A popular TikTok video has spread outrage over onto Reddit’s “Antiwork” forum after a woman filmed the Halloween decorations that her company decided to put up around the office, including “ghosts of employees past” sitting at vacant desks. They’re vacant because these “ghosts” represent real past employees who are gone now after a round of layoffs.

Featured Video Hide

There is no explanation for why the company would ever think that this would go over well with the remaining workers, just TikTok user Kelly Murphy remarking that “it’s really not giving what it’s supposed to.”

Advertisement Hide

“My company had to do some layoffs and I’m gonna show you how they’re celebrating Halloween,” says Murphy.

She then shows footage of cubicles blocked off with yellow warning tape saying “DO NOT ENTER,” with each seat featuring what looks like a balloon draped in white tissue paper to make a ghost. Each ghost sports a piece of paper containing the former employee’s first name and “Ghosts of Employees Past.”

This callous stunt was not popular among either Reddit or TikTok commenters, many of whom wondered if the entire human resources department was laid off as well before the decision to put up these decorations was made. A lot of people also took this as further evidence that the higher ups in many companies simply do not care about their employees or the devastation that losing one’s job can cause upon their whole lives.

Unfortunately, layoffs became a much more common sight in 2022 as fears of a looming recession and action by the U.S. government to reduce worker power by intentionally raising unemployment rates plague the country. In September, job cuts rose by a whopping 46 percent compared to the previous month, and the number of companies announcing hiring plans plummeted to the lowest we’ve seen in over a decade.

“Some cracks are beginning to appear in the labor market,” reports the senior vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Hiring is slowing and downsizing events are beginning to occur.”

This has been especially brutal in the tech industry. Over 30,000 U.S. tech workers were laid off in the first half of 2022, fueled in part by the cryptocurrency collapse and the rapid decline of Meta. And it’s going to get worse fast if Elon Musk follows through with his promise to cut an astonishing 75 percent of Twitter’s staff.

Advertisement Hide

Losing a job is high up on the list of the most stressful life events, and unemployment among those who want work significantly increases the risk of developing depression and other mental health issues. In other words, it’s no laughing matter.

Nobody needs Redditors to tell them that, but they’ll say it anyway.

Advertisement Hide
Advertisement Hide
Share this article
*First Published: October 27, 2022, 1:46 pm