Treat people with kindness, "because they are fighting a battle that none of us know about." That’s the message Paige Yore wants people to take to heart, but the story she told to drive her point home is shaping up to be a hoax. In a Facebook video with well over 20 million views as of Monday, Yore recounted an experience waiting in line at a Walmart in Pueblo, Colo. The young cashier, she says, was obviously having a rough day. To make matters worse, a customer he was ringing up was berating him. "You suck at customer service," Yore says she heard the woman say. When the woman’s payment card was declined, Yore claims things got even worse: "She really lays into this kid, like it's his fault." Yore says she told the woman to take it easy, and the cashier began to cry. He came around and hugged Yore, she says, "and I hug him back and he's sobbing."
Soon the source of the cashier's anguish became clear, in Yore's telling: His mom had committed suicide that morning, he reportedly told Yore, and with rent and bills, he still had to work. "And I don't even have a mom anymore. And this lady is just yelling at me." Yore says she gave him all the cash in her wallet. "Don't lay into somebody like that," she says, "because you never know what's going on in their life." But Denver7 reports that Walmart dug into Yore's story and just can't corroborate a key part of it. Surveillance footage does show Yore shopping at the Pueblo Walmart on Friday and using a checkout lane staffed by a young employee. But 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," says a Walmart rep. (This 1864 hoax panicked our nation.)