Guy speaking to camera(l), Dollar Tree sign(c), Same man showing off name tag(r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock https://www.tiktok.com/@olivermbork/video/7290352056559209770?is_from_webapp=1&web_id=7286467882366846510 (Licensed)

‘It feels like such an invasion of privacy’: Dollar Tree worker calls out name tags for giving customers his information

‘You already can see me and that’s more than I want.’

 

Angela Littlefield

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A viral TikTok video created by a Dollar Tree worker has sparked debate about the use of name tags in the workplace. In the clip, user Oliver (@olivermbork) rants about how customers say his name and urges them to not read his name tag. 

The clip has accumulated over 472,000 views and 113,800 likes as of Tuesday afternoon. In the video, Oliver shares that he prefers customers to not say his name especially while shopping at his local Dollar Tree. 

He wrote in the caption, “Forced social interactions be melting my brain.”

“My name is displayed right here and it may be a nice thing to do. ‘Oh thank you, Oliver,’” he says, mimicking a customer. “I hate when people know my name, please don’t read it. You already can see me and that is more than I want.”

Many viewers in the comments related to his preference for his personal details to remain unknown to customers. 

“It feels like such an invasion of privacy omg like I didn’t consent to you knowing who I am,” commented one viewer.

“This is so true. It kinda freaks me out because I forget they can see my name and I’m like ‘How do you know me’ HAHA,” replied another. 

For many businesses, having a name tag creates a better relationship between a staff member and customers. Prudential Uniforms lists the benefits of staff name tags as, “communication, branding, professionalism, customer service, and loyalty.”

Name tags as a form of identification have a reported connection to “dog tags” used in the military to help identify troops in World War II.

“According to the Army Historical Foundation, the term “dog tag” was first coined by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 1936, Hearst wanted to undermine support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. He had heard the newly formed Social Security Administration was considering giving out nameplates for personal identification. According to the SSA, Hearst referred to them as “dog tags” similar to those used in the military,” states a 2020 post from the U.S. Department of Defense. 

@olivermbork forced social interactions be melting my brain #fyp ♬ original sound – Oliver Bork

Hearst’s negative association with this identification has continued among some modern-day service workers, like Oliver, who would prefer customers to not have access to identifying information. Some commenters on Oliver’s video even said name tags have jeopardized their safety. 

‘When I worked at Walmart, I had a customer leave the store, look me up on Facebook just by my first name, and he started messaging me… scary,” shared one viewer. 

“Me refusing to wear my name tag at work for these exact reasons,” voiced another. 

Update 3pm CT, Oct . 20: In a follow-up video, Oliver responded to a critic who accused him of being hypocritical for not wanting customers to see him at work and also having a TikTok account with a following of nearly 40,000 people. “I thought this was just a harmless little funny thing. … It’s like a thing that doesn’t matter to complain about,” Oliver said in the follow-up, referring to his previous video. “The fact that people have taken this so seriously, like, come on. It’s really not that serious. It’s a f*cking name tag.”

Meanwhile, a Walmart worker’s name tag recently went viral and sparked a ton of speculation. Her name tag featured the name “Taco,” and viewers assumed that was a fake name she was using to outsmart customer complaints or avoid harassment.

Harassment is a very real experience many workers face, and having their names displayed so publicly may make it easier for customers to carry out the harassment. In October of 2022, a female gym worker advocated for no name tags after a client who she was set to work with found her on Instagram and sent her an unsolicited direct message.

The Daily Dot reached out to Olive via TikTok and Dollar Tree via email. 

 
The Daily Dot