Unsuspecting 57-year-old John Thompson was coerced into participating in a humiliating TikTok trend by his contemporary colleagues.
The senior analyst, who has been a steadfast presence at GlobalTech Solutions for fifteen years, was on his way to the breakroom when he was cornered by the 23-year-old head of media marketing. In an ill-conceived attempt to remain relevant, the fervent youth insisted that John forfeit all dignity and gyrate for the camera to "Supalonely" by Beree, a song that was trending three years ago.
Before he could defend himself, a smartphone was thrust into his face, along with instruction to dance.
"She just kept saying it, over and over again," a trauma-stunned John recounts. "Dance, John, dance for the company. Like I was a harem-girl appeasing a randy sultan. When it was over she assured me that I'd done the right thing. Before I knew it, I had gone viral."
"You just don't think this will happen to someone like John," colleague Stan Charles said. "You'd think they'd go after someone in marketing, maybe sales, but John is the most unassuming of us all. If he isn't safe, no-one is."
"It's sick," fellow analyst Jane Whitfield tells us. "They had their pick of zealous young employees but they targeted John, the weakest of the herd. It's as if they enjoyed his lack of experience, his naivety. They got off on him being so clueless."
John's story serves as a stark reminder of the exploitation of mature employees in the pursuit of shares and likes. A spokesperson from STOPageism had this to say:
"Those watching may think these trends are harmless, cringeworthy fun, but I urge them to think of the person behind the camera. These are innocent people who have been reduced to whipping and nae-naeing buffoons. The next time you laugh at a middle-aged man in corporate dress trying to throw it back, think twice about whether this is what he really wants. It's highly likely that he was coerced. When you're sharing these videos, you're sharing footage of the most degrading and dehumanizing moments of this person's life."
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