A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after claiming she watched over a Dollar General location so an employee could use the bathroom.
In a video with over 39,000 views, TikTok user Kat (@mrstimberlake2011) claims she was voluntarily locked into a Dollar General location so that the store’s singular employee could use the bathroom.
“Why am I locked in a Dollar General, you ask? Because the Dollar General that I’m at, there is one person working. One person. And she had to use the bathroom,” Kat explains.
“There are people that are at work right now that cannot go and use the fucking bathroom,” Kat adds later in the video.
@mrstimberlake2011 What happened to compassion? 😳😳😳##kattimberlake@@dollargeneral ♬ original sound – Kat Timberlake
Dollar General has long been a topic of critical discussion on TikTok, particularly when it comes to the understaffing of its stores. Numerous users have noted that Dollar General stores appear overcrowded and its employees overworked. Cases where one employee has been tasked with running an entire store are also not unheard of.
Dollar General has also been criticized for the low wages it pays its employees.
“A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that 92 percent of Dollar General employees make less than $15 an hour. Twenty-two percent make less than $10 an hour,” wrote Alex Press for Jacobin in May 2022.
Press notes that there have been several attempts to unionize Dollar General workers. However, “thus far, attempts to unionize Dollar General stores have been defeated by the company,” Press stated. “In 2020, Dollar General shut down a Missouri store that voted to unionize. In 2021, the company retained union-busting law firm Labor Relations Institute, paying consultants $2,700 per day to beat a union drive at a Connecticut location.”
In the comments section of Kat’s video, viewers added to the Dollar General criticism.
“DG treats their employees horribly,” wrote a user. “I always chat with them, and they are super short handed and way taken advantage of!”
“It’s true,” alleged another. “I had a friend that was working by herself end up peeing her pants because she was by herself.”
Additionally, while some commenters claimed that working alone is against Dollar General’s policy, numerous users on Reddit and Indeed claimed that employees being tasked to run the entire store by themselves is incredibly common.
“Yes this absolutely happens CONSTANTLY. When I worked there I’d be left alone for hours (really annoying if a cust needs something specific from the back and asks me to get it for them),” wrote one commenter on Indeed. “the longest was 6 hours left alone.”
“I work there and every time I work day shift I’m by myself for 6 to 7 hours,” claimed a second on a different Indeed thread. “Really don’t like it. Not safe at all.”
“Opening shifts are almost always solo, so 7-8 hours is typical,” stated a Redditor. “I’ve been alone from open to close with someone only coming in for the last hour for closing procedures, though.”
The Daily Dot reached out to both Dollar General and Kat via email.
Update 8:51am CT February 13: In an email to the Daily Dot, Kat said that, upon exiting the bathroom, the store employee was “relieved but upset that she was in that situation.”
“Not only was she the only person working, but that store also doesn’t have an official manager,” she continued. “She let me know that she as the key holder was the highest ranking employee.”
“The main message I wanted to get across was that we as humans need more compassion for one another. I was mainly calling out the fact that the guy would not step out for her to relieve herself,” she concluded. “I was not explicitly bashing Dollar General [because] I do shop there on a regular basis (I’ve made multiple videos about them) but it is unfair that the working conditions are less than stellar.”