worker speaking with caption 'my company sent out an email at like 8:30 or something this morning' (l) worker speaking with caption 'in the email it said that if you don't hear anything by 5 PM' (c) worker speaking with caption 'you're in the clear basically' (r)

@nat__tucker/TikTok by Caterina Cox

‘This is such a messed way to go about this. Companies need to do better’: Advertising worker says she was told at 8am that she might get fired by 5pm

‘This is something that’s happening to a lot of people.’


Parks Kugle


TikTok user Nat Tucker (@nat__tucker) woke recently to a text from a co-worker asking if she’d seen the email their workplace had sent out. A question like that used to be about routine meetings or new hires, but in recent months with the slate of layoffs the text contained a dreadful hint of potential job loss.

In a TikTok video viewed over 378,000 times, Tucker narrates the harrowing day when she received an email in the morning letting her know that 10% of the workforce would be laid off by 5pm.

@nat__tucker this is from last week – I’m still employed thankfully but the uncertainty is hard to deal with #nyc #marketing #advertising #agency #agencylife #corporate #recession #recentgrad ♬ Boy's a liar Pt. 2 – PinkPantheress & Ice Spice

The video begins with the camera focused on Tucker’s face. Her hair is pulled back and her eyes are full of worry. As she talks her words appear as a white text overlay above: “This morning I woke up and saw a text message from my co-worker saying ‘Did you see the email that they just sent out?’”

“For context I work in New York at an advertising marketing agency. My company sent out an email at 8:30 or something this morning saying they’re going to be firing 10% of the company. In the email it said that if you don’t hear anything by 5pm you’re in the clear basically, and there’s gonna be like a company-wide meeting at 5:30 and it’s 11 o’clock now and so I just have six more hours to go.”

Commenters immediately sympathized with her dilemma.

“This is such a messed way to go about this. Companies need to do better,” someone wrote.

“What a terrible way to have to spend your day. I’m so sorry,” added another watcher.

“My company did this, over the course of an hour I can’t imagine waiting all day. You should be compensated for your anxiety during that time!” a third observed.

Tension was clear on her face and who can blame her. Job security has become a major concern for many Americans. Approximately 168,243 workers have been laid off in the tech industry in 2023, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

“And every time I get a notification on my laptop I’m like please, I really just am like hoping that my calendar stays clear, and that no one schedules anything with me because if that’s the case I know I’m gone,” Tucker said.

Tucker continued to speak, clearly trying to find a sign or pattern that alluded to whether or not she lost her job. These signs can include losing access to your computer, free treats, or abruptly scheduled meetings appearing in your calendar.

The video continues with her speaking to the camera, “Even though I was just promoted it’s like I know the least of other senior analysts. That have been senior analysts for longer. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. At least I’m not an analyst. I don’t know. I’m like really stressed out… My teams have rescheduled meetings, saying that it’s a stressful day for a lot of people let’s just chill out and get all unnecessary meetings out of the way. So I kinda just wanted to make this to keep track of what’s going on. Also to post about it because this is something that’s happening to a lot of people. I know a lot of people are getting laid off.”

Commenters offered her advice and support, highlighting their own experiences of being laid off or how preparation is the surest move in this uncertain economy: “I’d make sure your resume is updated and start looking for alternatives just in case…so this way you have a backup.”

“Layoffs over a certain percentage of the company are usually subject to severance agreements. Might look at that just in case,” someone said.

Tucker continued to share about her anxiety and the fear of expenses piling up: “I also just tried to file my taxes yesterday. I just did a quick run through on Turbo Tax by myself, and the result of that is I owe $1,500, which I cannot afford as it is, but especially if I get laid off.”

“You can call the IRS and work out a plan. Just do it soon,” a user suggested.

The next shot is of Tucker with her headphones on while she cuddles her cat in her lap. Her video cuts to her holding her camera up, her eyes wide with anxiety. “OK so it’s happening. My co-worker just called me. She Facetimed me and she’s like so and so just got fired, which was her higher up. I’m the level above her so I’m the same level as the person that just got fired, and I’m like oh.”

She shifts the focus to a vase of flowers on her desk. “Also my roommate got me flowers because she was like I was gonna get them for your birthday but it looks like you need them now.”

Tucker continues, “Being some kind of social media content creator, influencer, whatever, is sounding really good right now…I’m gonna reply to some recruiters now. Just a sitting duck. It’s like 1:19 still haven’t heard anything but I’m just sitting in bed, going through my email. Still pretty anxious but trying to control what I can.”

“Keep your resume updated. Maybe it’s time to move on,” another commenter advised.

The video shifts to her sitting down, her face a mixture of relief and residual anxiety.

“It’s 4:25 and I’m pretty positive I’m in the clear. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. I’m grateful I still have my job.” The video zooms in on her sleeping cat. “I wish I didn’t have to care like you. You have the best life.”  

Tucker’s video ends with her waiting for her 5:30 pm meeting, relieved but clearly shaken from the extended wait. She lifts the camera to show her cat asleep in her lap. “I doubt if he loves me but he’s always there when I need him most.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Nat Tucker via email for comment.

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