Imagine you're shopping your local Walmart. You ignore most of the store's PA announcements. But then, this one gets your attention:
Attention all shoppers, associates and management. I would like to say to all of you today that nobody should work here. Ever.
Our managers will make promises and never keep them and not only that they will preach to us about how they care about their employees, but about a month ago, my boss assistant manager Cora, called em a waste of time and management did nothing to help.
Management will also try to save money every step of the way, including cutting benefits of a full time associate down to part-time even though he worked 40-plus hours a week.
I've been a loyal employee here for over a year and a half, and I'm sick of all the bull----, bogus write-ups, and my job. F--- management. F--- this job. F--- Walmart.
People of Earth, meet Jackson Racicot, 17, a now-former employee of Walmart in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. His dramatic kiss off might have been cathartic for him, and perhaps he'd be wise not to expect a reference.
But because this is 2018, Racicot also recorded himself making the announcement, and then posted the video to Facebook. It now has been viewed 459,000 times (assuming we can trust Facebook's counter), and shared nearly 3,800 times.
The bold departing gesture is one of those fantasies that people sometimes indulge in when they hate their jobs. Almost nobody ever does it, and with good reason.
I have to say, this is example number 4,889 of why I'm glad I'm considerably older than Racicot, and that there was no such thing as social media when I was 17 and doing really stupid things.
I reached out to both Racicot and Walmart. Neither replied.
But Racicot did talk with a Canadian newspaper. He said he hopes to expose Walmart for treating employees poorly, and start a boycott. He has a few hundred people commenting on his Facebook page -- both some who support him and some who think he's a fool for quitting the way he did.
Good luck with that. Walmart is the world's largest private employer, with 2.3 million workers; he's a lone Canadian teenager who honestly seems like he's acting the way a lot of teenagers do. Most of us grow out of it.
But sometimes that's how revolutions start--although I don't think that will be happening here. And one of the key reasons I'm so sure, is that Racicot made a dumb mistake, both in his announcement and in his later interviews.
It's about his word choice. It's the fact that even as writers like me are covering his story, we have to bleep out all the F-bombs and other curse words.
It all undercuts him, and more than anything else in the videos and interviews, makes him seem like a petulant little kid, as opposed to someone with a serious grievance.
(I might even cut him some slack in the video, given that he's clearly pumped up on adrenaline. But he talks the same way in his interview with the Edmonton newspaper.)
So that's where we leave it: a 2018 story if ever there was one, involving Walmart, supposedly underpaid employees, a 17-year-old Generation Z worker who doesn't like his job, and a viral video.
As for Racicot, he told an interviewer he never expected this thing to go so viral, and that he'd lined up another job before he quit Walmart so dramatically. No word on whether his new employer saw the video--or whether his new offer still stands.