A TikToker complained about being unable to leave work 5 minutes early, sparking a conversation about the rigidity and rules of corporate life

A TikToker complained about being unable to leave work 5 minutes early, sparking a conversation about the rigidity and rules of corporate life
Many workers think commuting is a waste of both time and money.Getty Images
  • TikTok users are complaining that companies treat them like children with rigid and unfair rules.
  • The conversation was sparked by a teacher who complained about being unable to leave work early in a popular TikTok.

A viral TikTok complaining about not being able to leave work early sparked a conversation about how corporate culture treats workers like children with rigid and unfair rules.

Alexis Firment, a teacher from Ohio, shared a TikTok video where she explained that her workplace wouldn't let her leave early even though she had finished all her work.

She said in the video: "Work culture is so funny like you will have a 50-year-old woman screaming at you because you left five minutes early or like a whole dedicated staff meeting to say 'Hey can we please make sure everyone please stays until contract times like please don't leave even three minutes beforehand' like what?"

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

She continued: "Can we just have an adult-to-adult conversation like if all my work is done and it's three, even 10 minutes, 15 minutes, before I'm supposed to leave, can't I leave?"

Firment added: "I wouldn't be doing anything anyways. I might as well get a headstart on my commute that lord knows I have to live like 30 minutes away from where I actually work because affordable housing doesn't exist."


The video, which has racked up over 280,000 views and nearly 500 comments, has struck a chord with other TikTok users with many lamenting being treated like children at work.

A user commented: "i haaaate being treated like a child."

Another wrote: "Lol the fact that we are strapped to a clock instead of being responsible for our work & own time management is wild."

One comment said: "I was the top performer on my team and I got yelled at for leaving at 4:55 so I could beat traffic and not have my commute go from 30 min to 2 hours."

Another comment said: "Corporate life is so passive aggressive and I hate it."


Firment's video reflects growing dissatisfaction among younger workers with traditional work life. The 9-to-5 schedule in particular has faced a reckoning on social media, with users calling it outdated, "soul-crushing," and "depressing."

Young workers have opened up online about how long working hours and commutes are eating into their free time and that they have little time or energy to cook, clean, or engage in hobbies.

Many are seeking an alternative to the standard 40-hour workweek, from four-day workweeks to greater work-life balance and flexibility, including choosing their own hours and where they work.

Gen Z's dissatisfaction with corporate life stems from the fact that they've seen the "legacy of broken promises" in America as workplace benefits, fair wages, and retiree medical care among other things, have disappeared, future of work expert Ravin Jesuthasan previously told Business Insider.

As a result, they're choosing to "work to live" rather than "live to work" because they don't want to waste their lives being loyal to corporations that view them as disposable, Jesuthasan added.