When Brittany was fired from her job, she recorded it. Then the clip went viral.

When Brittany Pietsch entered a virtual meeting with an HR manager and company director — neither of whom she'd met or heard of before — she knew exactly what was to happen.

She was going to be fired

After hearing about several of her peers being pulled into sudden meetings without their managers present, who were unceremoniously let go without a considered explanation, she decided not to go quietly.

Instead, Brittany set up the camera on her mobile phone and hit record. 

Watch the full video of Brittany Pietsch getting fired from Cloudflare. Post continues after video.

Video via TikTok @brittanypeachhh.

Brittany, a former account executive at web firm CloudFlare, filmed the next 10 minutes of her conversation and uploaded it to TikTok, making for a particularly painful watch.

She was hired and fired within three months of being with the company, and stressed during her conversation that she'd really only had a month to prove herself before going on holiday.

The HR manager and director clarified that it didn't matter, but did not clarify the reason she was being let go.

In the clip, the company execs told her she failed to meet "expectations for performance" and in response, Brittany defended her work by detailing the positive feedback she'd received, and probed the company representatives for a precise reason for why she was cut. 

Still, her employers on the other end of the line refused to provide any further feedback.


"It must be very easy for you to have these little 10-, 15-minute meetings, tell someone that they're fired, completely wreck their whole life, and then that's it with no explanation – that's extremely traumatising for people if you can imagine that," Brittany said during the call.

The clip has since received more than a million views on TikTok, and almost 100,000 likes.

While it seems pretty unlikely for something like this to happen in Australia (God bless those unfair dismissal rules 'n' all), it's not an unfamiliar experience for our friends in the United States, which is exactly where Brittany is located.

The comments, whilst supportive, also questioned her motives for sharing the 10-minute clip. Some even branded her as a "loose cannon employee", insinuating the share might make it tricky for Brittany to be hired elsewhere in future. 

But on her LinkedIn page, she shared that her manager had "no idea" she would be getting let go. She also said she wasn't trying to save her job – rather, she was "trying to understand exactly why [she] was being let go in the way [she] was". 

As for being a "loose cannon", Brittany said, "I'll tell you what, any company that wouldn’t want to hire me because I shared a video of how a company fired me or because I asked questions as to why I was being let go is not a company I would ever want to work for anyway. If I don’t stand up for myself... who will?"

CloudFlare's CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement that the viral video was "painful" to watch.

"We fired 40 salespeople out of over 1,500 in our go-to-market [organisation]. That's a normal quarter," he said. 

"When we're doing performance management right, we can often tell within three months or less of a sales hire, even during the holidays, whether they're going to be successful or not. Sadly, we don't hire perfectly. We try to fire perfectly.


"The video is painful for me to watch. Managers should always be involved. HR should be involved, but it shouldn't be outsourced to them – no employee should ever actually be surprised they weren't performing. We don't always get it right.

"Any healthy org needs to get the people who aren't performing off. That wasn't the mistake here. The mistake was not being as kind and humane as we were."

Considering the "layoffs" hashtag on TikTok has 366 million views alone, it's become relatively normal to share the harsh realities of the job market in 2024.

Similar videos have also gained traction on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram, as rolling layoffs continue to impact industries internationally. In Australia, an estimated 23,000 employees were let go last year due to rising interest rates and high inflation.

Watching people experience redundancy in their homes has created solidarity among Gen Z and Millennials, tech recruiter Farah Sharghi told BBC.

She noted it's also a consequence of a turbulent job market in the social-media age.

"The public sharing of layoff experiences on platforms like TikTok reflects a shift towards greater transparency and a desire to share personal stories in a digital world," she explained. 

"It also underscores the emotional and professional impact of corporate decisions on individuals. It's one thing to talk about being laid off – it's another to experience it with the person being impacted as it's happening to them in real-time."

Feature Image: TikTok @brittanypeachhh.

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