9-5 struggles girl


Main Character of the Week: 9-5 struggles girl

Brielle makes a ton of evergreen points.


Ramon Ramirez


Main Character of the Week is a weekly column that tells you the most prominent “main character” online (good or bad). It runs on Fridays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

The internet is a stage, and someone unwillingly stumbles onto it weekly. This makes them the “main character” online. Sometimes their story is heartwarming, like the dog who brought his owner a $24 bag of Walmart Great Value tilapia that he snatched from the neighbor’s porch; usually it’s a gaffe. In any case, that main character energy flows through the news cycle and turbo-charges debate for several business days.

Here’s the Trending team’s main character of the week.

It’s the woman who got a job and struggled to get through her new life in corporate America.

First of all, same.

The saddest I’ve been about my job was, like many I have to assume, just out of college. You’re 23 and broke because it took you 6 months to find work. You are working the counter at Enterprise Rent-a-Car as a temp because you got a liberal arts degree. You walk over to Walmart for fried chicken on your lunch break. The phone won’t stop ringing.

You think: Wait a minute, do I have to dress like this for the next 40 years of my life while undergoing this daily routine?

You get a more regular gig in a call center. You have 15 minutes a day to use the bathroom and the clock starts when you stand up. You get let go after three months because you said something out-of-bounds about Big Insurance on a recorded call and someone actually listened to said call.

You get a third job where you work the phones. This time in finance. Everyone’s nice. There is Chick-fil-A in the breakroom and the men like that you can speak openly about college football. You’re personable. They send you on the road in a mid-size Toyota to the Houston and Dallas suburbs.

You think you’re supposed to behave a certain way because of adulthood and it feels inauthentic and you have no institutional power so you’re stuck. You get married and live somewhere quiet.

It happens to non-superstar college students… and we are the lucky ones.

A TikToker named Brielle (@brielleybelly123) summed this up in a viral, relatable video after her first day of work:

“I know I’m probably just being so dramatic and annoying, but this is my first job, like my first 9-5 job, out of college. And I’m in person, and I’m commuting in the city, and it takes me f*cking forever to get there,” she said. “There’s no way I’m gonna be able to afford living in the city right now, so that’s off the table, like f*cking duh.”

And also, the commute is a lot considering how many of her contemporaries are able to work from home without dressing up. (For transparency, Daily Dot staffers overwhelmingly work remotely in their respective homes across the U.S. I’m writing this in our home office, a WeWork in Austin, Texas.)

“And then, like, I don’t have time to do anything. I don’t. I wanna shower, eat my dinner, and go to sleep. I don’t have time or energy to cook my dinner, either. Like I don’t have energy to work out, like that’s out the window, like, I’m so upset!… Like if it was remote, you get off at 5, and you’re home, and everything’s fine. But, like, I’m not home. It takes me long to get home… And I know it could be worse. I know I could be working longer but, like, I literally get off; it’s pitch black. How do you have friends? Like how do you have time to like meet like a guy? I don’t know. Like how do you have for like dating? Like I don’t have time for anything.”

She’s not wrong. Soon many of her friends will have families and only communicate via Facebook Messenger. When a buddy tells you he’s quitting the fantasy football league, he might as well be dying of cancer because you’re never seeing him again.

What made her story so viral is that she was framed as a crybaby who couldn’t handle working 9-to-5 and just accept the misery like the rest of us. As essayist Chuck Klosterman once said on a podcast, generations will always decry the one behind them for being soft and working less hard because in general, technological advances mean we don’t have to procreate in order to staff the family farm.

Brielle makes a ton of evergreen points. Let’s hope America’s ready to do something about them.

We’ve reached out for comment.

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