person speaking in car with hands out (l) person speaking in car with blue hoodie on and hands on shoulders with caption 'My job gave me a company jacket that I can't use at work' (c) person speaking in car (r)

@kristen_made_a_mistake/TikTok @kristen_made_a_mistake/TikTok

‘This is so stupid’: Employee says job gave her company merch that she can’t wear to work

'We didn't think you guys were actually gonna wear 'em to work.'


Jack Alban

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 8, 2023

A worker went viral on TikTok after calling out her employer who issued sweatshirts to her and her co-workers but told them that they couldn’t wear the company-branded clothing while on the clock.

A TikToker by the name of Kristen (@kristen_made_a_mistake) went viral after calling out her employer for issuing sweatshirts to her and her co-workers, but then told them that they couldn’t wear the company-branded clothing while on the clock.

She discussed the “irony” of the move in a pair of TikTok videos that she stitched together.

@kristen_made_a_mistake #stitch with @kristen_made_a_mistake this is the hill om dying on literally what “company pride”??? #ridiculousness #hrdepartment #corporateamerica #fypシ #managersbelike ♬ original sound – Kristen

“They say, ‘no, you can’t wear that to work. It’s unprofessional, it’s not the uniform,'” Kristen explains in the first clip. The second video features her experience attempting to wear the sweater.

“I come into work today and I had the sweater, right? And I was wearing it because I was cold,” she says. “So, I put on the sweater and I go out. Literally the minute I leave the office—this is a windowless, jail cell of an office—the minute I leave, I run into like, a manager and he’s like, ‘you have to take that off.'”

She then explains the conversation she had with her manager about the work-branded sweater. He reportedly told her, “We didn’t think you guys were actually gonna wear ’em to work.”

Kristen responds, “Where were we gonna wear them then?”

“And he was like, ‘Well, I wear ’em at home. I wear ’em like out in the street, you know like, showing the company pride,” she recalls him telling her.

The TikToker couldn’t believe it. “You’re joking,” she says.

Kristen also notes that the company gave her the sweater because they “didn’t want me to be out of uniform.” However, now that every employee has the sweatshirt, she claims employees are not allowed to wear them.

“This is so stupid,” she concludes.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Kristen via TikTok comment for further information.

Several viewers responded that they too have had it with work-related swag. “Legit tired of work merch. At this point just give us a $5 Starbucks gift card, cuz I’m sure that’s what the items cost them,” one commenter wrote.

Others said that, like Kristen, they aren’t exactly fond of advertising for the business they work for when they aren’t on the job. “I will not wear work-labeled attire outside,” another shared. “I put patches over the logo on bags. I do have a heavy sweatshirt I’ll wear at home only when I’m cold.”

It seems that there are other businesses that have employed policies similar to Kristen’s workplace, highlighting how badly they do not want their workers to rock their branded gear. “My work gives us t-shirts as ‘rewards’ but policy states no t-shirts and you get a write-up for wearing the t-shirts they give u,” a further commenter claimed.

Then there were those who thought Kristen’s company was just trying to get free advertising. “So basically, they want you to marketing their business for free but not wear the jacket inside,” one user summarized.

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*First Published: Mar 8, 2023, 3:09 pm CST