Why this Costco worker is being called a hero

As COVID-19 continues to be a concern, businesses across the country have started requiring customers to wear masks. Costco made it mandatory for all of its shoppers to wear a mask or facial covering the whole time they are in the store, with a few exceptions for children under the age of 2, or people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing something that covers their face. The wholesale warehouse chain's policy came into effect starting May 4.

But this new rule hasn't sat well with some Costco members, who feel that it's a violation of their rights, as well as unnecessary as some states begin to reopen. Some have even gone so far as to post complaints about the company on social media with the hashtag #BoycottCostco, and cancel their membership.

Some members have openly refused to comply with Costco's mask policy, as seen in a video that has gone viral with over six million views on Twitter (Caution: The recording contains profane language). The clip, shot by an irate Costco shopper, shows a store employee calmly, but firmly telling the man filming that he must put on a mask or leave. Many commenters praised the Costco worker, identified as Tison from his name tag in the clip, for addressing the concern, and upholding the store's policy in a professional manner.

How the Costco worker maintained the store's policy

The shopper who shot the video and later uploaded it onto Reddit, can be heard telling Tison that he is going to upload the clip to his "3,000-follower Instagram feed." In response, Tison addressed the camera directly and told the customer, and any of his social media followers, that he was "asking this member to put on a mask because that is our company policy" (via Fox News).

When the customer refused to put one on because in his words, he "woke up in a free country," Tison informed the shopper that he is no longer welcome in the warehouse, promptly taking his cart away while politely wishing him a great day. When that happened, the man tried to get his partner, who was wearing a mask, to take his card and purchase the items instead. But Tison did not budge from his decision. The Costco member then hurled expletives at the employee, who did not turn around, and continued to vacate the scene with the goods (via HuffPost).

The customer who shot the video was heavily criticized for his refusal to wear a mask on Reddit, where he was dubbed "Costco Kevin" by users. The man eventually removed the clip from the platform after it was supposedly "downvoted into oblivion."

How the Costco worker responded to the attention

Though the original video was taken off of Reddit, a copy made its way onto Twitter, where many have been commending Tison and calling on Costco to give the worker a raise. Twitter user @HoneyOhannaTene commented on the video, saying that the worker deserves a pay raise while also raising the point that it's common for stores to have a no shirt, no shoes, no service policy that is strictly enforced. According to the user, that kind of rule is not considered an infringement of one's freedom, so a "no face mask no service policy during a pandemic" is not an unreasonable request.

The hashtags #IStandWithTison and #Tison have also been circulating on Twitter as people respond to the clip with criticisms of the shopper who filmed it, and others like him who ignore mask-wearing policies, as well as words of solidarity for Tison.

Meanwhile, the Costco worker took to his own Twitter account to respond to his newfound fame. "People of Twitter thank you for all of the support," Tison wrote. "I was just trying to protect our employees and our members." He also replied to his post with a photo of himself holding a thumbs-up to the camera. It is not clear how long Costco will enforce the mandatory face mask policy in its stores, but thankfully, for now, employees like Tison are there to make sure shoppers and fellow workers are as safe as possible.