This Burger King Deep Fryer Disaster Has TikTok Divided

With his phone up and camera on, Joshua Michael walked over to see the causes of the commotion. The deep fryer at the Burger King where he worked was bubbling and spilling oil all over the floor. In a video he later uploaded to his TikTok account @palmmtree_93, he exclaimed "I'm out of here." In a follow-up video which showed the same deep fryer still doing its best impression of a geyser, he explained that someone had put water in the fryer earlier that day: "I'm not touching that. This is my resignation letter here." As of writing, the first video has been seen 1.2 million times. 645.6K people followed his story into the second video. 

"When you leave the kids with no adult supervision," one person commented to the approval of 22.5K viewers, but many viewers disagreed with this sentiment. "All that s*** about teenagers and s***," Michael responded in a third video, "is no teenagers I know. I'm the youngest one at 28." Others also responded in agreement. "Aren't you the same people that want low wages bc it's a kids job?" one asked. "So much talk about the kids as if they haven't been running the stores for ages," another added.

Paying adults child wages

The point Joshua Michael made about who is actually working at fast food establishments bears closer inspection. In 2013, The New York Times relayed the fact that the supposedly kid-filled workforce was aging. More than 40% of all fast food workers were over the age of 24, with the average age of that cohort being 29. Zippia claims that the average of the entire industry is 24. So, while there are indeed lots of teenagers and college students employed in this sector, the idea that it is a job for kids is not accurate.

This is important because it is a reality that informed the wage raise McDonald's announced in July. As CNBC reported, the company would make the average wage earned by its workers $15 by 2024. This, however, falls short of a real living wage, as McDonald's worker Cristian Cardona stated to CNBC: "If McDonald's corporate can control how franchises make their Big Macs and how they market, I know that they can figure out how to pay every single worker a living wage of at least $15." 

The phrase "a living wage" returns a spotlight to the fact that a large portion of American adults do not, in fact, earn a base level of living from their current wages. That's why, as The Guardian writes, the Fight for $15 began with fast food workers in 2012. While a decade has passed and the battle is still being fought, more are persuaded.