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12th Sep 2022

Millennials are saying people should start to ‘act their wage’ at work

Steve Hopkins

‘Respectfully, Susan, I’d rather spend time with my family’

Millennial workers are being urged to “act their wage” in the workplace in a new viral TikTok that starts with telling the boss exactly when work is over for the day.

According to content creator Sarai Soto (@saraisthreads on TikTok), completing tasks outside of office hours and being available while on vacation should be rejected by staff earning the minimum wage.

In a series of posts, Soto introduces viewers to boss ‘Susan’ and employee ‘Veronica’ who then work through a series of ‘normal’ workday interactions.

The caption on the videos reads ‘POV: Veronica acting her wage’.

@saraisthreads #greenscreen I’d rather spend time with my family. ?? #actyourwage #fyp #work #working #corporate #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #corporateamerica #corporatehumor #office #officelife #manager #managersbelike #career #quietquitting #quietquittingmyjob ♬ original sound – Sarai Marie

In one instance, Veronica is asked to complete some work at home after her shift finishes. “Respectfully, Susan, I’d rather spend time with my family,” she replies.

Later she declines a 6.30pm Zoom meeting as it is “outside” of her working hours. It has been viewed over 11m times.

The 30-year-old TikToker told the Business Insider the videos had a serious message and were resonating because “people just really feel seen, they feel heard, they feel like someone’s standing up for them”.

“I can’t tell you how many messages I receive of people being like, okay, I know your content is funny and provides this comedic relief, but I’m telling you, although it’s exaggerated, I’ve been through those exact same scenarios,” Soto said.

She added that her fundamental issue is with companies who ask low-wage workers to “go the extra mile”.

“If a company is paying you, let’s say minimum wage, you’re gonna put in minimum effort,” Soto explained.

“If you’re acting your wage, that means that the amount of labour that you’re putting in reflects the amount that you’re getting paid. So you’re not going to go above and beyond and do the job of two to three people and do all this extra work if you’re really not even making a livable wage.”

Soto also spoke to the Insider about ‘quiet quitting’, where employees stop doing work they are not paid for, saying that the trend was simply about setting “those boundaries when you feel burnt out”.

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