Illustration: Ashley Siebels
Distractions

Starbucks barista rebels against making Unicorn Frappuccinos all day

Most people like a little variety in the workday. We’ve all had the moment when repetitive work tasks threaten to drive us out of our minds, whether it’s inputting information into spreadsheets or….making elaborate multicolored sugary drinks.

That was Braden Burson’s day. The barista had it with the high demand for the limited-edition Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino, which ignited a a social media frenzy. As crowds of people kept flocking to the rainbow drink, Burson tweeted a video rant so energetic, so scathing, that it quickly went nearly as viral as the drink.

Then he deleted it.

Then he reposted it.

“Please don’t get it! I have never made so many Frappuccinos in my entire life. My hands are completely sticky. I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life,” Burson said.

And he wasn’t alone.

Managing the Unicorn Frappuccino rush is a tough job

It’s easy to see why the drink struck such a chord; its visual appeal makes it perfect for social media and it doesn’t hurt that the lively marketing copy evokes fairy tales: “the flavor-changing, color-changing, totally not-made-up Unicorn Frappuccino. Magical flavors start off sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour. Swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink. It’s finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders.”

The unicorn-themed drink is Starbucks’ entry into the multicolored novelty food trend. Rainbow bagels, unicorn toast and mermaid toast are the most popular manifestations — as well as rainbow bowls that are popular on Instagram didn’t start yesterday. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that “self-proclaimed ‘world premier bagel artist’” Scot Rossillo has been making the rainbow bagel “for almost two decades.”

Luckily for Burson, customers can only grab one until April 23— but if you want a taste, you’d better hurry because it’s only available “while supplies last” in certain stores.

Starbucks said in a statement that it’s getting in contact with Burson “to talk about his experience and how to make it better,” according to ABC.

What to do when you’re frustrated with work

We’ve all had workdays that make us want to disappear, but if you find yourself in a tough situation in the office soon, you have options that stop short of creating viral video.

Don’t vent

Having social media evidence of your work anger is never positive, which is probably why Burson deleted his tweet. (Then, strangely, reposted).

Rather than deleting, ranting on camera in the first place is inadvisable. Believe it or not, complaining when something goes wrong could actually worsen your mood.

The study referenced in the article from the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology said that “the results of this research provided evidence that negative work events can impede daily work engagement and positive affect.”

So you might want to avoid going off on a bad day— your performance and mood could suffer.

Focus on what you can control

Alison Green’s article for U.S. News & World Report points some out, like “distractions— electronic or otherwise,” “sleep,” “complaining,” “who you associate yourself with at work” and “your approach to work.”

But for everything that’s not in your power, like your manager’s mood, consider doing your best to keep your spirits up by adjusting accordingly when challenging tasks come your way, or when someone says something that throws you off.

Talk to your manager to see if you can improve your workload

Alert your boss if the amount of work you have to get done is so overwhelming that you find it hard to focus or prioritize assignments.

We know; that sounds hard. Productivity expert Julie Morgenstern told the Harvard Business Review about two reasons why this isn’t always easy.

“In the bottom of your belly is this feeling that if you can’t handle the work, there’s someone else who can; you feel dispensable,” she said.  The other reason is because “the natural tendency is to think, ‘I am not working hard enough, smart enough, or efficiently enough. I should be able to handle this.’ So you suffer in silence,” Morgenstern told the Harvard Business Review.

But you don’t have to.

Morgenstern added why doing this could be in your favor. “Bosses want their employees to speak up if there is anything that’s keeping them from performing at peak levels,” she told the Harvard Business Review.

You have the power to turn things around when things don’t go your way in the office, though. And getting a little slack it may even make you better at your job.