Topless Singing Starbucks Employee Fired For YouTube Video

Christopher Cristwell, 25, is a Starbucks employee with a knack for satire. When he uploaded an acoustic ballad about his employer -- performed in nothing but shorts and a green Starbucks apron -- it quickly went viral. Viral Youtube videos can be launching pads for careers, but in this case, Cristwell was fired.

In rhyming couplets, Cristwell singingly admits to various behaviors that might give the corporate bigwigs pause: giving customers decaf when there's no fresh regular, mocking rich white women for thinking a skinny vanilla latte is a sensible diet drink, giving free stuff to his friends, secretly making not nonfat cappuccinos, and making Frappacinos out of whipped cream.

In general, he paints an unflattering portrait of the world's largest coffee chain: customers who are terrible people, food and beverage offerings that will induce heart disease and diabetes, and an oppressive grind of a workday for minimum wage.

"This is Starbucks, I don't want to see you yawn./Well you made me get my ass up at the buttcrack of dawn."

"While Christopher was expressing his own views in the video, the disparaging remarks about our customers and company are unacceptable and out of line with our commitment to our customers and partners (employees)," said the company in a statement on Wednesday.

The company has been "really cool about it" though, Cristwell told the Merced Sun-Star. He had several meetings with the managers before he was ultimately dismissed from Starbucks in Chowchilla, Calif., and won some praise from bosses. "The regional manager complimented me on my creative ability -- not on that specific song -- and then asked me why I did it. They were really trying to find out about my intent behind the videos."

Starbucks, of course, sees in every incident an opportunity for business improvement and increased market share. Cristwell, however, needs a new job and has been furiously passing out resumes.

"I have bills to pay and I hope the video doesn't affect my ability to get hired," he says. "It's just a comedy song. I really am a good employee."

But perhaps Cristwell should be dreaming bigger than minimum wage in Chowchilla. "I really enjoy singing and songwriting," he says. "If it turns into something, that would be a dream job for me. I'll just take it as it goes, I'll roll with it."


Cristwell has already created a follow-up video to his first. Sorry ladies -- he kept his shirt on for this one:



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Bree Angel

hahaha...I actually always order the vanilla soy chai latte....and I'm a black lady. I don't fit the songgg! ACHIEVEMENT!

October 13 2011 at 3:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cityinthesea1990

I love this guy! He is hilarious, but I the the first rant was way better. If you've ever worked in the food services industry you'll totally understand.

October 13 2011 at 2:43 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
ann

I am unsure what this young man may be able to do with his life. I do hope he is a good student, because he has no talent as a singer/songwritter, and questionable work ethics. No one should be subjected to rudeness in the workplace, but it is the "nature of the beast" in service work. Dealing with the public exposes one to all manner of folks. Also, remember the customer is paying three times the value of the meal or beverage they have ordered and so are paying for the service as well, and keeping people employed. Personally, I never had the patience for retail work, in college I worked in a Nursing Home, I preferred to clean up crap rather take it.

October 13 2011 at 1:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ann's comment
magrurry

You said you work in a nursing home, right? well you shouldn't. you are very good at math. Anyone who can recall the market price of cups of coffee, or let us in on the big secret that people who work in service are getting what they asked for, well, you are almost a pure genius! Hey, calm down i called you a Genius. Almost. Working in sales doesn't take any more patience than working in a home, i think you said you were a maid or something, It's a job and if people talk to you with a lack of respect, you should do the same. Preferably in a way that won't get you fired. This kid was apparently Never rude to a customer while they were in the store. Just on youtube. I think he'll go far. Seems like he cares. Doesn't seem you do.

October 16 2011 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mikeage2

i sure hope the love the FREE ADVERTISING that you have given them. You ought to be getting a damn check.

October 13 2011 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
couponsal

I much preferred the second song; it seemed more heartfelt. The first was clever, true, but the second was Chris explaining who he was and what being a barista was about I could have done without the drink-by-ethnicity section, but he is probably right: as non-PC and perhaps offensive it is when expressed so starkly, it probably is Starbucks Reality. And I can certainly sympathize with the frustrations of dealing with rude customers—I was brought up to treat those on the other (serving) side of the counter respectfully; wish more did likewise, even when just “grabbing a coffee (or fast food)”, Civility matters.
Good luck, Chris!

October 13 2011 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
redsuncrew

He wasn't on the clock & he's got freedom of speech. Even the big bad conglomerate of Starbuckia can't take that away. And you can't require a person to sign away his or her rights just to work as a barista. That would be un American.

Starbucks sucks and isn't what it used to be.

October 08 2011 at 2:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to redsuncrew's comment
Michael Cimino

Its not that he has freedom of speech that is the problem... He was giving away beverages, and was passing out drinks that could have killed people. If a diabetic comes in and gets a drink that is made to be a sugar pit... it could kill them. Mixing stuff like that can be extremely dangerous. But whatever, hope the kid finds a good job suited for him.

October 13 2011 at 11:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hasib

someone! hire this guy now!

most businesses would love to have viral videos made after them any publicity is good publicity. They should have promoted this guy to the marketing team.

September 26 2011 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gregory

great song keep it up -starbucks coffee makes me gag

September 25 2011 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
svnstrng3

Screw starfucks- add to the facts -they also don't and won't support our troops ...you might not agree with the wars but dont take it out on the guys and gals that are helping keep this country safe...great job dude funny songs and way to put it to the crappiest "fast food coffee joint" they could of used you in add campaigns or commercials but they were so full of themselves that they had to terminate...I bet after you make some $$ from your satire they will try some lame ass civil lawsuit claiming injury to sales and defamation but we'll stick up for you

September 25 2011 at 9:17 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to svnstrng3's comment
eklektous

What do you mean they don't support the troops? I am both a soldier and a Starbucks barista. I know first hand how starbucks supports the troops. We have a bin where customers and employees can donate coffee and letters to troops that starbucks then sends over. A lot of employees who get free pounds of coffee put theirs in the bin to send over. Im just saying

October 13 2011 at 2:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bizu

he definitely will make it in comedy and song writing :) you'll see him pop up on jay leno or Conan

September 23 2011 at 10:06 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

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