A user on TikTok has gone viral after claiming to record a walkie-talkie conversation between a Bath & Body Works employee and her manager.
In a video with over 1.9 million views, TikTok user Mike (@mister_twister_55) uses a Motorola APX 8000 All-Band Portable Radio to overhear a conversation he claims is taking place between an employee and a manager at Bath & Body Works.
Over the course of the conversation, the manager “gaslights [the] employee into staying overtime—forcing her to physical illness,” writes Mike in the text overlaying the video.
@mister_twister_55 I feel so bad for her. I’ll be buying all my candles from @yankeecandleoffical ♬ original sound – mister_twister_55
For context, gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse.
The conversation seems to be about boxes that need to be unpacked. The manager insists that there are more boxes to be unpacked, while the employee stresses that they were only informed that they needed to unpack two boxes and their shift was over, though they have not yet left.
When confronted with this information, the manager threatens to have “Autumn” handle the situation, presumably another manager. The employee is audibly distressed by this threat.
It appears that the employee is also sick, referencing the fact that though they are willing to do the additional work in theory, they “feel like [they’re] going to throw up.”
“I feel so bad for her,” writes Mike in the caption. “I’ll be buying all my candles from @yankeecandleoffical from now on.”
The Daily Dot could not verify where or when this conversation occurred, though Mike claims he was listening to signals from a Bath & Body Works location.
That said, Mike stressed in the comment section that this interaction should not be taken as an indictment of Bath & Body Works as a company.
“There are bad apples everywhere and it doesn’t matter who they work for,” he wrote in a comment.
Regardless, many users on TikTok shared their thoughts about the purported situation.
“No. Nothing is supposed to get done before she leaves. She gets paid an hourly wage not per job done. Her shift is over at 4 she should leave at 4,” wrote one user.
“I’m so sick of retail & everywhere else that does this. Just let people leave when their shifts up. If someone doesn’t feel good, leave early,” added another. “Employees come first in my book. You’ll always have a clientele to cater to, but you might not have employees willing to be there working for you.”
Other users called out Bath & Body Works specifically, citing alleged previous work experience.
“Bath and body works has the most horrendous store managers I have ever encountered. Zero work etiquette and zero training,” recalled a user. “Worst company to work for.”
“I remember working at BBW and worked me so hard with no breaks,” alleged a second. “40 hr weeks turned into 55hr weeks with 12 hour shifts, no breaks and so hateful to me.”
“Supervisors at @bathandbodyworks really be like that. At instructions are always unclear. Unless it’s coming from the store manager,” stated a third.
The Daily Dot reached out to Mike via his website contact form and Instagram DM, and to Bath & Body Works via email.
Update 9:57am CT January 30: While Mike did not disclose the specific location where this incident occurred, he stressed in an Instagram DM conversation with the Daily Dot that this behavior was not unique to Bath & Body Works.
“This type of behavior is not confined to one specific store or brand name. This happens everywhere,” he wrote. “You can say this happened at ANY store.”
“It really rattled some feathers of ex-BBW employees, but you’ll see the exact same experience at Victoria’s Secret, Target, etc. So I think it’s really unfair to pin this on any individual store when it clearly happens everywhere,” he continued. “It just opened my eyes (and hopefully thousands of others’) to what really happens inside some of these entry-level retail stores. No employee should have to put up with this type of coworker.”
“I hope people who saw this video 1. Gain respect for the victims of this type of abuse and 2. Gain appreciation for ALL retail workers, because customers don’t really know what happens in those earpieces,” he concluded.