Despite the special day, he hadn’t expected a “gift’ like this. It took mere seconds for his smile to disappear.
The camera was still rolling as he sifted through the items. He held the clear plastic bag up for the camera to see. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and neither did the public when they came across the video.
Love Was Enough
Sheffield, Alabama, was home to 54-year-old Kevin Ford. He was 24 when he moved to Las Vegas for work and met the love of his life. It wasn’t long before they found a home and built a family together.
He worked at the Burger King in Las Vegas McCarren International Airport, so he didn’t make much money, but his wife didn’t seem to mind. In his mind, he thought his love would be enough.
A Supportive Father
Kevin’s rose-colored glasses disappeared when his marriage started crumbling a few years later. But he worried about looking after his two daughters.
Without fail, Kevin kept showing up to his job at Burger King even after fighting with his wife all night. Despite how tired he was, he knew he needed to support his daughters. After 27 years, he was surprised by the hand he had been dealt.
Kevin was steadfast despite how problematic his marriage was. He anchored himself to pay for his daughters' schooling and feed the family. The only thing he couldn’t keep together was his relationship with his wife.
She wasn’t the same woman he had married years before. She had changed too much over the years that something was bound to come up.
Kevin worked long hours to provide for his daughters, but he knew his wife was unfit to care for them while he was away. Something needed to change, so he decided to file for a divorce. But the custody battle soon ensued.
Kevin didn’t miss a day of work despite how chaotic his personal life had become. But that didn’t seem to be enough for Burger King.
Fighting For Custody
The custody battle continued for a while before the judge deemed Kevin’s ex-wife unfit to care for the girls. It’s rare for the father to win custody - the children often stay with their mother - but the judge knew the extramarital affairs and substance abuse made her unsuitable for the job.
He had become a single parent who had two children to look after. He would do everything possible to make his kids happy, no matter how much he struggled. He worked diligently to get where he needed to be.
Despite his long hours, Kevin ensured he arrived at work on time daily. It meant he could only spend time with his daughters in the evenings, but it was worth it.
He would flip Burger King patties no matter how tired he was from his court battles, the messy divorce, or how ill he was. He spent 27 years working there and did not doubt that he would reap his rewards one day.
Kevin was 54 years old and had experienced much in his life. When he started working at Burger King 27 years ago, he had no idea how tired he would become.
He was grateful that his daughters had both finished high school and that his youngest was married with two children of her own. He had married again and was happy to become a father to another two kids. Much had changed over the years, but some things never do.
When Kevin started working in 1995, he should have earned approximately $5,00 an hour as a minimum hourly wage. Burger King employees make an average salary of $9,86 in 2022.
The cost of living is rising, and Kevin’s monthly salary is barely enough to live comfortably. He had worked there for 27 years without promotion, despite his loyalty to his job. But would Burger King ever repay him? And how?
Kevin was given a clear plastic bag on his 27th anniversary of becoming a Burger King employee.
Kevin didn’t think it was anything grand but always showed gratitude for what he received. He began pulling items out of the bag while a fellow Burger King employee used his phone to film his reaction. What was in the bag?
Kevin tried his best to keep a grateful smile on his face, but it began to fade. He held the items up for the camera every time he pulled one out of the bag.
The internet lost their minds when they saw what he pulled out: a bag of Reece’s pieces, two rolls of Lifesavers, a reusable Starbucks cup, and a single movie ticket. The video had gone viral.
A Gift Bag
Everything had been pulled out of a plastic HMS Host bag, the company logo for a multimillion-dollar restaurant chain’s parent company.
The video captured Kevin’s underwhelming gifts and was soon called “A Boring Dystopia” on a subreddit. The caption explained that Kevin had dedicated 27 years of his life to Burger King and that his gift bag didn’t even contain “$27 worth of trinkets.” The people of the internet were shocked.
Angry Reddit Users
Many Reddit users commented on the post, one stating that a pension would have been better than Reece’s pieces. Another said that no effort was made to buy anything and that it was a giveaway bag from special events or manager hires. Another shocked user wrote, “ Corporate buys that stuff by the case to give away.”
One user was angry enough to write that Burger King was like any other fast food franchise and that they are “corporate thieves that will stop at nothing to profit from everyone, not to mention take advantage of young workers, which is why I don't ever eat at any of these places.”
Reddit wasn’t the only place the video went viral. TikTok viewers also shared their criticism of Burger King. What broke their hearts was Kevin’s reaction to the gift bag. He was genuinely positive when he thanked them for the gift.
Seryna, Kevin’s daughter, eventually came across the video. She knew how hard her father worked and was sad to see him accepting such an insulting gift. Had he dedicated more than half his life to the company for that? She was something she couldn’t dismiss.
Paying Him Back
Seryna wanted to give her father the recognition he deserved after working hard to get her and her sister through high school and college. That’s when she set up a GoFundMe page.
It was an opportunity to pay him back. She explained on the GoFundMe page that the man in the video was her father and wrote that he had been working the same job for 27 years without taking leave.