Woman talking(l+r), Hands passing check(c)

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock @zoe61443/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I should have never been asked to leave’: Worker given option to quit job with severance pay and takes it—and then is told there’s been a mistake

'Take the severance and RUN.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Feb 8, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:43 pm CST

There are so many ways to lose a job that are totally beyond the control of an employee. One 2022 survey found that 69% of respondents who had been laid off believed they were let go for “no reason or for an unfair reason.” Recently, layoffs have left many unemployed, and there are often internal conditions at play that workers have no idea about until long after they leave.

One woman says she was put on a performance improvement plan at her job and then given the option to leave with severance. In a video posted to TikTok, Zoe (@zoe61443) says she took that option, only to learn from her boss on her last day that it was all a mistake.

“So I resigned from my job on Tuesday because I was presented with an option to leave,” she says in the video. “They want you to be gone, so the company gives you severance money, blah, blah, blah. I took it. Today is my last meeting with my boss, and she tells me this: She made a mistake. Yep. … I should have never been on a performance plan, and I should have never been asked to leave.”

The experience left her reeling, she says, as she came to terms with something that ultimately was not her fault.

“Has this happened to anybody?” she asks. “Because it’s been like eight hours, and I’m still sitting here saying like, ‘What … is happening? Am I in a bad dream?’ … I still don’t have a job. I left because nothing made sense. It was so deceitful. And now I’m being told that everything was a lie? I feel like I’m being gaslit. Am I?”


I dont know whats going on. Something is wrong with these corporate big companies

♬ original sound – Zoe

Some viewers suggested her employer backtracked because they discovered she would be difficult to replace. “They can’t find your replacement for the amount of money they want to pay,” one commenter said.

“They just figured out that you do the work of 3 people and they only pay you the amount of ¾ of a person,” another suggested.

Others shared they had similar experiences with employers who gave mixed signals regarding their performance, resulting in them either leaving their jobs voluntarily or getting fired.

“I got an outstanding performance review, promotion, and a raise,” one commenter wrote. “Came back from lunch with VP and was told my position was eliminated.”

“I got put on leave without pay for being ‘unfit for duty’ and then the next day I received a Distinguished Performance Award from the top boss,” another wrote. “I quit and then got hired back as a contractor for 3x $.”

The Daily Dot reached out to @zoe61443 via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Feb 8, 2024, 6:00 am CST