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Prachana Thong-on/Shutterstock @blesstmomma/TikTok (Licensed)

‘You came and knocked on the door while I was changing my tampon’: Starbucks customer says worker checked on them after they were in restroom for longer than 5 minutes

'This wasn’t ok in the slightest.'


Braden Bjella

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 13, 2022   Updated on Nov 13, 2022, 9:44 am CST

A woman on TikTok has gone viral after claiming she was checked on while using the bathroom at a Starbucks location, which led to an argument that ended with her being asked to leave the establishment.

The initial video, which has over 1.1 million views as of this writing, begins with an employee informing TikToker Jolie (@blesstmomma) that she can no longer use the facilities after she was allegedly checked on.

@blesstmomma I’m a rewards member! I’m so upset. 5874 Antelope Rd Sacramento CA 95842 Starbucks you have lost a customer! @Starbucks #YellowstoneTV #fyp #viral #explorepage #greenscreenvideo #starbucks #coffee #momblogger #womanrights ♬ original sound – Jolie

“Because you were yelling at me and disrespecting our third place, I am not going to continue to allow you to use the facilities here, because you disrespected our third place,” the employee visible in the video says. “Third place” refers to “another place outside the home and work that people can gather and build a sense of community,” according to Insider. The concept of a “third place” is one that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz used to build the brand.

Jolie says the employee knocked on the door while she was changing her tampon, to which the employee answers that she “yelled and cursed” at them. 

There is more argument involving the amount of time Jolie was in the bathroom (she claims anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes); the purpose of the check-in (the employee says they were just making sure “everything was okay”); Starbucks’ alleged history of discriminating against Black men using their toilets in the state, and more.

Two more figures appear in the video. The first appears to be a security guard who is also asking Jolie to leave. The security guard says he can go “hands-on” but does not want to; instead, he directs Jolie to find somewhere else to change her tampon/pad. The second figure to appear is a crying woman who tearfully explains that her husband is dying and chides Jolie for “yelling and screaming.”

Jolie explained more from her side of the story in the caption of an Instagram post, which shows the same video.

In the caption of this post, Jolie claims the employee had actually knocked twice. Jolie also says that she had not yet placed an order prior to the recording of the video.

Jolie posted a follow-up video that shows more of her interactions with the security guard.

@blesstmomma This part was cut from the video because my son made it dor menbecoyesterday when i left i was so upset I couldn’t go back to work . Its a little confising bc when I noticed i started my period he had already started knocking telling me to get out. I was teying to place a mobile order and on FB comments and using the restroom. When i came out i was finished i rushed out bc the staff started saying i was in there long enough and i said mind your fucking business. #starbucks ♬ original sound – Jolie

The video again begins mid-conversation, with the security guard explaining that he was not involved in the aforementioned incident involving Black men using the Starbucks bathroom. He then explains again that he is asking her to leave before informing her that the police are on their way.

Jolie responds by saying that she would “love” to talk to them.

There is more arguing between the guard and Jolie—the guard asks Jolie to leave; Jolie says she needs to change her tampon; the guard says she can’t do it in the Starbucks; Jolie refuses to leave.

After a bit of conversation, Jolie brings up her claim that the employee said she was taking too long. The guard has a look of understanding and starts to explain that the owner of the building (not Starbucks) hired security because they had an “insane problem with all the homeless people.”

Jolie cuts off the security guard at this point, saying, “I am not homeless!” She later adds, “You’re insulting me and you’re insulting my womanhood.”

Eventually, she walks away as the guard continues to talk.

In the TikTok comment section, many users supported Jolie.

“Definitely feel as if they should have sent a female worker to the bathroom door to check on you,” one user wrote. “This wasn’t ok in the slightest.”

“I work at starbs for 2 years now and I’ve never checked on anyone in the bathroom,” another added. “…the employee was wrong I’m sorry girl.”

However, some disagreed, with a few users claiming that it was standard Starbucks policy to check in with customers using the bathroom for a prolonged period of time.

“Ok I apologize that it may have startled you but as a starbucks manager we are told we have to do this. It’s part of our job,” a different TikToker countered. “[…In such a] fast paced establishment, 5 mins can feel like 30 mins or one second, so if I thought something might be wrong I’d check.”

“We have a light that turns on if someone is using the bathroom for more than 5-10 mins,” a second stated. “we knock to make sure your okay, it’s safety reasons.”

“When I worked at Starbucks we always checked on people in the bathroom,” a third echoed. “Can’t count how many people we found unconscious/shooting up.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Jolie via Instagram DM and to Starbucks via email.

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*First Published: Nov 13, 2022, 9:43 am CST