I worked in Build-a-Bear and it was the most emotional job I've ever had – people don't understand
WHAT springs to mind when you think about Build-a-Bear? For us, it's hoards of excited kids, cute toy-sized tutus and those iconic cardboard "houses" all the cuddly friends go home in.
But while it looks like one of the best enjoyable jobs in the world from the outside looking in, former employee Yerry knows exactly how emotional it can be too.
Earlier this year, the 24-year-old posted a TikTok video of herself fulfilling an online order in-store.
This involved stuffing their bear of choice, adding the customer's personalised voice recording and sending it out.
Although she tries her best not to listen to the messages, Yerry explained how she accidentally heard this one – which happened to be the last ever voicemail a loved one had left the customer.
She wrote: "Realising its a voicemail which can only mean one thing.
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"Trying not to click it while stuffing… failing miserably and hearing it over and over again.
"Now I'm sad again."
She captioned the video: "What can I say, I'm an empath."
Speaking to Insider, Yerry explained how she only worked at Build-a-Bear for five months and would make one or two "Memory Bears" every day.
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After her video has racked up over two million likes, Yerry said: "I realized not a lot of people are aware of this side of Build-A-Bear."
"I had a family come in and put their child's ashes in one," one fellow employee commented. "I was bawling."
Another added: "Similar feel when a pregnant lady came in on her due date to have a recording of her late husbands voice put in baby's first teddy."
"This was my least favourite part working at Build-a-Bear," a third said.
What's more, 18-year-old Bethany, from Alabama, said people don't understand how emotional the job can be going into it.
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Describing how she helped a five-year-old make a Memory Bear for her dad who had recently passed away, she explained: "While they were picking out clothes, tears started falling down my face, and I excused myself before I think they noticed.
"I couldn't breathe and basically freaked out for five minutes. I haven't even suffered a close loss yet. I'm only 18. What am I supposed to say?"
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