More than 13 million TikTok users watched as a Seattle man answered the doorknob in his office cubicle, unpacking bags full of clothes, books, snacks and kitchen items. “I’m moving from my apartment to my cubicle at work,” he says in his now-viral TikTok video. “You don’t pay me enough . . . So, as a protest, I will just live in my job.”
Many TikTok users cheered for the clerk as he posted more videos of himself using a makeshift crib under his desk, dancing shirtless, stocking the office fridge with ham and pineapple and wearing a onesie covered in eggplant emojis while he wandered around the office—which he noted was empty due to COVID-19. “It’s going to be a mess and that’s what I’m here for,” wrote one commenter on the video, which has racked up over 1.4 million likes. “If you don’t let me work from home I’ll go home from work,” wrote another.
Check out my new apartment
The living arrangement lasted just four days before management got wind of the situation and the man, Chibuzor Ejimofor – who says he goes by the professional name of Simon Jackson – was “evicted” from his cabin. Jackson says he was told to remove the videos and apologize or face disciplinary action up to and including termination. He says Fast company that he saw no benefit in leaving social media to “keep a job that doesn’t allow me to pay the bills. Even if I apologize, it won’t work over time. You have a bad taste in your mouth and I had a bad taste in my mouth.”
A few days later, he was fired from his job as an associate project manager at the company he identified on TikTok as Arcadis, a consulting firm. The company declined comment and would not confirm that he was an employee. “Due to privacy concerns regarding personnel information, the Company is not permitted to disclose matters relating to current or former employees without the express consent of the employee.”
Despite the result, Jackson tells Fast company that he is satisfied with the response to his videos. “I feel good,” he says. “Finally the situation is resolved and I can move on with my life.” He says his only regret is that he didn’t plan well enough to capitalize on his viral moment, especially when it comes to his also selling patterned rompers. “I would have had a website ready to go and a whole bunch of onesie more ready to go,” says Jackson, who currently lives in an Airbnb. He says he’s applying for other jobs and has received donations from TikTok users, some of whom have expressed interest in doing something similar. “Just check my staff handbook – there are no rules against living there. I will do that,” wrote one commenter.
“So how many hours are you allowed to stay there then?” asked another commenter. “My company had no problem with me working a 90-hour week.”
“We’re not surprised by this,” wrote Rey Ramirez and Jason Walker, co-founders of Successful personnel consultingin an email to Fast companywhen asked to weigh the situation. “People in the high-price areas of the country live in RVs, vans, etc. because they can’t afford housing. . . . Someone moving into their office and using the gym to shower is the next logical extension of this problem.”
However, employees shouldn’t assume that moving to the office is legal just because the company handbook doesn’t specifically prohibit it, they noted. They recommend that workers in this situation speak to their employer: “As telecommuting is more accessible than ever, there may be a solution that can be achieved through a dialogue between workers and management.” Ramirez and Walker, who currently recommend to their clients, reviewing compensation every six months to support employee retention said HR teams should help employees in such situations, whether it’s reassessing compensation or finding alternative residency solutions. “Find a solution, they said, “before employees start moving to conference rooms with more space and TVs with cable!”
https://www.fastcompany.com/90731653/employee-viral-tiktok-moving-into-cubicle-rent-living-wage?partner=feedburner&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feedburner+fastcompany&utm_content=feedburner In a viral TikTok video, an employee moved into his cubicle