Reddit Sadly Isn't Surprised By This Starbucks Employee's Horror Story

A Starbucks worker shared a harrowing story on Reddit, and it sounded all too familiar to fellow industry workers. In a detailed account, the worker, who goes by u/aripley1 on Reddit, said that a regular Starbucks customer sat around for many hours a day and often made inappropriate requests of female staff. But because the customer was spending good money, the manager let them stay. Instead, u/aripley1 would try to "intercept him." Eventually, the employees complained, and the customer was told "he can't be flirting or making advances towards our baristas." The person lost it and began to assault staff throughout the store. 

The customer's rampage was understandably terrifying, and u/aripley1 recalled that with "one hand, I was on the phone with the police, and with my other hand I was pushing him back, trying to get him away from me, while he yelled in my face." It turns out that the Redditor was a shift supervisor, so after enduring that experience, they stuck around to close the store later. But the whole ordeal made them feel that the job was no longer worth the stress that came with it: "Something just snapped in me this week and I can't go back."

Food service workers can relate

Unfortunately, the experience that u/aripley1 described resonated on Reddit. As one commenter put it, "That kind of 'dirty uncle' behavior is so unacceptable but I see it many times by older men. They used to get away with it not that long ago but the more people stand up to them the better." Another person recounted not being allowed to kick out a customer for inappropriate behavior. A different Redditor brought up an 80-year-old "who would always come in and, without fail, if he saw only guys on the floor he would yell, 'WHERE THE WOMEN AT?'" And yet another said, "I quit after being assaulted, too."

Sadly, retail establishments (including restaurants) are nearly two times as likely to experience workplace violence as other private businesses (via The smallest things can set people off, like when one guy trashed a McDonald's over a petty misunderstanding. Incidents of anti-Asian American violence have increased at restaurants to the point of needing a campaign such as #SaveChineseRestaurants (via Restaurant Business Online).

Also concerning is that multiple Redditors described managers who wouldn't remove problematic customers, which could be seen as a lack of support for employees. In the case of the Starbucks assault, the manager also went home and left the shaken supervisor to deal with the aftermath. "Your SM should have closed the store and your DM should have contacted you to offer counseling and any other support you needed," one commenter said of the response. "They failed you."