Quiet Quitting Is the New Normal

TikTok trend is seeing workers quit without getting off the payroll

Quiet Quitting is loudly becoming the newest trend in offices across the country. The phrase, made famous by Chinese-run TikTok, is when a worker puts in just enough effort to keep their job, allowing themselves the energy and focus to pursue what they love after hours. And for Paula, who currently works at a major telecommunication office in Manhattan, it’s the perfect work-life balance.

“I’m a slam poet,” says the twenty-five year old living in Brighton Beach, New York. “It’s hard to make a living off my art so I needed a job.”

Micromanaging Hell

The wordsmith, originally from Peru, says that during the pandemic she was forced to get a job to pay the bills, but found that after long hours and demanding micromanagers she was too exhausted when it came time to bust a rhyme.

“Working from home allowed employers the right to bug you at all hours of the day. I’d get emails to do things at ten at night!”

That’s when Paula learned about Quiet Quitting while covertly browsing TikTok during one of many zoom meetings throughout the work day. One good thing about the pandemic, she adds, is that it has inspired people to follow their passions, because their day jobs never cared about them. 

“I just do the bare minimum and then I have time to work on my beats. It’s like the old saying goes: one for them and one for me… or sometimes two.”

Drinks on Me

Paula has also found that she’s met other Quiet Quitters both in her office and on the slam poetry scene. “We all have money now, so we can eat, live in nice places, and party.”

SLAM POETS UNITE: The slam poet community appears to be making the most noise when it comes to Quiet Quitting. A number of the lyrical troubadours openly brag about joining the newest TikTok trend.

For Toby Gelman, head honcho podcast producer at Get Woke Up!, he’s definitely noticed a lack of effort among his younger employees. “They seem to be there but not there, doing what they need to do, but nothing more. And after 5:00 p.m., they all disappear like the flu during COVID!”

Gelman has spoken with other employers who are at a loss for how to deal with the Quiet Quitters. “I worry about the future,” he laments. “But as most know I’m also a published author and so maybe us managers can join in on this quiet quitting trend.”

For Paula, however, she’s never felt better. “This must be what they mean by work-life balance,” she chuckles. 

Toby Gelman
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Producer of Woke Up! podcast, father of six, husband to Greta, and author of Johnny Jock PI Moon Rock Opera.

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