A TikToker’s video joking about being “volun-told” to complete tasks by a manager garnered attention online, prompting viewers to share their own workplace experiences.
The video was posted July 26 by @thecorporatechase, a content creator whose videos mostly focus on the corporate environment, career advice, and jokes. It was viewed more than 212,000 times.
@thecorporatechase No no i didnt sign up for this!!!! #millennial #corporatehumor #wfh #corporateamerica #worktok #permylastemail #wfhlife #corporatetok #relatable ♬ emma uncomfortable laugh – cuppy💀
In it, he mimics laughing and crying under a superimposed text overlay that reads: “When you get volunteers-told to take on another task by your manager.”
“No no i didnt sign up for this!!!!” the TikToker added in the caption.
The word “voluntold” was published as an entry on Dictionary.com in 2020, providing an informal summary of the verb as meaning something along the lines of being told what to do by a superior in a roundabout way.
Some viewers shared their own experiences of being “voluntold” to do something at work.
“This!” one commenter wrote. “Even after I told her I was underwater and can’t cover all the tasks already on my plate. Instead of helping me prioritize, she gives me more!”
“Literally got an email a few days ago from someone who’s not my manager if she could volunteer me for an activity,” another commenter wrote. “Babes no will do.”
Many shared how their managers add tasks to their plates without first taking some off and that “it never comes with a raise.”
“And then you get questioned on why other tasks aren’t completed yet,” another complained.
Other commenters remarked on the word voluntold, finding it to be an all too appropriate descriptor.
“‘Volun-told,’ that’s brilliant,” one commenter wrote.
“Volun-told that’s the word I need in my vocabulary!” another said.
“I’m gonna start using that word ‘volun-told,'” a third shared.
Update: 8:35am July 30, 2022
Chase Coleman, the person behind @thecorporatechase, is a 28-year-old content creator who makes TikToks about working in the corporate world. In a Zoom interview with the Daily Dot, he said he enjoys the corporate community on TikTok, and finds it to be overwhelmingly supportive. He said he enjoys creating content that is relatable to his viewers, who often work in a setting that is often stressful.
“The corporate community on TikTok is the best community that there is, it really is. I’ve seen other toxic communities on there where people fight and do stuff like that,” he said. “They argue all the time. That’s just not what this community is about. You find a lot of it within the millennials and Gen Z years, which I think is awesome, frankly.”
Chase said his career as a TikTok creator began during the pandemic, while quarantined with his roommate. He said he draws inspiration from his six years spent working for Fortune 100 companies.
“All my content really comes from things that happen in my daily life. Anytime something happens in the workplace or anytime something happens that frustrates me in the workplace, I don’t really get mad at the office because I know that I could go create content against it and laugh at it with other people,” he said.
For this particular video, Chase said he was inspired by several instances of being told to volunteer for something at work by a supervisor.
“That was something that was said to me by one of my managers when I first started my career, and it just stuck with me ever since,” he explained. “She was pretty open with me, to be honest. She was like, ‘you know, I’m kind of gonna volunteer you, but I’m telling you to do this. I was like, gotcha. And then it just became a word that I use with all of my friends.”
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