Wheelchair user says clients joke about her ‘sitting at work’

In a viral TikTok video, an employee in a wheelchair says customers constantly joke about her “sitting at work.”

“Me: *is in a wheelchair*,” reads the text overlay. “Customer: ‘We’re sitting on the construction site?'”

The video shows the Publix employee pretending to smile and rolling her eyes at the joke.

“I hear it about 10 times a day. Shit is getting old,” Riley (@psychotic.caprisun) commented on the video.

Riley told the Daily Dot that she shared the video to raise awareness of the ableism she and other disabled people experience every day.

“I’m tired of tolerating ableism in today’s world,” Riley told the Daily Dot. “We’ve come this far in terms of homophobia and racism, but the discrimination and lack of understanding in the disability community has gone pretty much unnoticed.”

“Raising awareness about these issues is important to me, and my favorite way of doing it is through jokes and educational posts on TikTok,” she continued. “It presents itself [an] important topic and needed conversations in a more comfortable way for people, which has been very well received so far.”

With nearly 170,000 views, the video also sparked debate about the expectation of being on the job.

One wheelchair user said customers told them the same thing when they worked at Walmart.

“Man, I’m in a wheelchair and people told me that when I worked at Walmart,” they said.

Other workers said customers complained when they sat at work while pregnant.

“When I was pregnant, I was given a chair to sit in at the checkout (Starbucks) and the baby boomers were very upset about it,” said one user.

“I needed a chair when I was heavily pregnant at my last job and a woman called me lazy,” another called.

However, many wondered why workers are expected to stand all the time anyway.

“Why do people want minimum wage workers to stand up so badly? I’ve literally had back problems since I worked as a grocery store cashier and stood for 8 hours,” said one user.

“Why is standing even important? I would have been SO much happier and more efficient at my old mall jobs if I could sit or lean a little more,” said another Siad.

“Why do retail workers even have to stand all day…” said a third user.

“Boomers get so angry when workers aren’t actively suffering,” claimed a fourth.

Others pointed out that in some countries it is common for workers to sit at work.

“In the Netherlands it’s actually normal to sit as a cashier… If you stand 8 hours a day you’ll definitely get back problems!” said one user.

“In Sweden too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cashier in a grocery store standing behind the checkout counter. Why should they?” asked another.

Riley agreed with many of the sentiments in the comments.

“With so many jobs, sitting absolutely doesn’t get in the way of getting the job done, and I think employers will actually see a positive benefit as sedentary employees boost their morale and job satisfaction!” she told the Daily Dot.

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*Initial publication: March 4, 2022 at 10:06 am CST

Laiken Neumann

Laiken Neumann is a freelance journalist based in Austin, Texas, covering culture, entertainment and social justice.

Laiken Neumann

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/wheelchair-user-customers-joke-sitting-on-the-job-tiktok/ Wheelchair user says clients joke about her ‘sitting at work’

Jaclyn Diaz

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