Man Retires After 42 Years From Minimum Wage Job and Only Receives a Measly BBQ – So a Co-worker Saves the Day
“You never know what can happen when you speak up for those who will not.”
For more than FOUR DECADES, John Bartlett (who is now in his 70s), hopped aboard a bus and a train to commute to his minimum-wage job at a factory in California.
At an average of 40 hours per week for 42 years John spent approximately 84,000 HOURS of his life at the same job. Talk about dedication.
And to “reward” him for his many, many years of loyalty, the company gave him…a BBQ. Oh, and a certificate. I wish I was joking.
Shocked by the company’s appallingly meager show of appreciation for a lifetime served, John’s colleague, Soniah, took to TikTok to voice her frustration. And that’s when one voice became thousands.
When a Company Failed, a Colleague Stepped Up
In a TikTok video that’s gone insanely viral with over 8.5 million views, Soniah shared a clip of John on his last day of work. In a text overlay, she wrote:
“Today is my coworker’s last day. He worked for this company for 42 years making minimum wage.”
She explained that despite his dedication, the company “only threw him a BBQ and gave him a certificate.”
She ended it with:
“He loves working here so much he didn’t want to retire — No bonus, just a barbecue and a certificate. Don’t be a slave to your job. Thank you John for your loyalty.”
TikTokers rallied in support. Thousands of commenters immediately wanted to know what they could do to make John’s retirement better.
GoFundMe Campaign Raises Over $83K and Counting
After doing some investigating, Soniah reveals in a TikTok update that John did, in fact, receive a small bonus, writing: “After investigation, I found out that he received a bonus, however, it was nothing compared to his 42 years of service.”
However, Soniah, still angered by the company’s paltry response, wasn’t having it. She started a GoFundMe campaign for John and unleashed a tidal wave of humanity.
“John who is 70+ is one of the most talented & hard working co workers I know. His energy is unmatched! Mr. John worked for 42 years for our company. Rain or shine, he will make it to work! Extremely dependable! It doesn’t matter how much we would suggest to take his vacation days, he would still want to work!”John Bartlett’s GoFundMe Campaign
Soniah also revealed that John is a bachelor and doesn’t have any children but he does have a nephew “whom he loves dearly.”
She asked for people to donate or just send positive vibes and encouragement.
The people answered. Donations flooded in from all over the world, including Costa Rica, the UK, and Germany.
“Your hard work and dedication is an inspiration, John! We need more like you in the world. All the best to you from NYC!” wrote one person.
“Happy retirement, John. You deserve more than what this company has offered you. Wish you all the best in your life and your future,” another person commented along with their donation.
It seems a lot of people felt the same way. In less than three days, the campaign surpassed its initial goal of $28,000, raising over $36,000.
It is currently sitting at $83,135 and climbing.
The Power of One Person Doing the Right Thing
What began as a sad tale highlighting corporate greed and the underappreciated loyalty and hard work of one man (who let’s face it, represents so many others out there) turned into a heartwarming story of kindness and showing up.
In a follow-up video Soniah shares that she has transferred the GoFundMe over to John. A man of very few words, John merely smiles humbly and nods as Soniah tells him that his story has inspired the world.
While it’s unclear what John plans to do with the money, what is clear is that he deserves every last penny.
“Mr. John did so much for us without asking. He is so selfless, you ask him for a hand and he will give you two!!!” Soniah wrote, adding: “God bless this man and protect him at all costs.”
In the face of gross corporate indifference, it’s nice to know that humanity still prevails. Thanks to the power of one person willing to fight back, the life of a man who literally dedicated his lifetime to his work for very little in return has been incredibly changed for the better.
More from Goalcast:
- Woman Learns Her Exhausted Co-worker Bikes Three Hours to Work – So She and Her Husband Come Up With a Plan
- Black Employee Is Fired After He Stands Up to His Racist Boss – Outraged Co-workers Have the Best Response