May 29, 2023

The Bright Side is a series about how optimism plays out in our minds and affects the world around us.

Samantha Rae Garcia worked four years at a restaurant in Midland, Texas, until last year she decided she couldn’t stand her boss’s criticism anymore. Ms. Garcia, a psychology major at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin, consulted with her parents.she records her decision Moments before she resigned. Then she made a TikTok video about it.

In the self-recorded video, Ms. Garcia, then 23, blinks her eyelashes, smiles and gives a thumbs-up. Her boss said off-camera that she was tired of caring for Ms Garcia. The text on the video read: “My boss doesn’t know I’m here when he talks about me.”

Ms. Garcia responded in a whisper in an unprintable word, calling her boss a “terrible manager”.

Since she posted it in February 2022, the video has been viewed 3.7 million times.

Users respond to Ms. Garcia’s pushback: With those views come thousands of supportive comments on TikTok. “I don’t know how you stay calm but proud you didn’t leave,” one wrote.

“I feel recognized,” Ms. Garcia said in a recent interview.

While her mother worried that the video would hurt future opportunities, Ms. Garcia found another job the next day after sending out resumes at various restaurants. (The people who hired her were unaware of the video. When she told her new bosses about it, Ms. Garcia said, “They laughed and said, ‘My God, we wouldn’t treat you that way. ‘” )

TikTok is full of advice on what to do after quitting your job. Ms. Garcia is part of another trend, one that predates TikTok, in which young people are posting miniseries that attract millions of viewers. In some cases, these very public videos can translate into new career opportunities, helping those who post them build their online personalities.

Quit smoking videos, or QuitToks, as they are sometimes called, reflect “the breakdown of the social contract, and if you work hard and play by the rules, the American dream still exists,” says answeidler, a sociology professor at UC Berkeley whose courses include cultural sociology. According to Dr. Swidler, corporate loyalty is not what it used to be. “Cultural disillusionment with the promise behind the world of work.”

Service workers in low-wage jobs openly declare that the implicit trade-off of working for money is no longer a fair deal. With 1.9 job openings for every job seeker, they can afford to risk being listed.

A common theme of the videos is “disappointed expectations,” says joseph fuller, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School. “Nobody takes a job and thinks, ‘This is going to suck; I can’t believe I have to do this,’” he said.

“In general, people don’t quit their jobs,” he added, “they quit their bosses.”

Before smoking cessation videos appeared on TikTok, users shared similar stories on YouTube and Facebook.

In 2011, at the age of 23, Joey La Neve DeFrancesco posted a video on YouTube of his quit a hotel job Backed by his marching band, he said in a recent interview that he was frustrated with long hours, low wages, tip sharing and opposition to unionization. “I would like to send a final message to management, do something that is fun for colleagues and maybe inspires managers to crack down on union-busting managers,” he said.

In the video, a smiling Mr. DeFrancesco and his bandmates clash with one of his managers, who tried to order everyone to leave after seeing the musicians. “I’m here to tell you, I’m resigning!” Mr. DeFrancesco responded. He tried to hand the resignation letter to the manager, but it floated to the floor. Then he threw up his arms triumphantly, and the band struck out a celebratory march. The video has been viewed 8.5 million times.

The three-minute clip landed him appearances on “Good Morning America,” “Access Hollywood” and “Anderson Cooper 360.” It “changed my life,” he said, though it didn’t change his values: Mr. DeFrancesco was primarily a labor organizer.

Many of the recent smoking cessation videos seem to be spur-of-the-moment. Like Mr. DeFrancesco’s video, Marina Shiffrin’s be planned. In September 2013, at the age of 25, she was working in Taiwan on what she called “celebrity fluff”. After experiencing “constant harassment from my boss,” she said, “I’m breaking down.”

She said she felt trapped in a system that abused young women. “I didn’t feel like I could get myself out of it, so I turned to the internet because that’s where I spend most of my time.”

Ms Shifrin takes a methodical approach. “I’m probably the only one who’s ever posted a video that went viral and made a list of pros and cons,” she says. Among her flaws, she “no longer has health insurance” and “will never be hired in the corporate world.” Ms Shifrin believes the benefits outweigh the risks.

In the video, titled “My Boss’ Interpretive Dance Set to Kanye West’s ‘Gone,'” Ms Shifrin wrote that she was at work at 4:30am and was the only person in the room full of cubicles. Wearing a green blazer and employee badge, she danced in bathrooms, recording studios, desks and aisles explaining the title, with overlapping text listing the reasons for her departure. When she jumped out of a cubicle, it read: “I’m quit!” When she left the office, she turned off the lights. The text read: “I’m leaving.”

Her exit focus was to get as many opinions as possible. She said her response videos were successful because she focused on “content and not worrying about views.” She said it was “sweet justice” for her video to go viral.

When Ms. Shiffrin flew from Taiwan to Los Angeles for “The Queen Latifah Show,” she added about 2.6 million views in less than 24 hours, she said. A Hollywood agent called. Ms Latifah offered her a job up in the airFor seven years, she has worked in television and published a book titled 30 Before 30: How I Messed Up My 20s and You Can, Too.

Ms Shifrin’s video has been viewed nearly 20 million times. The song “Gone,” released eight years ago, comes after she released the video, At the age of 18, he entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Ms. Shifrin understands why people are drawn to I quit videos. “One of the most relevant experiences is feeling abused in a work environment,” she said. Once released, the videos “balanced the forces a bit.”

The video of Mr. DeFrancesco and Ms. Shifrin is a kind of performance art. Today’s smoking cessation video is not an introduction, but a specific complaint. Many feature minimum wage workers, often young women.

Maria Kukulak, February 2020 recorded She decided to quit her job at Wendy’s because she said her new manager was “really mean”. Ms. Kukulak said she would quit after finishing her shift, “I’d clean up and jump out the window.” Halfway through the TikTok video, she learned a manager called her a “lost career.” She jumped out of the window as promised. “I’m not a lost cause, I quit,” she told her boss. “goodbye.”

Her videos have been viewed over 15 million times. Ms. Kukulak, now a personal trainer, doesn’t make a living off TikTok, but she does. “I love taking videos of myself,” she said in a recent interview. With 227,000 followers, she dreams of becoming a full-time content creator. “I think I have talent,” she said.

Like Ms. Kukulak’s TikTok, the most popular videos tend to be dramatic and brief; viewers come for the emotional punch, not the details.

On February 5, 2020, a McDonald’s manager named Nelly (she did not reveal her last name in the video or on her account) had a colleague film her happily pressing the lever of the soft serve ice cream dispenser . “Let’s see how big we can get this cone! Free Cone Challenge!she announced. Then, handing the cone through the window to a delighted driver, she declared: “I’m quitting my job!” Free cones! Free cones!

Her video has been viewed 6.5 million times.

nelly post later A Thoughtful 18 Minute Video On YouTube, she said she disapproves of companies that take advantage of their employees. As of the publication of this article, she has read 66 in-depth explanations.

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