Man Who Moved Into His Work Cubicle To Save On Rent Fired After His TikTok Did 12 Million Views
In a video that’s racked up more than 12 million views, Chibuzor Ejimofor — who said he goes professionally by the name Simon Jackson — can be seen unpacking his belongings at an office cubicle and putting them away into work shelves and drawers.
“I’m moving from my apartment into my cubicle at work,” the 28-year-old said in the video. “They do not pay me enough to do both, so as a matter of protest, I am just going to live at my job, and we’ll see how long I can get away with this.”
It turns out his cubicle staycation only lasted four days and three nights before the engineering consultancy firm Arcadis — Jackson’s employer — forced him to pack up his things. Then, he said, he was fired.
“I wish they approached the TikToks differently and maybe had a conversation with me about whether there was something more serious going on in terms of money. But do I understand their response? 100%,” the construction project manager told Insider, adding that he’ll “take the opportunity to get away from the corporate world” for a while.
“I’ve gotten so many views now, so maybe I can take that and work on building my brand. I can always find another job if that doesn’t work out,” he added, speaking from an Airbnb room in a Seattle suburb.
“Honestly though, if I hadn’t posted the videos on TikTok, I think I could have lived in the office for at least six months with no issue.”
When Insider reached out to Arcadis to confirm that Jackson had been an employee, a representative from the company said: “Due to privacy concerns relating to personnel information, the company is not at liberty to disclose any matters regarding current or former employees without express employee permission.”
Jackson’s posts from his cubicle ‘home’ garnered millions of views in a matter of days.
It all started last Monday, when Jackson says he “spontaneously” decided to start living in Arcadis’ downtown Seattle offices.
Mounting student loans and a rent increase (his rent went from $1,300 a month to $1,500 a month) made it difficult for Jackson to afford his apartment.
It’s a common problem in Seattle, where the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment jumped 27% year over year.
So Jackson came up with a novel solution to his money woes.
“The office is pretty much empty because everyone’s working from home, so I just thought, why not move there? I told my friend about it, who thought I was joking, but I started packing and just did it,” he said, adding that he managed to stuff his belongings into two suitcases, four boxes, two backpacks, and a few duffel bags.
He filmed what he was doing in a hyperlapse video — “I film content all the time anyway” — and uploaded it on TikTok the next day. It didn’t take long before the video got the attention of a lot of people.
“It got 60,000 views, then 200,000, and then a million. I was like, ‘Oh shit, what do I do now?'” he recalled.
He decided to continue making more TikToks about his new living quarters.
Jackson cataloged his sleeping quarters — a sleeping bag under his desk, covered by a large cloth — and his meal routine — ham and canned pineapple, which he insisted is his usual diet anyway.
To maintain personal hygiene, he used shower facilities available in the office bathrooms, complete with towels. “I’ve thought this out, baby!” he said in the video.
During his short stay at the office, he said he only bumped into three co-workers. None of them raised an eyebrow about his cubicle set-up. “I think living in the office is something that is so unfathomable that they never even thought of it as a possibility,” he said with a chuckle.
His company’s HR department was less relaxed, however. Jackson said he got a call ordering him to remove his things from the cubicle, and then a written warning to delete his TikToks — or face termination.
He chose the latter.
“Honestly, getting the attention of so many people online — this happens once in a lifetime,” he said.
“I’ll travel a bit and stay with friends in different cities. I have a side business selling rompers, and I’m interested in running events, so I’m just going to roll the dice and see where it all takes me. I want to spread some good energy around.”