If you’ve ever worked a cash register, then you know how stressful closing time can be, especially when you’ve got a drawer that’s short money.
You start the whole rigamarole of ensuring that you counted the correct amount of cash inside of the drawer and that you received payment for all of the day’s orders.
Coming up short a couple of dollars—or even a few cents—can be a nerve-wracking experience. But these Panda Express employees realized that they were more than $1,100 in the negative upon closing the store, forcing them to call HR to try and rectify the issue.
A TikTok user named Fanasii, who is known by username @k.fanasii, uploaded a clip documenting the ordeal that has garnered more than 960,000 views since it was posted on July 27.
@k.fanasii We literally planned leaving early #pandaexpress #fml ♬ original sound – ESOSA||CONTENT CREATOR
Fansii writes in a text overlay of a video that shows her Panda Express crew collectively freaking out over a cash register error: “When we’re all tryna go home but the register was offline the entire time so we’re under a thousand dollars on call with HR.”
The video transitions from their group panic to footage of their register’s screen reading that the restaurant is in the hole $1,136.69 as ESOSA’s “I wanna go home,” plays in the background.
Judging from some of the comments, it would seem that this offline register problem is one that other fast food industry workers are quite familiar with: “Me when my office cashier called me up to the front 5 mins before the safe locking & says ‘I’m 13,000 short,'” one commenter wrote.
One user asked how something like this “even happen[s]” and folks replied with some of the ways that their own registers encountered this issue.
“the wifi for the register at my restaurant job would go offline if the wind blew too hard,” one person wrote.
Another added: “sometimes when the connection to the server is bad the register will go offline…when that happens every cash transaction isn’t counted for in the system and that’s why the deposit was short.”
The problem of “short” cash registers appears to be handled differently at various businesses. One redditor who works for McDonald’s says that their restaurants makes folks who close out the register pay the difference of the money that is missing if the final amount is shorter than what it should be: “Cashiers do y’all have to pay for your drawer if it is short? At my McDonald’s they make me pay even if my drawer is $100 and the deposit sales are less than what it is supposed to be.”
Another redditor on the site’s r/anitwork sub said that their store follows the same policy: “From what I understand, this is not legal. If you have to withdraw money to pay back the shortage, the hold your cell phone, keys, anything that it valuable to make sure you pay it back.”
Fanasii said in the comments section of the video that her and her co-workers were ultimately able to resolve the problem after making several calls to the Panda Express user account system, which is referred to as “epaws”: “We had to call e paws 3 times just for them to tell us that the deposit is fine bcs the system didn’t save my co worker”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Panda Express via email and Fanasii via TikTok comment for further information.