Home Depot Employee Receives Candy for 20-Year Work Anniversary, Sparks Debate on Compensation

A Home Depot employee gets candy as his 20-year anniversary gift. Now, people are debating about employee compensation at Home Depot.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jun. 12 2023, Published 3:47 p.m. ET

Just when you thought giant corporations couldn’t get worse, a TikTok video of an adorable elderly Home Depot employee reportedly getting his 20-year anniversary gift has gone viral. That’s because the gift is … candy! Look, we all love candy, but after 20 years at Home Depot, you’d think he would get a little something more than a small bag of candy.

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In fact, this sparked an entire debate around what employees should get as anniversary gifts, especially when working for large corporations, such as Home Depot. Some commenters even threatened to go shop at Home Depot’s nemesis: Loewe’s. Yes, corporate evil is afoot.

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A TikTok video of an elderly man getting his 20-year anniversary gift from Home Depot has gone viral.

In an 11-second clip, TikToker Rilly Illy shared a clip of what happened when he went to check out at Home Depot. He wrote on the video, “I was checking out at Home Depot (Fairfield, CA) when this elderly gentleman received his 20th anniversary gift for his years of employment. They gave him a small Home Depot bag with candy in it. Do better, Home Depot. This man is the only human I can find working when I come here.”

Rilly is clearly a regular who’s seen this employee working throughout the years, and not only that, but this employee is clearly good at his job if he’s the only human in sight! Most of us can barely last a year at our various jobs, let alone 20. Plus, we’re sure that the employee has had to deal with his fair share of unruly and frustrated customers — I know every time I go to a Home Depot I ask the employees a million questions. How are we supposed to know what type of paint to get?!

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So after his 20 years on the job, Home Depot allegedly awards him a bag of candy … That seems disproportional. And TikTok commenters were quick to agree that Home Depot employees should be more appreciated.

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Some commenters agreed that Home Depot’s employees should be treated better, but others think there's more to the story.

Some commenters shared their own stories of working at Home Depot to support the theory that employees should get better treatment. One person wrote, “As someone who worked at Home Depot for almost four years, I always just got a chocolate bar and an anniversary patch for my apron!” Another replied, “Ours doesn’t even give us the patch half the time!”

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“For 15 years you get a mug and a pen,” a separate commenter shared. Um, that’s still not great. Most companies have a raise or bonus structure in place for anniversaries, stock options, and more.

In fact, Home Depot might actually have all of that — this is just what we see. Watching a quick TikTok video, we can get easily enraged and forget that perhaps the shared video is not the whole story.

One person wrote, “I worked at Home Depot, there was definitely a party in the break room.” This evokes Superstore, a sitcom about people who work at Cloud 9, a Walmart-esque department store. They had plenty of parties, games, and other antics that went on behind the scenes that the customers were never aware of.

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Another employee wrote, “This post is pissing me off! HD is an amazing company and they give awesome bonuses constantly and consistently. He got a huge bonus.” Of course, they don’t know for a fact that he got a bonus, but it’s definitely possible. Rilly is assuming that the candy bar is all the employee got, but how would Rilly see him get a bonus?

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In fact, someone even shared, “A lot of employees also have/had the ability buy stock before Home Depot became public.” Yes, there are full-on debates happening in the comments section of this video! Some people think the video was posted just to get views and start drama, whereas other former employees are weighing in on what they got for their anniversaries.

One thing we do know, based on a Reddit post, is that Home Depot apparently gives more vacation time at each anniversary. Twenty-year employees supposedly get five weeks of vacation time, which is a pretty hefty amount of time in comparison to many other American jobs, so there does seem to be some truth to the comments defending Home Depot.

So what’s the truth? Is there more to the story? We’ve reach out to Home Depot for comment and are waiting to hear back.

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