"How do you have friends? How do you have time to meet a guy?"
Credit: TikTok / @brielleybelly123

Gen Z’s sentiments about work have once again taken center stage, this time in light of a viral TikTok where a young woman shares her frustrations about the traditional 9 to 5 work schedule. Brielle Asero, known as @brielleybelly123 to her 125,000 TikTok followers, aired her grievances in a video lasting close to a minute and a half, highlighting the lack of personal time left after her lengthy commute home.

In the video, Asero expresses, “I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don’t get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don’t have time to do anything!” She openly questions the sanity of the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. routine and concludes with thought-provoking questions: “How do you have friends? How do you have time to meet a guy?” This viral video has amassed over 2.3 million views and 200,000 likes on TikTok.

Her frustrations resonated with others, prompting a flood of supportive comments. The most popular comment reads, “The 40-hour work week is beyond outdated and your feelings are totally valid.”

After the TikTok made its way to Twitter, users engaged in heated debates. One user captioned it with “#4HL,” referring to the concept of having four hours left for oneself after the workday. Alongside the supportive feedback, there were disapproving remarks. Some users surfaced Asero’s video with captions that were less sympathetic.

Directly addressing the response to her video in an interview with Rolling Stone, Asero stated, “Most people who are mad at me are just taking out the anger they feel over the time they’ve lost working long hours. I just wanted to bring people together who feel this way to possibly incite a change.”

Generation Z’s public grappling with the conventional work structure has led to the coining of phrases like “quiet quitting” and the “lazy girl job.” However, dissatisfaction with the 9 to 5 grind is nothing new. As Blink-182 eloquently put it back in 1999, “Work sucks, I know.”

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Elena Cavender is a tech reporter and the resident Gen Z expert at Mashable. She covers TikTok and digital trends. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in American History. Email her at [email protected] or follow her @ecaviar_.


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