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TikTok Sparks Debate After Exhausted Taco Bell Employee Falls Asleep At The Drive-Thru Window

It’s no secret that employees in the fast-food industry are severely overburdened by the challenges they face on the job. Underpaid and all too often overworked, fast food workers often endure customers with poor attitudes and even insults and physical violence. In fact, in 2014 a survey published by Business Insider revealed that 12% of fast-food workers claimed to have been assaulted on the job.

Now, as the pandemic continues to rage on, many fast food workers continue to find themselves being overworked either to make ends meet or to meet the demands of their labor-intensive job.

A recently viral TikTok video highlighted once again the sad aspects of fast food work after a Taco Bell employee was filmed falling asleep while in the middle of working the drive-thru.

A Tiktoker captured a Taco Bell worker sleeping in the drive-thru, while trying to place his order

Leave it to TikTok to make a man’s work struggles go viral but that’s exactly what happened after one TikToker filmed a Taco Bell employee sleeping while working the drive-thru. The video, which now has millions of views, has even gone on to spark a debate about the conditions fast food workers face and of other workers all across the country.

TikToker @jacobcohen8 uploaded the video after pulling up to the drive-thru window to place his order and saw the employee with his face pressed against the monitor unmoving. You can hear him call out to the employee several times, asking if the restaurant was open and if he could make an order. After a few attempts to get the employee’s attention, the worker looks up and seems a bit dazed as he answered that yes they were open and started to take the man’s order.

And yes, the order was simple, but many thought it was rude for the TikToker to be filming this encounter when it appeared pretty obvious that the employee wasn’t totally together and perhaps even a bit burned out.

Shortly after the video went live, people shared their opinions on everything from privacy to labor rights.

Many on social media quickly called out the TikToker for recording and sharing the experience, when it was obvious the employee was struggling to even communicate. The reason the employee seemed so burnt out hardly concerned people, with most coming to his defense. However, the man who uploaded the TikTok tried to defend himself in the comments by sharing that he never got his order and actually called the police because he was worried about the employee’s well-being.

Well, that also didn’t go over with most people on social media. Many people feared that this likely meant the employee lost his job or placed him in danger while dealing with law enforcement.

Another part of the debate revolved around our country’s treatment of ‘essential workers’ and the terrible conditions they work in. Users declared that the government “get that man his $15 an hour.” It’s widely known that many U.S. workers have to hold down multiple jobs, some of which include hard late-night shifts that take a significant toll on the body.

To help address the criticism, Taco Bell recently announced that it was hiring 2,000 additional workers and was introducing additional benefits to better attract employees. But will it be enough? Despite the unemployment crisis brought on by the pandemic, return to work has been slow for many with a record 9.2 million job openings and 9.5 million unemployed, according to ADP’s National Employment Report. All of this seems to point to realization many Americans are having, that they deserve more for their hard work.

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