A former Ikea staffer and comedian shows how thankless retail jobs can be in a viral TikTok series imitating conversations with customers

·3 min read
Scott Seiss diptych
Comedian Scott Seiss has gone viral on TikTok for posing as an Ikea employee about to lose it with rude customers. @scottseiss/TikTok
  • Comedian Scott Seiss has gone viral for posing as an angry Ikea employee on TikTok.

  • In his videos, Seiss narrates the inner thoughts of an employee after interacting with rude customers.

  • The videos have been viewed millions of times and underscore how thankless retail jobs can be.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"You just lost yourself a customer" is a phrase retail employees are used to hearing when a customer is upset.

What the customer doesn't hear in return is what the employee really thinks about the interaction.

Enter Scott Seiss, a comedian, TikToker, and former Ikea staffer.

"You think I own this business?" he said, posing as an Ikea employee in a viral TikTok video posted on February 24. "You think I own IKEA? I'm a part-time employee halfway through a two-week notice. I don't give a s---."

The video, which has over 8 million views at the time of writing, is one of 21 videos in which Seiss depicts the inner thoughts of minimum-wage Ikea employee who is about to lose it with customers and with his company.

The series underscores how thankless retail jobs can be.

Seiss, who did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, starts his videos by repeating a conversation between an employee and a customer. He then switches to the perspective of the employee. Staring straight into the camera and using a green screen to create the impression he is an Ikea store, he shares what he really thinks about the interaction while dramatic music plays in the background.

In another sketch posted on April 21, Seiss roasts a customer who tries to avoid engaging in conversation with him.

"Hi how are you?" he starts, posing as the employee.

"I'm just looking," he responds dismissively, acting as the customer.

Next, Seiss returns to the perspective of the employee. "And I'm just saying hi," he says. "I'm not trying to sell you something. I'm trying to have one interaction at work that makes me feel like a human being. I have feelings, too, I'm a Pisces."

Seiss' content is inspired partially by his experiences working at Ikea's call center from 2016 to 2019, he told Time editor-at-large Anand Giridharadas in a recent interview.

Seiss, who said part of his job entailed responding to customer complaints over Facebook and Twitter, told the outlet he believes that videos resonate because "people are sick and tired of being treated like s--- at work."

"I mean, people are underpaid, they're overworked, and especially within the pandemic, they're realizing that they're being asked too much of by their jobs," he said.

Asked about Seiss' TikTok series, an Ikea spokesperson told Insider: "We're aware of Scott Seiss's videos and simply want to clarify that Scott is not a current employee of IKEA and does not speak for IKEA or our co-workers."

Seiss told Giridharadas that he still likes Ikea, shops at Ikea, and that a lot of the furniture in his apartment is from the Swedish home furnishings store.

To see more of Seiss' videos, follow him on TikTok at @scottseiss.

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