Man fired from Starbucks after musical YouTube rant

Sep. 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM ET

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"It's just a cup of coffee! Give me a break, I shouldn't have to put up with this — making minimum wage," sings 25-year-old Christopher Cristwell in a YouTube video about the annoyances encountered while working as a Starbucks barista. This musical rant may have gained him a lot of video views as it went viral, but it also cost him his job.

Cristwell, employed by a Starbucks in Chowchilla, Calif., made the video in July. But according to the Merced (California) Sun-Star, it only began to get attention in earnest about a week ago when several popular blogs began posting about it.

Unfortunately for Cristwell, that sudden wave of popularity meant that the video was also seen by corporate Starbucks execs. They decided to dismiss the musician on Tuesday, after "several meetings with managers."

According to a statement by spokesman Alan Hilowitz, quoted by three different sources, Starbucks felt that "while Christopher was expressing his own views in the video, the disparaging remarks about [Starbucks'] customers and company are unacceptable and out of line with [its] commitment to [its] customers and partners (employees)."

Warning: This video contains language that is not safe for work.

The Boston Herald points out that Cristwell "expressed no regrets over recording the song or making it public" as he made it for his fellow baristas and "can live with the consequences." But in a sobering interview with the Merced Sun-Star, it was revealed that he may struggle to ditch the potentially negative association his video might bring:

He was passing out résumés Wednesday afternoon. "I have bills to pay and I hope the video doesn't affect my ability to get hired. It's just a comedy song. I really am a good employee."

And in a post-firing video, he expresses a certain amount of dismay, along with a new song. You can view Cristwell's original musical rant above, along with the second video, below. It also contains language that is not safe for work.

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