A popular TikTok creator and podcaster has been forced to backtrack over a video where she slammed a Gen Z worker who claimed they couldn’t attend an 8am meeting as it clashed with a gym class.
Natalie Marie, who goes by Corporate Natalie on TikTok, is known for posting videos and skits about working in an office with younger employees.
She also co-hosts the Demoted podcast with fellow TikToker Ross Pomerantz, with one of their recent episodes landing them in hot water.
In the episode, the pair begin sharing their own experiences of Gen Z in the workplace as well as anecdotes that have been sent into them from listeners.
One of the anecdotes Natalie read out was sent in by a listener who had a new worker refuse to attend an early meeting due to having a “workout class” booked in.
“When asked to come in for an 8am meeting my Gen Z new hire said ‘Ugh, sorry can’t make it I have a workout class’,” the podcaster read out.
“Should this be allowed?”
Both hosts appeared to be shocked into silence for a moment, before Ross revealed his “visceral reaction” to the situation was “are you f**king kidding me”, with Natalie agreeing she felt “anger” when she first read the message that was sent in.
“Like my hand is shaking and it is not from the caffeine,” Ross added.
Natalie pointed out that the person had just started working in the new role and she wouldn’t “give a flying s**t” about a workout class, adding that an 8am class is “too late” and they should opt for a 6am or 7am session instead.
“Or after work if you’re not a morning person,” Ross added.
He then went on to claim they he understood that working out was good for mental health and that was very important, but he couldn’t condone “monopolising your calendar for things I would consider to be personal time”.
Natalie agreed, claiming employees were “not really allowed to that” when first starting their career.
A clip of this interaction was shared on the Demoted TikTok page, with the video immediately sparking backlash.
People slammed Natalie’s response to the message pointing out that the hosts hadn’t considered it was likely the meeting was outside the worker’s regular office hours.
Many questioned why an employee should be expected to attend an 8am meeting if they wouldn’t usually be at work at that time.
“Lol. If your hours of employment start at 9 then you better believe I’m coming into work at 8.59,” one social media user said, with someone else branding the ask “unreasonable”.
Another claimed they would have only gone to the meeting if they were being paid overtime
Others claimed the young worker shouldn’t have even given their boss an explanation for why they couldn’t attend the meeting and a simple “no” should have sufficed.
One of the responses that got the most attention was a reaction video from user Alexandre Evidente where he posted a reply from the perspective of the Gen Z hire.
He said if it was made clear during the interview process that the working hours for the position were between 9am and 5pm, then those are the hours he would be working because he has commitments outside of work.
The TikToker said he could make time for an 8am meeting if he was given at least a week notice but not if he was only told a day before.
“Okay, let’s just say I skip the gym. 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?” Alexandre said.
“Natalie, if your answer to both of those are ‘no’ then there’s no discussion needed.”
The response video went viral, with resulting in Natalie deleting the original clip making her own follow-up video, saying they “got a lot of heat” and “vicious” comments.
The podcaster also clarified that Alexandre was not one of her employees and is in no way affiliated with her.
“To be clear, we fully deserve this heat. I do feel like, with many things on the internet, a little context helps and what we didn’t do is provide that context, and that is on us,” she said.
“I went straight into reading a listener story that was submitted and it sounded like I was just talking about my own employee that I was disgusted with for working out at 8am.
“This has nothing to do with me, my company, anyone who works for me. This is a listener submitted story from someone who works in consulting.”
She shared a screenshot of the email from the listener, in which the person provides additional context, explaining the 8am meeting is something that is held quarterly, which includes international team members and that every new hire is told about.
“Just to be clear, if you’re not getting paid to work before 9am, you do not have to work before 9am. Do not condone that in the slightest. This is for a salaried employee, once a quarter,” she said.
“If you are hourly, or you work a job where the hours are strictly 9-5 please do not work outside those hours. You’re not getting compensated for it and that’s not worth it.”