Recently, a trend called “act your wage” has exploded into the national consciousness to combat the disenchantment many workers feel as wages stagnate and companies no longer value employee retention.
Acting your wage is the belief that if employers pay minimum wage, the employee should do the bare minimum. This trend is about setting boundaries. The belief is that if a company is not treating workers with empathy and proper compensation, then workers have no reason to overextend themselves. TikToker Amir Henley (@tiktokamirr) recently posted a viral video that summed up the feelings of the movement.
The video has received over 621,000 views as of June 6. In the clip, Amir applies lip balm and shakes his head while repeatedly lip-syncing, “It do not matter.”
A large white text overlay reads, “I was at my job for almost 5 years. When I put my two weeks in, I was locked out of my laptop 20 minutes later. You are just a number to your employer. Everyone is replaceable. Don’t work too hard, your name is not on the building. Take plenty of time off and never feel guilty. Live your best life.”
@tiktokamirr Some of y’all get so mad at me for doing the bare minimum for the maximum return. I will never burn myself out again making someone elses dreams come true, when I can invest that time, energy, knowledge, and resources into making MY dreams come true. People become worker bees and their biggest flex is racking up unused vacation time. Take that vacation 🏝️ #corporatehumor #corporatebaddie #realitycheck #ceoofbaddies #workhumor #worklifebalance #putyoufirst #igottaputmefirst #liveyourbestlife #tiktokamirr #amirhenley ♬ It Do Not Matter – cheech
Many users in the comments section were sympathetic to Amir’s point of view and shared their own tales of being treated as a cog in the corporate machine.
“I be telling people ‘you could drop dead today they’ll ice your replacement by tomorrow & won’t even show up to your funeral,'” one user said.
“They refusing my time off, yet preach about ‘mental health and encouraging us to rest,'” another user added.
A manager confirmed their beliefs. “True I had an employee who quit last Monday morning at 8:30 by 9:15 am HR approved a new job requisition and uploaded to the company career page,” he explained.
Another user added, “Learned this when a 20yr on the job co-worker passed suddenly. They had her desk cleared by the end of the day and job posted by end of week.”
Other commenters said they stopped giving two weeks’ notice because so many companies let their workers go immediately.
“That’s why I stopped giving two weeks notices. If you do, be prepared to leave immediately if they decide to do this to you,” one user said.
“I put in my two weeks at my old job a year ago. 2nd day, mid shift, they were like turn in your stuff you’re done,” a second replied.
“I was told by the end of the week. I was locked out as soon as I got off the phone with my manager,” another added.
The Daily Dot contacted Amir via email for further comment.