In an era where restaurants still struggle to reach full staffing levels, service workers are often spread thin even on a good day. So when an employee asks to leave early, as one recent TikTok showed, sometimes the answer is just no.
After pulling up to the speaker box of a Taco Bell drive-thru, Brandy (@brandylynn5389) overheard a manager chastising a worker who wanted to leave early. In the DoorDash driver’s video, which has over 218,000 views, the manager explained that exhaustion is not a pass to leave early every day.
“You’ve been doing this all week. You leave early,” the manager said in the video. “We all feel tired, OK? You have to stay until the job is done. If you leave, you will not come back. I promise you.”
@brandylynn5389 Im just trying to doordash and caught a show at taco bell. He was FED UP!! lol @tacobell #tacobell #doordashlife #doordash #fyp ♬ original sound – Brandy
In the end, the employee left, Brandy said in the comments. As a goodbye, Brandy said he kicked the Taco Bell sign a few times before walking off into the night. The employee now adds to the sometimes astonishing turnover rates the food service industry sees. According to one 2022 analysis of quick service restaurants, only 54% of employees worked 90 days before quitting.
The Daily Dot reached out to Brandy via TikTok and Taco Bell via email.
Restaurant workers, especially fast-food laborers, are armed with numerous stories of oppressive managers, low pay, and, of course, Karen-like customers. Yet, this Taco Bell confrontation did not have the masses siding with the tired staffer. Many in the video’s comments instead gave sympathy and praise to the manager and the employees who remained behind.
“I get the tired part, but manager is right,” one viewer said. “When a closer leaves early everyone else needs to pick up the slack for them.”
“That guy had probably been putting them in a bind like that for a while lol,” another person added.
“The fact he let him leave early for a week before having this talk just shows how patient he is,” one viewer wrote.