Deli slammed after demanding workers donned ‘big boy underwear’ and applied for jobs

An Ohio deli is facing criticism online after a sign asking them to find applicants went viral.

Pickled Dick’s Deli and Catering Co. of Uniontown, Ohio posted a sign on the eatery’s front door and a photo of it in a now-deleted Facebook post Sept. 28. The photo of the sign appeared on the popular r/antiwork Reddit forum on Friday, with the caption “I just can’t handle this one,” along with an emoji of a woman touching her face. The post received 34,000 upvotes and 3,300 comments in seven hours.

“We’re so close, I mean close. The problem is nobody wants a job. Do you have someone interested in working part-time or full-time, send them to us! Sit in your mom and dad’s basement and play video games, get off butt and get a job! Mom and Dad signed up for 18 years, not 33+ years!” the sign read. “Let’s put on our big boy and girl underwear and get a job!”

In screenshots of the now-deleted Facebook post, Pickled Dick captioned the photo, “Enough said!”

Posts on the Pickled Dick’s Deli and Catering Co. Facebook page over the past two months have revealed the company’s struggles to find staff before it opens to the public. In a Sept. 2 post, the company announced it would miss its target Sept. 7 opening date. It issued a call for employees to apply on August 16 and again on September 20.

In comments, Pickled Dick’s said kitchen staff would be offered $15 an hour, while front-of-house and servers would start at $11 an hour plus tips. However, a post on Glassdoor listed the part-time/full-time chef position as $12-13 an hour. The benefits listed for the position were “flexible schedule” and “provision of meals”.

According to, the average hourly rate for a “fast food food prep worker” in Uniontown is $15.83. SalaryExpert lists the national average for the same position at $16.95 per hour.

news week reached out to Pickled Dick’s Deli and Catering Co. for comment.

Pickled Dick's Deli sign to find hiring employees
An Ohio deli has been criticized for putting up a sign calling on applicants and telling potential employees to “put on our big boy and girl underwear and get a job.”
iStock/Getty Images

The phrase “people don’t want to work” has long been a refrain from employers frustrated at not being able to find employees. Paul Fairie, a researcher at the University of Calgary, published a series of tweets titled “A Brief History of Nobody Wants to Work Anymore.” He found the phrase from 1894 in reference to an eight-week strike by coal miners.

However, there are also many examples of potential employees fighting back. They’re not saying they don’t want to work, just that they don’t want to work for low wages and few benefits. A 2021 study by the Pew Research Center showed that over 60 percent quit their jobs that year because of low wages.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone disputed the idea of ​​a “labor shortage.”

“I don’t think it’s a labor shortage,” Perrone said news week. “I think it’s a wage shortage – especially in retail.”

In a story published by news weeka “boomer dad” who often complained that nobody wanted to work changed his mind after he landed a minimum-wage job at a local hardware store after semi-retirement.

“Up until last week he was generally a ‘work hard/bootstraps’ guy, but after only 6 shifts of backbreaking work and passive-aggressive minimum wage management, he’s understood how badly low-wage workers are doing and rightly pissed off,” wrote the man’s offspring.

Pickled Dick’s Deli and Catering Co. has received criticism on both Reddit and Facebook.

“Rather than give up and close, why don’t the owners just work in the business themselves? Open up to the public and run your own business until you can afford employees. When they’re brand new, it’s doubtful they’ll be so overwhelmed by customers that they can’t do it on their own,” suggested u/xfaeryprincessx. “Stores tend to be understaffed anyway, so customers get used to it are that one or two exhausted workers do everything.”

“It’s funny when people get the analogy ‘pull yourself up on your bootstraps’ wrong. The whole point of the analogy is that you can’t pull yourself up on your bootstraps, it’s a futile task,” wrote u/SaucyMerchant84.

“And have any of these signs ever worked? Was someone ashamed to apply for a job? u/Call_Me_Echelon asked. “I feel like insulting people before they even set foot in your business isn’t the best approach. How can they not understand that these are just warning signs? You should just put up a red flag instead. That’s literally what I put on a competing store’s door to rip them off.”

“Pickled Dick is really good with words, huh?” u/dadbod9000 wrote. “Also, unemployment is the lowest it has been in my entire adult life and I’ve only had a few years. People work, they just don’t want to work for crumbs.”

“Have you considered paying people enough to make the effort worthwhile? Nobody owes you their time or work,” commented Facebook user Jason Mitchell.

“That’s not even enough to afford the rent, let alone gas, insurance, groceries, etc. And the tone of the message about the building was way too aggressive to blame everyone else,” the Facebook user added Added Alley Fry. Deli slammed after demanding workers donned ‘big boy underwear’ and applied for jobs

Rick Schindler

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