A Colorado woman's Facebook post about her experience in a Walmart store has been shared more than 800,000 times since Friday, but Walmart says while it's a sweet story with a great message about kindness, it's simply not true.
In the video entitled "Pueblo Walmart changed my life", Paige Yore explains that she was in line behind a woman who was being rude to a teenage cashier at the store.
"I'm in downtown Pueblo at this Walmart, waiting in line for like 20 minutes. And this young cashier, 16 maybe... he can't ring anything up. He can't remember the codes, he's taking deep breaths ..."
"I thought to myself, 'I wonder what the hell happened to him this morning?'" Yore said.
Then, the female customer in front of her started yelling at the cashier, Yore said.
"'You suck at customer service! I don't know how you even got hired here!' Just being so rude to this young man," Yore explains.
"Finally, I help her get her groceries all loaded up just to get her the hell out of there, and she runs her card and it gets declined," said Yore. "Then she really lays into this kid - that it's his fault, he can't work the computer ... she goes off on this kid."
Yore said that's when she spoke up.
"I was like, 'Ma'am, maybe you should just step aside, and let us cash out. This man's obviously having a bad day. Like, let it go, it's not his fault you don't have money, or whatever.'"
Yore said the young man stopped in his tracks and started sobbing. Then he came around the counter and hugged her.
Yore said she was a little "weirded out" but tried to comfort the crying cashier.
"He finally gets it together, and I'm like 'It's OK, it's OK. Everybody has a rough day,'" Yore explained.
"And he's like 'No, no, no... you don't understand. Ma'am, my mom just committed suicide this morning. And I have to work because I have to pay our rent. And I have to pay our bills. And I don't even have a mom anymore.'"
Yore said at that point, she started crying, too.
"I said 'You know, hang in there... it's going to be OK. It will be OK.'"
"So this lady is standing there, totally humiliated... and this young man is just crying. I gave him all the money out of my purse. And he can't even get it together," Yore said, visibly moved.
"That just showed me, no matter what, even if your customer service sucks, even if whatever happened, someone is rude to you, be YOUR customer service. Don't jump down their throat, because they are fighting a battle none of us know about."
"Some days just suck. But we just have to be thankful to be alive. Treat people like you want to be treated," said Yore. "Don't lay into somebody like that because you never know what's going on in their life."
-- Walmart debunks Yore's story --
While her message of kindness inspired hundreds of thousands of people to share her story, Walmart on Monday told Denver7 that the Yore was not telling the truth.
"We have checked into this. It doesn't seem like it is actually true," said Walmart spokesman Aaron Mullins.
Mullins said Walmart has received lots of calls asking about the young man, and the company looked into the incident extensively, including reviewing the surveillance video.
He says surveillance video does show Yore shopping at the Pueblo store at 4080 West Northern Avenue on Friday, and going through a checkout line manned by a young cashier, but the truth stops there.
"There was never a conversation about his mother. He never went around the bagging area and hugged her. He is in good health and his mother is in good health," Mullins said.
The cashier said he could not think of anything he had said that would have led Yore to think he was in pain.
"I don't know if there was a misunderstanding. The associate wasn't exactly sure what she was talking about. His mother is alive and well," Mullins said.
While Mullins wouldn't speculate about why Yore made up the story, others on Facebook say she is seeking to grow her social media audience, and in her latest video posted on Sunday, Yore asks for more subscribers to her YouTube channel.
"I have this crazy wild dream to change lives in this world, and to make this world a better place ... If you give power to positivity, power to God, power to prayer, power to your higher power, whatever it may be, it is going to go viral," Yore said. "I cannot thank you from the bottom of my heart enough for sharing my inspiring words on Friday because it is going to change my life. I'm taking one more step to getting to my big goal. One more step to changing lives - because of you guys."
"Subscribe to my YouTube channels ... see my videos weekly and I hope to have another couple of experiences like I did Friday and be able to inspire some people," Yore concludes.
Yore called her initial video "Pueblo Walmart changed my life." You can watch it here:
My Friday experience..... This will hit home.... You never know who's fighting what battle. Watch what you say.....
Posted by Paige Yore on Friday, 4 December 2015