In a viral TikTok video, a teenage Whataburger employee cried as she described how one customer instantly assumed the fast-food worker wouldn’t be able to accurately take her order because they thought she was white.
The video, which has garnered over 557,000 views, showed the teen wiping her makeup-smeared and tear-stained face as she recounted the events that played out during her shift. She described two customers whose actions threw her into a fit of despair.
The TikToker said that one woman came to the counter and quickly concluded the worker would mess up her order. The customer then proceeded to rapidly spit out her menu request so fast that the worker had difficulty remembering everything, the TikToker said. The teen said she asked the woman to repeat her order, and in exasperation, the customer said, “this is all you white people do.” The teen is not white; she said she is Pakistani. The customer then demanded that the teen’s co-worker complete the transaction, she said.
“Then she started talking smack about me under her breath. I have never done shit to you,” she said. “What did I do to deserve that.”
After navigating out of that encounter, the teen said another customer gave her grief. The TikToker said she asked to scan one customer’s rewards program QR code so that she could apply any benefits to the order, but the man refused and said he would do it later. After he paid, she said said he wanted to redeem a free burger coupon.
“I literally sat here and told you, ‘Did you want to scan your app because if you have been using your app, you should know that you can scan your app, and then you get the rewards,'” the TikToker explained.
The customer was nevertheless infuriated and complained about having to pay for his burger, the worker said.
On top of her trying day at work, the 16-year-old admitted that she is also struggling in school. The teen said she was once an all-A student, and now she is “barely making it alive.”
“Be nice to fast-food workers,” she urged. “I’m only getting paid $11 an hour.”
The Daily Dot reached out to the TikToker via email for further comment.
“YALL I’M READY TO QUIT,” the Tiktoker, who said in the clip that she goes to work right after school, wrote in the caption.
Viewers came to reassure teen. “Working fast food is not for the weak,” one user wrote. “esp working a shift after school. Customers are haters FOR NO REASON.”
And others described their own fast-food horror stories. One viewer said they stopped working in the fast-food industry after a person working for the food delivery service DoorDash spit on him because the “machine wasn’t hurrying up making her drinks.”
Fast-food workers have long endured the actions of disrespectful customers, and Whataburger is no exception. Last year, a Whataburger employee alleged that a customer told her to “‘go back to Mexico or wherever you came from.’” Another TikTok video showed a customer throwing a drink at a Whataburger employee.