The nature of at-will employment in the U.S. means folks get fired for a lot of strange reasons. From being on the phone during an unpaid break to hair color and taking time off for medical treatment, some employers have wild reasons for letting their employees go.
When it comes to corporate employment, company-issued computers and internet services are often monitored, leaving employees unaware of the eyes watching their every move.
One woman said she was fired for her online activity while at work. In a video that has drawn over 337,000 views on TikTok, @sociopathcutie says she was caught playing Neopets, a digital pet game, at work.
“When you’re almost 30 and get fired for playing neopets at your corporate job in 2023 and have a lot of thinking to do,” a text overlay on the video reads.
“I wish this was a joke,” @sociopathcutie added in a caption before plugging her Neopet account. “Anyway my neopet name was abbyleeDC.”
@sociopathcutie I wish this was a joke. Anyway my neopet name was abbyleeDC #neopets #corporatelife #abbyleemiller #jokes #thirtybutseventeen #joke #firedonjob ♬ bad idea right? – Olivia Rodrigo
The Daily Dot has reached out to @sociopathcutie via Instagram direct message regarding her video.
Viewers resonated with playing video games at their corporate jobs, with at least one saying they were caught playing the exact same game—and in a much more dramatic fashion. “My boss literally printed out my neopets browsing history and threw it on the table,” TikToker @sprixi wrote in a comment that received over 4,000 likes.
“I’m 26 and I play the lilo and stitch sandwich game at work all the time,” @mangogingin said.
“I got fired for watching Netflix in my cubicle (in 2011 when only like 5 people watched Netflix on their phone),” @potpiebellyflop said.
While @sociopathcutie didn’t intend for her video to be a warning for other workers, viewers shared it instilled a “healthy” amount of fear in them.
“Maybe i will stop using the work computers for poptropica,” TikToker @gloomybtchh said.
It’s unclear whether @sociopathcutie was playing Neopets from her work computer, but workers in her comments section warned against using work devices for leisure, especially during work hours, given that companies likely have the ability to monitor their employees’ online activity. (A popular TikToker who worked in the tech industry and refers to herself as an “anti-work girl boss” has talked about the many ways employers may be able to monitor their employees.)
“Y’all don’t play games on your company devices,” @thetattletalestrangler said.