woman and her elderly mother. She grabs my hand and she’s like, ‘Come, sit, sit, sit,’ and like, brings me to this table and I’m sitting there starting to cry again.”

Molly says the woman proceeded to ‘advise’ her about how the situation was a “learning lesson.”

“She’s like, ‘As you get older and go through life, you can’t have mental breakdowns when something doesn’t go your way, like, as you move through the company of Starbucks,’” Molly recalls the woman telling her. “I’m like, does this woman really think that I’m here to like, f*cking take over Starbucks?”

After the woman left, Molly says she had to run to the bathroom to vomit from the anxiety the situation had brought forth in her and then asked to leave. However, she says her shift lead denied the request, telling her that she had signed up for her job. Shortly after this incident, Molly says she put in her two weeks’ notice.

@mollyrrusso working at starbucks is horrible part 2 😭😭😭 #starbucks #storytime #grwm ♬ original sound – molly 🤠🤡

The Daily Dot reached out to Molly and to Starbucks directly via email.

Several viewers shared that they also disliked working at Starbucks because of the customers, with one commenter sharing that they had cried at work while in the employ of the coffee chain.

“I worked at a Starbucks over a summer,” one commenter wrote. “My second day was a Frappuccino happy hour. I went and cried in our walk-in after my shift.”

“I worked there for 2 years and it has so much pressure and had such a hold on me,” another user said.

“I work at Starbucks actively, and working at Starbucks during the holiday season is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” a user shared.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
The Daily Dot