If you scroll through your FYP long enough, you’ll likely run into Veronica, a character created by the hilarious Sarai Marie (@saraisthreads). She doesn’t do extra work that wasn’t written into her job description and she leaves right as the clock strikes 5 PM. With her body-quaking laughter and relatable reliance on anything caffeinated, she’s teaching Gen Z (and the rest of us) about a trend that’s been coined “quiet quitting.” Although higher level management would love for this trend to be over as soon as it starts, it’ll benefit everyone else if we all collectively agree that it’s here to stay.
What’s “Quiet Quitting?”
Sarai Marie calls her videos as Veronica “quiet quitting.” The idea was first coined in a Business Insider article that discussed the idea that workers (Americans especially, as outlined by The New Yorker and The Atlantic) are working far beyond what’s outlined in our actual job descriptions. Bosses encourage salaried workers to stay later and later without getting overtime. They’re asked to take on a workload more fitting a team of people rather than one solitary worker. Quiet quitting is the surreptitious response for those who are sick of doing too much and not getting paid for it.
What does that look like from Veronica? She laughs off any suggestion that she do more work that what she’s supposed to. She leaves as soon as the day is done. She encourages coworkers to do the same. And she treats her boss, Susan, like she’s nuts to even suggest the idea that she work on the weekend or during a much-needed and rare vacation. It’s a beautiful fantasy for those who feel that poignant overwork at their own jobs.
Veronica’s got a witty response to the kinds of things anyone who’s ever had a job has heard parroted at them during their 9-to-5s, and it’s getting mixed reviews from corporate America. Average workers are identifying with Veronica as they sob into their cheap pillows every night wishing for the sweet release of death to pull them away from the stress-filled jobs that are slowly killing them. All the while, management–from mid to upper–wishes we’d all ignore Veronica and go back to thinking we have to overwork just to get by.
It’s time to channel a bit of Veronica in our work lives.
So many countries have it better off than America when it comes to work life balance. Europeans average over 20 weeks of national paid parental leave while the United States has none. We’re the only industrialized nation who doesn’t. The United States also doesn’t have mandatory paid sick leave or paid vacation–again, we’re the only industrialized nation who doesn’t. Change isn’t going to come from the top, though. Workers have to fight for what we need, and a great way to do that is Quiet Quitting and acting our wages. Let Veronica show you the way:
And that’s the crux of it. The overwork bleeds into everything. It’s slowly killing us. And we shouldn’t accept it anymore. Let’s all take a stand and only do what’s required of us, and nothing more. Thanks, Veronica!