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.
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.
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.”
In what the company calls a “firm stance against racism,” the review site Yelp will warn consumers when a business has been reported for racist behavior.
The company said it would only add this alert to a business page “when there’s resounding evidence of egregious, racist actions from a business owner or employee.”
This will include behavior such as “using overtly racist slurs or symbols.”
“As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we’ve seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions,” the San Francisco-based company said in a Thursday statement.
On social media, the announcement prompted some praise, but also skepticism from users who questioned how the initiative would be enforced.
The company said the alert will require a news article from a “credible media outlet.” A link to the article will accompany the notice, and it will appear over the reviews until dismissed.
The warnings are the result of California’s efforts to bring gig economy companies in compliance with state labor law — a clash that threatened to come to a head this week.
An emergency stay granted Thursday by a California appeals court temporarily defused the situation, allowing Uber and Lyft to continue operating under their current model for the time being. But unless a resolution is reached, millions of Californians who use Uber and Lyft to hail rides may yet find themselves forced to resort to other modes of transportation.
In early August, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ordered the companies to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, building in a 10-day window for the companies to appeal the move. With that window closing Thursday night, Uber and Lyft had threatened to shut down services at midnight Thursday, saying they cannot transition their business models quickly enough. Lyft reiterated that threat in a blog post Thursday morning, saying: “This is not something we wanted to do.”
“Uber and Lyft are threatening to kill jobs in California. I believe the companies are trying to force us into a decision around giving them what they want, and that’s Prop. 22, which is to keep denying us basic labor protections and benefits we have earned,” said Cherri Murphy, a ride-hailing company driver for about three years. An Oakland resident, Murphy is also an organizer with labor groups Gig Workers Rising and Rideshare Drivers United, which have fought to win protections for drivers.
Uber pushed back on this assessment, saying many drivers prefer to remain independent contractors. “The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law. When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression,” Uber spokesman Davis White said in a statement.
“Fortunately, California voters can make their voices heard by voting yes on Prop. 22 in November,” Zimmer said, and if passed, the measure “would protect driver independence and flexibility, while providing historic new benefits and protections.”
Corina Monica is an independent recording artist who recently went viral after verbally attacking employees at a Florida nail salon .
The Pompano Beach resident, who has since been dubbed “Nail Salon Karen,” was caught on camera in a racist tirade against an unidentified nail technician. Although the events leading up to the recording are unclear, Monica repeatedly tells the off-camera staffer to “go back to your f***ing country” before threatening violence.
At one point, the singer tells the employee to “cash me outside,” quoting Bhad Bhabie’s infamous catchphrase from Dr. Phil.
Monica later identifies herself as an up-and-coming singer and assures the staff that they will regret the encounter.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey reportedly sparked some ire by suggesting that employees “donate” their paid time off to coworkers sick with the coronavirus.
Vice’s Motherboard reported that Mackey sent out an email to store-level workers on Wednesday, outlining company protocols and benefits amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. His memo included a note highlighting the grocery company’s longstanding policy of allowing employees to “donate” PTO to sick or grieving coworkers “across the country.”