Girl in light blue blouse explaining she didn't talk to her manager and now has to work for 32 hours.


‘I’m literally a teenage girl’: Manager schedules worker 32 hours in one week because it’s summer

‘It’s not about money it’s about getting unnecessarily burnt out during the summer which i think is ridiculous.’


Braden Bjella


While the United States has some limits on how many hours underage people can work, once a worker hits the age of 16, these restrictions largely disappear.

Although specifics can vary from state to state, in general, people aged 16 and up can work unlimited hours, provided they are not working in a hazardous industry.

As schools end their terms and underage workers enter their summer vacations, this can present issues. A manager may want to move their underage employee from part-time to full or near-full time, whereas the employee themselves may want to keep their schedule and enjoy the free time allowed by their summer vacation.

A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after sharing a video wrestling with this very topic. In a clip with over 120,000 views, 17-year-old Syd (@dietcokenumber1fan) writes, “when you forgot to have the ‘i’m still a part time employee during the summer’ talk with your manager and now you’re working 32 hours next week.”

“responsibilities? im literally a teenage girl,” she jokes in the caption.

@dietcokenumber1fan responsibilities? im literally a teenage girl #parttimejob #ilovemyjobpleasedontfireme ♬ original sound – Craink

In the caption and comments, Syd noted that she enjoys her job, though she does say that it is “super labor intensive and not at all an easy job.” Her concerns are more about the possibility of “getting [unnecessarily] burnt out” given the job’s intensity.

She echoed these ideas in a TikTok direct message conversation with the Daily Dot.

“I love my job and have no bad feelings towards my manager or anyone else,” she explained. 

The situation came about, Syd said, due to a failure of communication between her and her manager. Syd claimed she had expressed feelings of burnout, which she thought would translate to fewer hours. When it did not—and the new schedule conflicted with a family trip Syd was planning to take—she became “pretty upset.”

“I tried to get those shifts changed, but she said the schedule had already been made and she couldn’t change it around, which was frustrating but understandable,” Syd explains.

In the end, Syd was able to communicate with her manager to limit her hours in the future, creating a happy resolution for all parties.

That said, commenters noted that the experience of a sudden increase in hours during summer was fairly common, though many had mixed reactions to the reality of working such a schedule as a minor.

“40 hours per week, just turned 16, but somebody’s gotta pay the bills,” wrote a user.

“i’m only at 23.5 hrs a week but i still want to reverse live,” added another.

“That happened to me last year and I quit before July,” recalled a third.

“I did this for 2 summers in hs but I made bankkkkk,” shared a further TikToker.

Some users in comments claimed they wished they could work more hours, not fewer.

“I get the complete opposite,” stated a commenter. “I always ask for more hours and they don’t get the hint.”

“i’m having the opposite problem,” echoed a second. “i literally cannot get hours.”

On Syd’s part, she said the key to resolving these issues is good communication.

“I just suggest that people communicate with their managers openly without fear of being judged as lazy,” she explained. “It’s a lot easier and more helpful for everyone if you have a clear set of expectations going into any job, and if those expectations change or are violated, to just have another open conversation as soon as possible.”

If a job isn’t able to hear out your concerns or if you feel disrespected, “then it isn’t the right job for you,” she concluded.

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