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Barista Asks If She's Wrong For Pranking Customers By Pretending She's Getting Fired Whenever They Complain

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A barista laughing

A barista has been called "mean" by her friends after telling them about the prank she plays on customers at her coffee shop job.

Posting to the "r/AmITheA--hole" (AITA) subReddit, she described how the prank came about.

In her post, the high schooler detailed how frequently she deals with unfriendly, angry customers who all seem to be in a bad mood.

She says she's tired of grown adults taking their anger out on her, so she gets revenge by playing a trick on them.

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The barista gets revenge on angry customers by having her coworker pretend to fire her.

The high schooler says it's a regular occurrence that people will come into the coffee shop "angry about such little stuff. Like literally blow up about nothing."

"Like how sad," she writes, "you have to be to be a grown-a-s man taking your anger out on high school and college kids."

So she and her coworker James, a shift manager, decided to have a little fun with the next angry customer who came into the coffee shop.

Sure enough, she soon had a customer "having a temper about how we don't make the coffee hot enough"—a problem she says she can't even solve, since the coffee comes directly from a machine.

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Instead, she and James launched their trick.

After asking what the problem was and listening to the customer's rant, James looked at the high schooler and said, "this is unacceptable, you're fired."

Following along, the high schooler responded, "no please don't fire me, my family needs the money, I need this job, please," to which James responded by telling her to take off her apron and get out.

She writes that the angry customer immediately backpedaled, telling James, "It isn't that big of a problem, you don't need to fire her over it. I didn't mean it."

But James didn't let up on the ruse, and after it worked so well the first time, the barista says they've tried it on several angry customers since.

And she says that "almost every time, the person who had come in angry will apologize and say that they didn't mean it."

"It's kind of satisfying," she went on to write, "making people realize their actions might actually have consequences."

That satisfaction is certainly relatable to probably anyone who's ever worked in customer service.

But the barista's friends thought the prank was mean for making people think they'd just ruined a person's livelihood.

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Most commenters agreed that the barista's prank was not only funny but a good way to teach unkind customers a lesson.

"That's a perfect way of dealing with hostile customers," one user wrote. "Yeah, this is hilarious and hopefully teaches them a lesson," another person commented

"And when the hostile customers try to backtrack what they say makes it worth it," a Redditor added.

Others pointed out that the prank has an unintentional side benefit. "Most likely these customers will be embarrassed and avoid coming back to the store. It’s a win win!"

Though some were hoping the customers actually would come back, purely for the way it would up the stakes on the comedic ruse.

One user wrote, "I think it’d be even funnier if they were happy with [the firing] and then they came back, only to see [the barista] still working there."

"The potential explanations of 'oh that was my twin brother, but now it’s my job to support my dying mother and six siblings,' would be hilarious."

Who says work can't be fun?

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.