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The Barista Blues

Sometimes you just have to vent your workplace frustration…in song.

Case in point; take Christopher Cristwell – a Starbucks barista in California who posted this immensely funny video about two months ago:


Clad only in his underwear and signature green apron, he sang about the trials and frustrations of dolling out gallons of java at the worlds largest coffee chain.

Of course, the video got him fired.

Normally I try to stay out of post-gaming issues like this mainly because you never know when you might be caught up in one, yourself. This one is unique, though and I feel compelled to comment.

Compared to some employee rant videos Chris’ rant was rather tame and even entertaining. What’s more, he seems to be genuinely grateful for his time working at Starbucks and speaks passionately about the need for some sort of change. Though I would stop short of calling him the Che Guevara of the postmodern era, he may be onto something.

If there’s one singular truth about rants like this it’s that no matter how outlandish the claim, it’s that there’s usually a nugget of truth the company can learn from guys like Chris. Instead of firing him, why not take him off the java line and put him front and center as the face of their employee improvement team?

Think it sounds outlandish – what about hackers? Most of the great hackers end up working for IT security firms and become the face of turning a threat into an advantage. Starbucks should do the same with this kid. He’s creative, he’s passionate and hell…he’s not bad on the eyes.

Starbucks could score some much-needed PR points by positioning themselves as a true engager rather than a monolithic brand trying to protect it’s ivory tower.

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  • Astrid_aka_Grace

    Awesomeness! Glad I only get normal coffee there 😉

    October 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm Reply
  • Claus


    October 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm Reply
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