Over the weekend, a video of an employee in a Burger King uniform sleeping on the sidewalk made the rounds on social media. The video, shot outside a Burger King in Cheektowaga, New York, shows the woman curled up on a piece of cardboard on the concrete walkway; when the man filming her asks what she’s doing, she replies: “I’m on my break.” Perhaps counterintuitively, the manager of the Cheektowaga Burger King defended her employee’s sidewalk nap to the Cheektowaga Chronicle—and we at The Takeout are also behind it 100 percent.
The manager, who asked to remain unnamed, told the Chronicle—I’m paraphrasing—that people can buzz right off with their criticism of her employee: “She’s a teacher, and she’s trying to pay off her student loans and everything by working several jobs, and this is not the media she needs.… People need to mind their own business and find out the real story before they go posting crap on social media.”
Can we get an amen?
The manager (who becomes the second BK manager awarded The Takeout’s employee of the month title) went on to say the store doesn’t have any benches outside, so the on-break employee—who was within her rights under labor laws—decided to catch a few Z’s where she could. It’s a fact that will come as little surprise to anyone saddled with student loans: Sometimes, your primary job (in this woman’s case, teaching) doesn’t pay enough to cover all the bills. So you side-hustle. You drive for a ride-sharing service. You work retail. You flip burgers at Burger King. And you’re probably deep-down-to-your-bones exhausted.
The manager not only defended her employee, but also hit at another state-of-our-world-in-2018 fact: Any of us could just be going about daily life and end up the unintentional focus of some inane viral video. As the manager put it to the Chronicle: “Social media is completely blown out of proportion, and people take pictures of stupid things just for their own likes.”
Another amen, please?
The guy who shot the video, Angelo Butera, tries to defend himself to the paper, saying that he was concerned about the woman on the sidewalk, worried she might be sick or injured. But his tone in the video—“This bitch crazy as fuck,” he’s heard saying in the film—isn’t exactly compassionate. And if he was only worried about her wellbeing, why post the video publicly to Facebook?
If there’s any lesson here, it’s that the manager of the Cheektowaga Burger King speak the truth; social media videos are a hellscape; and student loans will be the death of us all. Thanks for tuning in this Monday morning.