woman in hospital bed with caption 'the actual video I sent to my manager when I was about to give birth' (l) office woman holding phone (c) woman in hospital bed with caption 'the actual video I sent to my manager when I was about to give birth' (r)

LDprod/Shutterstock @tamaradrpic/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘The reality of being an employee in America’: Worker responds to manager as she’s about to give birth

'America core.'

 

Stacy Fernandez

Trending

Posted on Jan 11, 2024   Updated on Jan 11, 2024, 11:49 am CST

You’ve seen the videos of people acting quite out of character after getting laughing gas for tooth surgery. This woman took things one step further, sending her manager an out-of-office video while medicated right before giving birth.

People are worried the woman’s job lacks work-life balance and assumed she felt pressured to still be working despite being on the verge of a huge medical event.

It’s an understandable concern, given the lack of accommodation pregnant people have in the United States—the only high-income country in the world that does not mandate paid maternity leave, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

But the woman said that’s far from the truth.

In the viral video, which has more than half a million views, Tamara Drpić (@tamaradrpic) shared the video she sent to her manager when she was about to give birth.

In the clip, she’s wearing a white and blue hospital gown and sitting up in her hospital bed.

“Right now I’m drugged up on fentanyl because of the epidural. But yeah. Came way sooner than I expected,” Drpić says.

This next part is what people were most concerned about.

“But don’t worry. I’ll wrap up some emails and stuff. Let me know if you have any questions about the OneNote,” Drpić assures her manager.

However, in follow-up videos, Drpić says that she feels like she’s more committed to her job because she loves it and her manager so much, not because it’s a toxic work environment. In fact, her manager had been telling her well before the due date to start winding down her work and taking on less. The only communication her manager expected from her during that time was pictures of the baby once it was born.

Drpić adds that while the United States is known to lack work boundaries, she thinks her intense work ethic comes from her Bolivian grandmother.

She also explains that the reason she was so flustered about the impending birth was because doctors had told her that people giving birth for the first time often end up getting their delivery date pushed back, but Drpić’s baby came early.

The original video has more than 240 comments, with a range of perspectives and questions.

“America core,” the top comment read.

“If you wrapped up some emails please share with the class. I gotta see what you had to say. Hahaha,” a person said, implying the emails may be a bit wonky given the medication Drpić was on.

In a reply, Drpić said that there was nothing exciting in the emails, she was just handing over tasks to her co-workers.

@tamaradrpic i think a simple- “baby’s coming!” Slack message would have sufficed 🫣#firstimemom #pregnancy #pregnant #corporate #birth #laboranddelivery ♬ original sound – Tamara Drpić

Others shared their own stories.

“My boss called me in the middle of labor, and i was on pitocin with no epi, sobbing. she was like omg why did u answer,” a worker wrote.

“Me went I went into preterm labor and my boss said ‘can you be in tomorrow,'” another shared.

In an Instagram direct message to the Daily Dot, Drpić said she was surprised by the reactions to her video but understood why people would interpret the video as being part of problematic U.S. work culture.

“The specific company I work at is actually a dream to be at—they have a very relaxed and supportive culture,” Drpić said.

“If anything, my video should show that my manager and I have such a chill relationship that I felt comfortable sending her a video with me looking ugly and sounding high,” Drpić added.

Drpić shared that she’s a self-proclaimed “workaholic,” but she loves her work managing global internship programs. “At the end of the day I need a job to make money, and if I’m gonna spend 8 hours a day at a job, it best be one that I enjoy.”

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*First Published: Jan 11, 2024, 1:00 pm CST