As more employees air their toxic workplaces on social media, more and more hope to help others navigate the corporate world. The latest career adviser on TikTok to warn others about the grievances of working in corporate America is Kyaah Abdul, a designer who primarily focuses on career advice and her life in biotech.
In a viral video, Abdul responds to a comment left by a viewer on one of his previous videos regarding “corporate rules [she] lives by. Abdul’s number one rule was “don’t trust your colleagues”, which many commentators agreed with.
In the follow-up viral clip, Abdul responds to a viewer who learned the hard way that his middle-aged colleagues were out to get him.
@kyyahabdul Reply to @skyenatalie isk what about middle aged colleagues but it sounds like bitterness #careertoktik #stemtok #careeradvice #careersavage #biotech #pharma ♬ original sound – Kyyah Abdul
“It was the middle-aged women where I was at 22 that literally put me in this mindset, oh I can’t trust my co-workers for real, for real,” Abdul says. . She adds that an incident with her younger colleagues later in her career proved to her that she can’t trust anyone, period.
She explains the interactions she had with a middle-aged colleague early in her career, which ultimately led to her almost getting fired. Abdul claims she got a job at an Ivy League college right out of college because she went to a job fair and a school representative immediately liked her. After contacting the people in the school’s public health department, Abdul says she got the job without even having an interview.
The animosity at work started the moment she met her middle-aged colleague.
“The day she met me, she hated me,” Abdul says. According to her colleagues, the woman was trying to get her daughter to take up the position Abdul had just taken, which could have explained why the woman was bitter.
“I was like, ‘how is this my problem?’ I didn’t know his daughter wanted the job too,” she said.
This reportedly led to Abdul having a rocky start to his new job, ultimately affecting his relationship with his boss as the co-worker would do everything in her power to sabotage Abdul.
“If I made a mistake she made sure my boss knew, if I didn’t come to work at 9 o’clock she made sure my boss knew,” she says.
The problem came to a head when Abdul tried to ask for a day off, she said. The TikToker claims she had given her boss ample notice and felt like the day off had been approved. But as the holidays approached, Abdul’s boss reportedly told her she couldn’t go.
“I was really confused when she said that,” Abdul says. “She said to me, ‘If you don’t come to work on Tuesday, you won’t have a job to come back to on Wednesday. “”
“Honestly, don’t let your bosses have these power grabs on you,” Abdul continues. She claims she went straight to HR and had her vacation day approved.
“The only reason she didn’t want me to go on vacation was because my colleague made me feel like I was never doing my job,” Abdul says. “Work colleagues. Don’t trust them.
Abdul’s video received over 177,000 views on Friday. Hundreds of comments agreed with her, sharing their own experiences with less-than-friendly colleagues.
“DO NOT TRUST your colleagues. These people are not your friends. People of all ages, tbh,” one user wrote.
“Just like you were never friends with people you did group projects with in school…you are not friends with people you work with. Just think of it as a group project “Abdul replied in a comment. “Complete the mission and go on with your life lol.”
“Be cordial, be brief and respectful, and move on. I learned that the hard way, especially with longtime employees, they’ll talk about you,” another viewer echoed.
Others weren’t so convinced that all co-workers were just taking care of themselves.
“I hate this rhetoric. I’ve dealt with horrible co-workers, but I’ve also learned that co-workers can be a real asset if treated well,” one user shared.
One user pointed out that Abdul’s mindset may be a necessity for young black women.
“Unfortunately, I think that’s the case with young black professional women,” another viewer said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Abdul for comment via an Instagram direct message.
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*First published: August 5, 2022, 1:01 p.m. CDT
Gisselle Hernandez is a freelance journalist based in Belize, where she writes about travel and internet culture. She enjoys watching anime, playing video games, and covering all things TikTok.