A barista fired for making a viral TikTok video says he would trade all his views and likes for his job at Starbucks back. Eli, a 19-year-old college student in Indiana, tells BuzzFeed that the now-deleted video poked fun at customers who correct their orders. In one skit, a fellow worker pretending to be a customer says, "Oh, I wanted extra whipped cream" and Eli fills it to overflowing. Eli says he was just having fun with his coworkers. "There were no customers there. We were closed or about to be closed, so we were just having fun," he says. “Nothing was broken or vandalized." He says a month after the video, which received around 400,000 views and 60,000 likes, was posted, a district manager spoke to him about it and he received a "letter of separation" the next day.
The letter tells Eli he "demonstrated behavior not aligned with Starbucks Mission Values by posting content on Tik Tok that shows partners mocking customers (sic) orders, throwing drinks outside of the drive thru window and fanning out money from the cash till." Eli tells BuzzFeed that he loved working at the Mishawaka Starbucks and had a great relationship with coworkers and managers there—but when he appealed the firing to Starbucks HQ, he was told he was only eligible to be rehired in a different district. "I felt like I was too good at my job to be fired for something minor like this. It disappointed me a lot," he says. "I really did like working there." (Read more Starbucks stories.)