Woman sparks debate with video of her clearing snow to get to work on time

Viral TikTok video generated debate about attitudes to work and employment practices in the US

Stuti Mishra
Wednesday 19 January 2022 15:27 GMT
Some users called woman ‘weak’ for complaining about the harsh conditions after she shared footage of her car stuck in snow
Some users called woman ‘weak’ for complaining about the harsh conditions after she shared footage of her car stuck in snow (Screengrab/Video)

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An American woman’s video of her struggle digging through snow to try to get to work on time during a snowstorm has sparked a debate about employment in the US on social media.

The viral TikTok video, posted by user Madeline Smith, was captioned: “The update I gave my boss at 4.30am.”

Ms Smith can be seen stuck in knee-deep snow as she tries to move her car. She can be heard saying in the video: “Ash, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know if I can even back my car out because the snow’s up to the door. But I am trying, but this is really bad.”

The video has received more than 3.6 million views on TikTok as of Wednesday.

Her audience on the social media platform was divided. While some though it was unfair for employers to ask their staff to work despite severe weather conditions, others tried to justify such practices.

“I really wish the American workforce didn’t make us feel like we need to risk our safety for the sake of their material gain,” one user called Lecie wrote in the comments.

Another user, Mrs Boochie, shared her experience: “I had a job interview during a blizzard and they told me ‘we have other candidates still willing to come in’ and cancelled my interview.”

“Not worth it!! Ask your boss to get you if it’s that urgent. Recently learned totalling my car on black ice was not worth the 60$ i make a day,” user Jillian Elisabeth wrote.

User Palm condemned “the fact that we have to literally show proof that things are too unsafe to get to work”.

“We really need to normalise closing for weather,” wrote another user KittyKitButy.

But some commentators also called her “weak” for complaining about the harsh conditions.

One user even told her that she should have shovelled for an hour. In response, Ms Smith shared additional footage of the snowstorm and her half-buried car.

“I don’t think an hour would have helped me move much further than I did,” she wrote.

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