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03rd Feb 2024

Gen Z worker tells boss they can’t attend 8am meeting because they will be at the gym

Nina McLaughlin

Once again, Gen Z workers are causing a stir

This time, a young worker has sparked a debate after telling their boss they wouldn’t be able to attend a meeting at 8am because they need to go to the gym.

Natalie Marie and Ross Pomerantz, who co-host the Demoted podcast, got riled up after an employer wrote in to explain the situation.

“You just started this job,” Natalie said. “I don’t give a flying s*** about your workout class. Also an 8am workout class is too late. Work out at six, maybe seven.”

Ross added: “My visceral reaction was are you f****** kidding me? My hand’s shaking, and it’s not from the caffeine.”

Although the hosts agreed that mental health was important, they said that ‘personal time’ should not come into conflict with your work.

“To monopolise your calendar for things that I would consider to be personal time, that’s gonna be a “no” for me dog,” Ross said, adding: “You’re going to have to give up some things.”

Natalia agreed, saying: “You’re not really allowed to do that when you’re first starting your career I’m sorry.”

The clip from the podcast blew up on TikTok, and naturally caused a huge debate as to who was in the wrong.

TikToker Alexandre Evidente, who is part of Gen Z, made his own video defending worker’s rights to refuse to work outside of official hours.

Having amassed a whopping 33 million views at the time of writing, Alexandre explained that he was told with only a day’s notice that he had an 8am meeting, and questioned whether he would be refunded by his employer for the missed class.

@trekfit #stitch with @Demoted huhhhhh?#corporatelife #gymrat #worklifebalance ♬ original sound – Alexandre Evidente

“Okay, let’s just say I skip the gym,” he said. “Two things. When can I expect you to reimburse me for my class?

“And two, are you going to be paying me from 8am to 9am? Or at the very least let me leave at 4pm? Natalie, if your answer to both of those are ‘no’ then there’s no discussion needed.”

Alexandre’s clip received a lot of support from viewers, who took to the comments section to share their thoughts.

“If I signed a contract stating my work starts from 9am to 5pm, I cannot attend an 8am meeting unless it’s an overtime,” one person wrote.

A second said: “Definitely a generation issue but not younger its older. Jobs need to get over this idea that they own their employees.”

However, others disputed his comments.

“Millennial here. Prior commitments include funerals,weddings and Dr’s appointments. You don’t need a week for the GYM,” one put.

While a second said: “The fact of the matter is if you don’t want to do that job there are thousands of other people who are going to. So be excellent and perform.”