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TikTok’s latest hit is an accidental upload from a government office in rural Indiana

TikTok’s latest hit is an accidental upload from a government office in rural Indiana


‘Goodbye, Connie’ is the new ‘Old Town Road’

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TikToks from the Orange County, Indiana County Clerk’s office
Alex Parkin

A series of accidentally posted office videos has become an unexpected viral hit on TikTok. The most popular shows a series of municipal employees bidding farewell to their colleague, Connie, against the backdrop of a prairie-hued office space straight out of Parks & Rec.

“Congratulations from the Orange County clerk’s office,” says the male deputy clerk, before stepping off to the right.

County Clerk Elizabeth Jones steps into the frame: “We wish you the best in your future endeavors.”

“We appreciate the good job that you have done for the state of Indiana,” says another, before making room for a fourth. “Goodbye, Connie!”

As of press time, more than 40,000 users have liked the video, and it has been viewed more than 300,000 times. The @deputyclerk account, which was only launched yesterday, has already amassed nearly 3,000 followers, despite having only eight videos, all of which are variations on the same goodbye message.

The videos have inspired a wave of spinoff content, as users look to put their own spin on the burgeoning meme. In most cases, users take on the role of Connie, imagining themselves to be as loved and appreciated as her.

In other cases, users have lip-synced over the audio. “New Trend alert: which voice fits u best,” asks one such video. “Charli u have 24 hours.”

The sudden internet fame has been a whirlwind for the clerk’s office, which was not even aware the videos were being posted online. Based in Paoli, Indiana (population 3,677), the clerk’s team is still unsure why the videos have attracted so much attention.

“We didn’t know that it was on TikTok,” says Elizabeth Jones, who leads the clerk’s office for Orange County Clerk. “Somehow it got in the for you page, and it got send to a lot of people.”

“People were like, why did I get this,” Jones continued. “It was really meant just to be her goodbye video.”

The videos begin on Thursday morning, when the office heard news that beloved Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson was retiring. A number of state employees were recording farewell videos for Lawson, and the Orange County office decided to record its version using TikTok to take advantage of the app’s native filter capabilities. But while several clerks were TikTok users, none had ever made a video using the app.

“We all had issues with one or the other so we just did it seven or eight times,” says Deputy Clerk Olivia Griffith, the last woman to speak in the video. “It said ‘save to my device,’ so I thought it was just going to the photo gallery on my phone.”

Many had assumed that the rejected videos would disappear entirely. “The one where I’m singing…that definitely wasn’t supposed to be seen by anybody else,” says Jones.

With 3,000 followers, the office now has a surprising level of TikTok clout, although they’re still undecided on whether they will try to expand on their newfound fame with more videos.

“I don’t know,” says Griffith. “We haven’t thought about it. We may.”