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Employee Who Was Fired Without Explanation Filmed Her Firing; The Video Is Viral Now

Pietsch emphasized her high activity levels, disagreed with the company's assessment of her termination as performance-based.
Image Source: TikTok
Image Source: TikTok

In recent times, workplace trends have been influenced by TikTok, with themes like "bare minimum Mondays," "acting your wage," "quiet quitting," and "rage applying" gaining popularity through influencers. A noteworthy development is employees documenting their layoffs on the social media platform.

Pexe4ls | Photo by Startup Stock Photos
Gen Z corporate culture (representational image)| Photo by Startup Stock Photos

One such incident involved Brittany Pietsch, a mid-market account executive at Cloudflare, an internet infrastructure provider known for its security, performance, and reliability services for websites and applications. Pietsch went viral after sharing a video of her being let go by the tech company.

Pietsch's "work bff" had been laid off just 30 minutes before her meeting. During the video call, a member of the human resources team and another individual (who didn't introduce himself) informed Pietsch, "We have finished our evaluations of 2023 performance. Unfortunately, you have not met Cloudflare's expectations, and we have decided to part ways with you."

Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets
Woman covering her face in distress (representational image) Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets

Pietsch defended herself during a video call where she was being let go. Pietsch emphasized her high activity levels, disagreed with the company's assessment of her termination as performance-based. She questioned why her manager, who had consistently praised her performance in one-on-one meetings, was not part of the meeting. Pietsch expressed her confusion about the decision and highlighted that she had not met the company representatives on the call, emphasizing her disagreement with their assessment.

@brittanypeachhh When you know youre about to get laid off so you film it :) this was traumatizing honestly lmao #layoffs #tech #techlayoffs #corporate ♬ original sound - Brittany Pietsch


Pietsch was told that her termination was part of a "collective calibration" for Cloudflare, despite being assured it wasn't a personal targeting. The company claimed her firing was based on performance but couldn't provide specific metrics at the moment. Pietsch challenged the corporate jargon, questioning if she was being let go for no reason. She criticized the lack of explanation for her and her peers, describing it as a "slap in the face."

Before her termination, Pietsch stated she hadn't received negative feedback or been put on a performance improvement plan (PIP), a standard process for helping struggling employees. When she pressed for details, the Cloudflare executive deferred providing specifics. The conversation concluded with the HR professional promising to "circle back."

Image Source: Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA production |Pexels
An emplyee clears his desk after being fired (representational image) Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA production |Pexels

Valerie Vadala, an experienced talent acquisition leader, pointed out the missteps, emphasizing the absence of Pietsch's manager during the termination. She noted that making a companywide layoff about individual performance, as in this case, was both cruel and unfair. Vadala suggested companies should inform employees about potential layoffs, allowing them to prepare for the possibility.

A Cloudflare spokesperson denied layoffs and emphasized performance-based decisions. CEO Matthew Prince mentioned firing about 40 people in a typical quarterly target. He acknowledged imperfections in the process and stated that employees should not be surprised about their performance.