Update 6:12pm CT, May 17: The TikToker clarified in an email to the Daily Dot that he intended for his video to be humorous, found the pickle task “really easy and simple,” and loves his job.
“My store is the greatest place I have worked at,” he said. “It was really just a funny little video I made that I did not expect to blow up.”
He added that the location he works at treats its employees well and operates “in an orderly fashion, prioritizing the customers.”
Original story: “Freaky Fast.” That’s one of the mottos Jimmy John’s used to employ when marketing the speed with which its workers serve sandwiches up to sub-loving customers.
It would appear, however, that some franchises don’t believe this same “freaky fast” philosophy should apply to ensuring its employees are properly equipped to do their jobs in a timely fashion.
TikTok user and Jimmy John’s employee Winjamin (@romancehater05) said that they were “sentenced to wrapping 120 pickle spears” during his shift. He urged his followers to “pray for” him.
@romancehater05 its been an hour i only have 20 #help #helpme #jimmyjohns #pickle #pickles #torture #hardwork #softhands ♬ original sound – pav
In the clip he demonstrates the repetitive task before him. He grabs a pickle and places it on the chain’s wrapping branded paper, cutting the pickle into four individual pieces utilizing two quick cuts. He then picks up one of the segmented pieces and places it on a separate, smaller piece of deli paper used for wrapping the pickle spears.
Afterward, he dumps the spear into a bucket, then holds it up to the camera to show how many he was able to slice and wrap in an hour. “Its been an hour i only have 20 #helpme,” he added in the caption.
Some commenters were confused by the spear wrapping policy at this particular Jimmy John’s, with one person writing that the store they worked at simply put them in plastic bags.
“zip loc baggies are JJs approved couldnt imagine doing this every huge box lunch order,” one user claimed.
“My store usually uses small plastic baggies for them tho,” another added.
A further TikToker argued that Winjamin could move quicker by changing his process. “cut all the spears you need first then wrap bro it’ll take like half the time,” they suggested.
However, according to the TikToker, the way the store is set up would not make that possible. “it would take up a lot of space that we need tho,” Winjamin replied.
Jimmy John’s has been the subject of controversy regarding its labor practices in the past. The chain paid $1.8 million in settlement fees when multiple employees alleged they weren’t being appropriately paid for overtime hours, per Restaurant Dive. The business also faced a lawsuit in 2016 over the “non-competition clause” the franchise had its employees sign, which prevented workers from working for another sandwich franchise for 2 years (even as a delivery driver) or any business that earns 10% or more of its income from selling sandwiches, according to Reuters.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Jimmy John’s via email.