A Starbucks barista posted a now-viral TikTok video dramatizing her attempts to reach her manager on the phone, who she alleges refuses to turn off mobile orders during a rush.
The clip was posted by user Meghin (@unionmeghin), grossing over 43,000 views since it was shared Thursday.
@unionmeghin They refused to turn off mobile orders :) #starbucksbarista #tobeapartner💚 #starbucks #starbucksunion ♬ Answer The Phone – Participation Certificate
“When you’ve been running on 2-3 partners all day, you’re trying to turn off mobile orders, but your manager is nowhere to be found,” Meghin wrote in the text overlay, while lip-syncing to Harry Styles’ hit “As It Was.”
She holds the phone up to her face with an irritated expression, while repeating the lyrics, “Pick up the phone.”
Meghin added in the caption, “They refused to turn off mobile orders :).”
On the Starbucks app, customers can choose their location and order ahead, skipping wait times and paying on demand instead of waiting in long order lines or drive-thrus. While this makes it convenient for customers, it can be difficult for baristas to juggle so many orders at once.
The overwhelming number of mobile orders leads baristas like Meghin to argue for their stores to briefly turn off the mobile ordering system, in order for Starbucks employees to catch a break.
Meghin appears to be a member of Starbucks Workers United in Richmond, Virginia and encourages other employees to unionize their stores in her TikTok bio.
According to WRIC, five Starbucks locations in Richmond voted to unionize last spring. Starbucks faced criticism from the National Labor Review Board after firing an employee in what the board claimed was retaliation for union organizing. The employee was reinstated in a settlement in December, though Starbucks still denied that the company violated labor laws. It’s unclear what Richmond location Meghin currently works at.
Many viewers in the comments section of Meghin’s video related to her dilemma and offered suggestions for how to deal with the onslaught of orders.
“They alwayssss refuse to turn off mobiles unless they’re on the clock dealing with them,” commented one viewer.
“Guess what I did. I turned off everything in availability so my shift wouldn’t get in trouble and so I could sit for a few,” suggested another.
“My manager wouldn’t turn off mobiles WHEN WE WERE HIDING IN THE BATHROOM DURRING A TORNADO,” a third claimed.
The Daily Dot reached out to Meghin via TikTok comment and Starbucks via email.