five below keychain, woman


‘They treat their employees so bad’: Five Below worker receives keychain as reward for hard work, sparking debate

Former and current Five Below employees expressed sympathy in the comments.


Clara Wang


Published Dec 20, 2021   Updated Dec 21, 2021, 10:00 am CST

A Five Below worker called out the company for handing out keychains as a reward for hard work in a viral TikTok, sparking debate.

Emma Isabel (@emmaisabel._) posted the video denouncing the discount retail chain Five Below. It received over 345,700 views since it was posted Nov. 24.

In the video, Emma Isabel sits in the retail store’s back room while holding up a Five Below keychain. A text overlay states, “When you work your butt off at work and they give you a keychain in return.”

Five Below is a specialty discount store chain offering mostly $5-and-under products aimed at tweens and teens. According to, cashiers and sales associates average $10 an hour. Employees also get a 20% discount on all products, which is an added “incentive” for working there.

Retail workers have been facing additional strain as the industry faces understaffing issues that force employees to take on extra tasks for little pay. Many retail workers have taken to TikTok to express their grievances.

Some viewers believed that Emma Isabel’s “reward” should be her paycheck.

“Your reward is that paycheck you receiving lol,” one viewer wrote.

However, most viewers felt her pain. Her frustrations garnered an outpouring of support from other overloaded retail workers. Many commenters commiserated with her experience and shared their own experiences.

“I worked for that company for one month. IDK about your experience but the place I was at was so toxic,” says @drea080420.

“You get a keychain? I get old pizza slices,” says @ainekmarquez23.

“Bruh I’m soo happy I don’t work for Five Below anymore. They treat their employees so bad,” says @alexabrianaa.

The Daily Dot reached out to @emmaisabel._ and Five Below for comment.

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2021, 6:12 pm CST