Members of a popular internet forum rushed to the defense of one working father who tendered his resignation less than an hour into his second day on the job.
In a viral Reddit post published on the popular r/antiwork forum, Redditor u/ButtKylerJr (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said he was publicly berated for prioritizing his family over work and was forced to quit on the spot as a result.
Titled, “I quit on my second day because I was lied to at my interview,” the post has received nearly 13,500 upvotes and 1,000 comments in the last 12 hours.
Beginning with the explanation that he was recently hired as an apprentice at a restoration construction company, the original poster said that at his initial job interview, he was told he would be working every day from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The original poster said that, on his first day, he discovered his scheduled hours were nothing close to reality.
“Yesterday…at 3:30pm my lead and I get called to do a board up…while NOT on call,” OP wrote. “My lead tells me it should be an hour or [two] and then we could go home.”
“Come 6:15 pm we are still working and…my lead tells me we still have AT LEAST 1.5 hours of work left AND an hour of clean up,” OP continued. “I simply told him as politely as I could. I am leaving.”
Continuing to explain that he never agreed to 11-hour work days, the original poster said that he left the job site and returned home to his wife and 2-month-old son. Unfortunately, his dedication to his family was not appreciated.
“I…want to spend time with my son,” OP wrote. “I absolutely WILL NOT miss him growing up because of a stupid job.
“Today when I walked in they told me I wasn’t fired, but they berated me in front of the entire reconstruction department,” OP continued. “So I said thanks, but no thanks, and walked out.”
Despite the widespread normalization of working long hours for years on end, employees who spend more and more time at work are at risk of major physical, mental and social complications.
Whether scheduled or part of on-call shift requirements, long work hours often leave employees fatigued and more likely to suffer from injuries or other accidents, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“Studies show that long work hours can result in increased levels of stress, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and illness,” the OSHA website reads.
Along with physical injury, mental strain and sickness, employees consistently working more than 40 hours per week are faced with equally severe issues with friends and family members, often due to their presence at the workplace and absence at home.
Two decades ago, researchers at the University of Maryland came to a conclusion that still rings true today: “America’s expanding work week is undermining family life.”
Working parents across the United States are often forced to choose between their work and their families. And because working long hours has the potential to provide more money for those families, work often wins—but at a cost.
“Long hours at work increase work-family conflict and that…conflict is in turn related to depression and other stress-related health problems,” the American Psychological Association reports.
Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors echoed that sentiment and applauded the original poster for prioritizing his wife and child over his job.
However, many more Redditors directed their attention to the original poster’s former boss, who thought it necessary to dress down OP in front of an entire department of coworkers.
“The employer was way out of line to berate this work in front of the staff,” Redditor u/jsv1890 wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received nearly 4,000 upvotes. “A ‘good’ manager praises in public, criticizes in private.”
“It blows my [f**king] mind that so many managers do that,” Redditor u/Mr_Figgins chimed in. “The only reason I can imagine them doing that is intimidation.”
Redditor u/mkbloodyen, whose comment has received more than 1,000 upvotes, offered a similar response and speculated that there have been other instances similar to one described by the original poster.
“Not fired but berated in public?” they questioned. “Sounds like they are hurting for staff.”
“Good on you for quitting,” Redditor u/Useful-Commission-76 added.
Newsweek reached out to u/ButtKylerJr for comment.