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YouTube Starbucks song gets worker fired

Sept. 23, 2011 at 3:14 PM

CHOWCHILLA, Calif., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A California man said he lost his job as a Starbucks barista over a YouTube video he made singing about the coffee business.

Christopher Cristwell, 25, a former employee at the Chowchilla Starbucks, said his YouTube video, in which he sings about Starbucks while wearing nothing but his underwear and green apron, was meant as satire, but was taken seriously by Starbucks officials, McClatchy Newspapers reported Friday.

"They were really cool about it. 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," Cristwell said.

"It's just a cup of coffee / Give me a break / I shouldn't have to put up with this, making minimum wage," Cristwell sings in the video.

Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz addressed the issue in a Wednesday statement.

"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)," Hilowitz said.

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