Receptionist fired for ‘being unhappy at work’ defended online


Internet commentators were stunned after a former receptionist revealed why she was fired by her former employer.

In a viral video posted on October 17, the TikTok creator @stoneypnw said she was recently working for an RV retailer when she was confronted with her happiness at work – or her supposed lack of happiness.

“I got fired today,” exclaimed @stoneypnw. “They said, ‘We know you’re not happy here, so we’re going to let you go.

“I didn’t know you could get fired for being unhappy at work,” she added, incredulous.

Captioned, “Does anyone know a [work-from-home]?” the TikTok has racked up over 57,000 likes and been viewed nearly 400,000 times.

The conversation surrounding work in the United States has undergone several major transformations over the past two and a half years.

From debates about the pros and cons of remote work at the start of the pandemic, to the great resignation and other separation phenomena, such as the “silent resignation” and the “silent dismissal”, there has been an increase Transparency regarding issues that workers face on a daily basis.

Social networks are largely responsible for this.

With platforms such as Twitter, TikTok and Reddit’s r/antiwork forum allowing users to discuss the unsavory parts of their work, there is greater awareness, as well as a greater willingness to express their dissatisfaction with surviving in poor working conditions.

Dissatisfaction, however, is rarely grounds for dismissal by an employer.

“You feel like you love your job,” said Alison Green, founder of management blog Ask a Manager. Newsweek. “But if it happens at work in a way that causes problems for other people, your employer is probably going to consider it their business.

“That doesn’t mean they should fire someone who isn’t overly enthusiastic,” Green continued. “A good manager should ASK if they notice someone seems disgruntled. Disgruntled employees often have very valuable feedback to give – companies should be interested in hearing.”

In an updated video viewed 22,000 times, @stoneypnw provided additional context for her dismissal, saying her employer tried to cut her weekly hours a month ago and she was adamant about working 40 hours per week.

The TikTok creator also said she believes she was fired not because of misfortune, but because of a struggling RV industry.

“I felt like this had to happen due to other employees being fired, but they had no discussion with me about performance or attitude issues,” said @stoneypnw Newsweek.

“They had reduced the working hours of my colleagues who were retiring and the warehouse hours,” she added. “The word was circulating [that] it was slowing down.”

Dismissed employee carrying things out of the office. TikTok users rallied around a recently fired employee who said she was fired because she was unhappy.
monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comments section of the viral video, many TikTok users showed their support for @stoneypnw and questioned the legitimacy of the doom claims made against her.

“This is code for ‘you complaining about too many specific things,'” @Tyrilean wrote, receiving nearly 1,300 likes.

“It’s the corporate version of ‘smile more’,” @beebeemmb added.

TikTok user @mhm.agency, who said he had been through a similar situation, advised @stoneypnw to consult a lawyer.

“[I] was fired once for the same reason and ended up winning a lawsuit against them for wrongful termination,” they commented, receiving over 3,000 likes. “Go call a lawyer.”

In a separate comment, which received nearly 1,400 likes, @raymondpirog speculated that the work landscape might look a little different if dissatisfaction was an accepted reason for being fired.

“If so, they should probably let everyone who has a job go,” they wrote.

Have you had a similar dilemma at work? Let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice and your story could be published on Newsweek.


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