Tamara Drpić posted a video of herself in hospital after an epidural, checking in with her boss.
The video blew up as commenters suggested this was a classic example of toxic working culture.
Drpić praised her manager for what some described as the bare minimum response.
A woman who said she sent her manager a work update from the hospital before giving birth has been dubbed an example of everything that's wrong with corporate America. But the employee insisted she loves her job and was happy with the answer her boss gave her.
24-year-old Tamara Drpić, who is an associate manager for a software company, regularly posts videos about her pregnancy and life as a mom. On January 8, she shared a TikTok that showed her lying in what appeared to be a hospital bed in a hospital gown. In an on-screen caption, she wrote that she was "about to give birth" in the clip, and this was a video she had sent to her boss at the time.
In the TikTok, Drpić thanked her manager for checking in, said she was going to have her baby soon, and was feeling the effects of the drugs after having an epidural.
A seemingly groggy Drpić said the birthing experience came sooner than expected, before saying, "Don't worry, I'll wrap up some emails and stuff. Let me know if you have any questions."
The video received 1.1 million views and over 370 comments. Several commenters wrote they had also continued to work when they were in labor, or when they were hospitalized under other circumstances. Most highlighted they had done this of their own accord, and their bosses had tried to tell them to prioritize rest instead.
Many commenters said they felt the story summed up many American employees' experience and a lack of work-life balance.
In response to a comment that described her story as "America core," Drpić posted a follow-up video saying she had also asked if she could work on her laptop in the labor room while being 8 centimeters dilated. Drpić appeared to agree with the sentiment, saying it was "very America," and using the hashtags #corporate and #workaholic.
But Drpić defended her employer and pushed back against the assumption from viewers that her attitude was a result of a toxic work environment.
In a subsequent video she shared what appeared to be screenshots of the text message conversation between her and her boss after she sent the video.
"My manager is so chill, she was so nice about it," she said. In the screenshots, a response read, "Omg this is so exciting. Don't worry about it. Just enjoy the moment and share pics."
Many commenters agreed the response was supportive and appropriate, but others suggested that gratitude towards a manager for not expecting an employee to work while in labor shows how low the bar is.
One commenter described the response as the "bare minimum" while another said the fact that she felt the need to update her manager from the hospital "says it all."
Drpić didn't seem to relate to this point of view, writing in the comments section, "My manager is literally the most chill person I know and always has my back 😭 I'm surprised at how it's being interpreted!"
In another upload, Drpić said she loved her job and her manager, and thinks she went "overboard sometimes" as a result. She said her manager had told her to "wind down" and "do less" for months while Drpić was pregnant, but she ignored the guidance.
"I just didn't listen as well as I should have," Drpić said in the video. "My manager's actually really nice, and really supportive."
Conversations about work-life balance have recently been increasingly popular on TikTok. Many young employees are calling out workplace norms as they begin to experience them, saying the long hours and commutes aren't conducive to their wellbeing, and pushing back against criticism that they're "spoiled" as a result.
According to a 2022 report by the UN's International Labor Organization, US employees worked more than those in the UK, France, and Australia, with an average of 1,750 hours per year, Business Insider previously reported.
Neither Drpić nor the company she appears to be employed by immediately responded to BI's request for comment.
Read the original article on Business Insider