A US barista has shared a text message exchange with her boss that led to her quitting after more than two years with the business.
Former Starbucks barista, Auralee Smith texted her manager to advise that unfortunately, they were putting their family pet down over the weekend after its lengthy cancer battle, and she would need the day off work.
“I have to put my dog down on Saturday night and I will be an absolute mess. Ella she’s my best friend, ”the 21-year-old said in a text.
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However, Auralee was shocked at her manager’s response when she asked her if she could change the day she put her dog down, out of fear the team would be short-staffed.
“I’m really gonna need you to find coverage. I understand it’s a tough situation, but you have plenty of notice, so it’s not going to be approved if you don’t come in,” the boss replied over text.
“Is there a way you could do it on a night where you don’t work the next day?”
Auralee responded by saying she promised to find someone to cover her shift, however, she was putting in her two weeks’ notice.
“It’s the family dog, she’s very sick, and it’s what my family has decided to do,” she responded.
“I can’t reschedule when I put my dog down for Starbucks.
“This is also putting me in my two weeks officially. I’ve worked for this company for 2.5 years and I appreciate what it’s done for me, but I’m ready to move on.”
When Auralee posted screenshots of the conversation to Twitter, many people were disgusted by the manager’s response, with many saying it should be the manager’s job to fill the roster should such a devastating issue arise.
However, Auralee later told The Insider, while she wasn’t surprised at her manager’s response, she understood it wasn’t entirely her fault.
She said the issue was more that she believes the company had cultivated an environment where employees were overworked.
“To me, this is just the mentality that Starbucks promotes behind the scenes,” Auralee said.
A spokesperson for Starbucks told The Insider the text messages posted by Auralee did not show the full picture.
The spokesperson said the company offered personal and sick leave to staff, but in this case, Auralee did not ask for it, and her manager did not offer it.
“The health and well-being of our partners is and continues to be our top priority. In this instance, we were able to support this partner in getting her work covered at that time, ”a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement.
It is unknown which Starbucks outlet the woman worked for.
McDonald’s has been slapped with a wage theft claim of at least $250 million in the Federal Court over alleged denial of paid breaks to workers.
McDonald’s workers were allegedly denied 10-minute breaks that they were entitled to
SDA is seeking at least $250 million in compensation plus penalties on behalf of the workers
The fast food giant intends to defend the allegations
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) is seeking compensation on behalf of more than 250,000 current and former McDonald’s workers across Australia.
If successful, the union said the claim would be one of the largest of its kind in Australia’s history.
The SDA is alleging workers at more than 1,000 current and former McDonald’s sites were denied their uninterrupted 10-minute break when working four hours or more during a shift.
South Australia branch secretary Josh Peak said McDonald’s workers were told if they want their paid break, they cannot get a drink or go to the toilet.
He said in almost two years of investigation the union had heard more than 10,000 accounts from former and current employees, including young Australians, at McDonald’s stores across Australia.
“Workers were systematically, deliberately denied the rights to those breaks,” Mr Peak told ABC Radio Adelaide Breakfast.
“It’s just not good enough that a large employer such as McDonalds would create a scheme that leads to people not being paid correctly or getting base entitlements.”
The statement of claim alleged workers had to seek permission to get a drink or go to the bathroom and could be directed to resume work before their 10-minute break was up.
Mr Peak said workers were misled or not informed about their rest break entitlements and the multi-billion dollar corporation should be penalized for it.
“It is really outrageous behavior to be tricking young people into thinking they are not entitled to go the toilet if they used their paid entitlements,” he said.
“Workers never got their paid 10-minute rest break and when workers did ask for it, they were told ‘we don’t do that here because you can go the toilet whenever you like’, which is completely ludicrous.”
The claim named 323 McDonald’s operators who allegedly denied paid rest breaks to workers over the past six years.
McDonald’s Australia issued a statement in which it denied the claims.
“McDonald’s believes its restaurants complied with applicable instruments, provided rest breaks to employees and were consistent with historic working arrangements,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman said.
“Those arrangements have been known to the SDA for many years. The manner of taking breaks has not been challenged or raised by the SDA as a matter of concern throughout successive enterprise bargaining processes for new industrial agreements.
“We are very mindful of our obligations under applicable employment laws, including the former enterprise agreement and the Fast Food Industry Award, and continue to work closely with our restaurants to ensure employees receive all correct workplace entitlements and pay.”
Claim originates from SA
The new claim is in conjunction with the SDA’s 15 existing Federal Court claims against McDonald’s Australia and 14 franchisees — seven of them in South Australia.
In December 2020, 14 McDonald’s employees at the Frewville and Mount Barker restaurants lodged a compensation claim after allegedly being denied their 10-minute rest break.
As a result of that action, the investigation extended nationwide.
Isabelle, who worked at McDonald’s in the Adelaide CBD for almost five years, said she was not given her entitled 10-minute break, but instead was allowed drink breaks freely during shifts.
“The drink break was only for 20 seconds, or as fast as you could drink and then come back to work straightaway,” she said.
“I’d spoken to my bosses about it and they just told us that we didn’t get them, they chose to do something different, and that it was legal, it was all fine.
“There were a lot of managers who would get angry if you needed to go to the bathroom and have a drink break.
“They saw it as you being lazy and not actually doing what you need to do.”
She said she was scared of other managers at her former workplace, even when she was in managerial positions.
“I remembered thinking, what do I need more? Do I need a drink more or do I need to go to the bathroom more — and then you just pick from there,” she said.
“Now that we’re going into an actual, normal workplace, we know that that definitely wasn’t normal to be stressed about going to the bathroom or getting a drink.”
Mr Peak said the same story was being repeated across the country.
He said the claim was also about sending a message to other franchises.
“It’s also about sending a signal right throughout the entire fast food industry that young workers, just because they’re young, doesn’t mean you can lie to them.”
Long-term hospitality staff are as rare as hen’s teeth in outback Queensland.
Families are being broken up between countries due to long delays in processing visas for skilled migrants
It could take more than six months for the government to deal with a backlog of almost a million unprocessed visas
Business owners say it’s rare to find workers who want to stay in remote communities
When Sri Lankan chef Madushka ‘Max’ Dilshan Perera moved to Longreach in 2020 to work in a local pub, his skills were not taken for granted.
The chef started a weekly night ‘Sri Lankan Curry Night’ which has become a local institution.
Mr Perera wants to stay in Longreach long-term and raise his family there.
“I love this town and I love to work here,” Mr Perera said.
“My whole life is here, everything I bought, the toys for my kid, it’s all unpacked and in the house.
“Everything I worked for is here.”
But the outback chef has spent much of his time in Australia in limbo, trying to get visas for his wife and two-year-old daughter to join him in western Queensland.
Forced to wait while the borders were closed, Mr Perera’s family applied for their entry visas in March this year.
Mr Perera hadn’t heard anything from the government since April, which left him worried about his future.
“I work here, I go home, I’ve got no one. Last week I got sick and I had no-one,” Mr Perera said.
“Just doing FaceTime every night and after the phone call I start crying because I miss my daughter.
“We became a family because we need each other and right now I don’t have anyone and the same for them as well.”
After the ABC spoke with Mr Perera, questions about his situation were put to the Department of Home Affairs on Monday morning.
That afternoon, after months of waiting, his family were granted their visas.
Mr Perera said he was already trying to arrange flights to Longreach so they could be reunited.
‘We don’t seem to be able to deliver what we offer them’
The news is a boost not only for the young dad, but also for his boss.
Birdcage Hotel owner Gavin Ballard said it was extremely rare to find staff who want to stay long-term in remote outback towns.
“It takes a special person to come out to the outback and to work, so when you get someone who wants to stay as a business owner you certainly want to look after them and do the right thing by them,” Mr Ballard said.
“A lot of people like to go to the coast.
“We’ve had our trials of chefs who come this way and get job offers and they just go back to the coast, which is why we went the sponsored way.
“We’ve got a couple more guys here doing the same thing.”
Mr Ballard said if Mr Perera had left his job, the position would likely be empty for several months.
“You start all over again, the process doesn’t happen overnight,” Mr Ballard said.
“If this is going on not only here, but with other businesses, we’re all going to struggle.
“We want to get skilled people out here, but we don’t seem to be able to deliver what we offer them.”
Thousands more waiting
The extreme pressure on Max and his family has been relieved by the sudden issuing of the visas.
But the Restaurant and Catering industry Association says they are many more people still living in limbo due to issues with skilled migration programs.
“There are many stories that we’re hearing about are families that are broken up, people trying to get into the country, very long delays, but the biggest issue that we have is that there is no communication,” CEO Belinda Clarke said.
“That’s the hardest thing, for people to be able to plan and understand what’s happening. Will I get a yes or a no? But there’s no communication.”
More than 56,000 skilled workers entered Australia in the last financial year on the same temporary skill shortage visa as Mr Perera.
But federal government data shows it’s taking between six months to two years to process visas for the families of skilled regional workers.
The Restaurant and Catering industry Association says there are more than 900,000 visas waiting to be processed by the Australian government.
In a statement, a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said the demand for skilled workers and processing current visa applications is a priority.
“The upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit will provide the opportunity for meaningful consultation with industry stakeholders, to address labor shortages and ensure Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19,” a spokesperson said.
Ms Clarke — who met with the office of the minister for immigration Andrew Giles this week — said it could take more than six months for the Albanese government to work through the backlog.
“We are so far behind in this processing, that the light isn’t clear of when we’re going to get through this, it’s going to be a good six months to a year [until] we’re really going to be able to get a clearer picture,” Ms Clarke said.
“[The government] is not happy, they know there’s a problem, they are desperately trying to find the solutions and they certainly weren’t expecting it to be such a huge amount that they had to process.
“They are certainly focused on it and trying really hard looking at ways they can get through this, but it’s not going to be a problem that’s fixed in the short term.”
Shops would be allowed to open two hours earlier on a Sunday under new laws set to go into state Parliament next month.
The SA government is looking to allow shops to trade from 9am on Sundays
The bill would also shops outside the Adelaide CBD to open on Boxing Day
Reforming shop trading has been a Labor election promise
Consultation on the reforms has begun with Premier Peter Malinauskas describing the changes as “sensible”.
Under the proposal, shops will be allowed to trade from 9am on Sunday as opposed to the current laws which only allow them to open at 11am.
The bill would also also allow metropolitan shops outside the Adelaide CBD to operate on Boxing Day.
“It’s about getting the balance right. It’s supported by business, it’s supported by workers,” the Premier said.
The reforms tighten how exemptions are issued to allow trade on public holidays. The former Liberal government used those powers to allow stores to open in the suburbs on public holidays during the last term, including on Easter Monday.
“We don’t think a free-for-all in terms of the exemption regime that the former government sought to exploit is necessarily the right approach,” Mr Malinauskas said.
The opposition is yet to consider the amendments put forward by the government.
“I do note that on recent public holidays, South Australian shoppers who have gone to the shops have been very disappointed to find out that under the new regime those shops have been closed,” said opposition spokesperson John Gardner.
For the bill to pass parliament’s Upper House, Labor needs the support of either the Greens, SA Best or the Liberals.
The union representing SA retail workers welcomed the proposal but say shop trading hours should not be at the expense of workers and local businesses to the interests of interstate and overseas supermarket giants.
“For us, this consultation is about protecting retail workers’ right to be treated with respect, to have a fair roster and to have public holidays off,” Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association secretary Josh Peak said.
“Our shop trading hours are one of the reasons we have one of the most diverse and most competitive supermarket sectors in Australia and this must be safeguarded.”
Drakes Supermarket director John-Paul Drake was supportive of an early start on Sundays.
“We have line-ups at 11am at every store every Sunday,” he said.
“More money goes into the economy, we’d employ more people and they are going to get more hours — so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
He preferred the proposed rules to deregulating shopping hours, which he said would be a “free-for-all” and benefit the “duopoly in this state” the most.
Nintendo hasn’t revealed what the majority of mario kart 8‘s new courses will be, but players think they already know thanks to some clues reportedly left in the latest DLC files. Dataminers say the latest update contains a ton of leftover music references that hint at what 14 of the remaining 32 courses will be.
“Nintendo left then song prefetches to many future dlc courses in the BGM.bars of wave 2,” dataminer Fishguy6564 wrote on Twitter Thursday night. The discovery, apparently made by YouTube account recordreader, led to a list of music tracks pointing to various courses from past games in the Mario Kart series that would presumably appear in future DLC.
[SPOILERS] MK8D BOOSTER COURSE PASS MUSIC LEAK
The full list is:
Peach Gardens (DS)
Boo Lake of Broken Pier (GBA)
Alpine Pass (3DS)
Berlin Byways (Tour)
Waluigi Stadium (GCN)
Merry Mountain (Tour)
Rainbow Road (3DS)
Amsterdam Drift (Tour)
Singapore Speedway (Tour)
Los Angeles Laps (Tour)
Sunset Wilds (GBA)
Bangkok Rush (Tour)
Vancouver Velocity (Tour)
Maple Treeway (Wii)
Combining this apparent new info with Fishguy’s past datamining of the first DLC wave revealed a pretty thorough portrait of what types of courses could be coming in the future.
A lot of the courses are from toursthemobile Mario Kart spin-off. That’s not terrible news considering that the MK8 versions of many of those have been excellent so far. But players did quickly point out that if accurate, this means there are only two more Nintendo DS stages coming, and since one of them is Peach Gardens, not all of the fan-favorites like Airship Fortress, Luigi’s Mansion, and DK Summit will make the cut.
Fans will still have to wait a bit to see if these leaks get confirmed and how the rest of the question marks will be filled in. MK8‘s Booster Course Pass will add the remaining 32 new courses between now and the end of 2023.