Remote worker receives surprise meeting invitation from manager while secretly on plane: ‘Internet is down’

A remote worker has gone viral after he shared a video showing the realities of working from home.

TikTok user Mr Brotein has more than 50,000 on the video-sharing platform, where he posts tips and relatable content about remote work. In one video – which has received 3.4 million views since it was posted on 29 September – he captured the uncomfortable moment when his manager invited him to a work meeting while he was secretly on a plane.

“When you’re working from home and your manager invites you to a meeting in 30 minutes,” the text overlay read. In the clip, the TikToker is seen sitting in the airplane, with a pillow around his neck, about to take off. The video was also set to the song “Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill, with the lyrics “How can I explain myself?” playing in the background.

“Wifi problems,” he jokingly captioned the TikTok.

The relatable work-from-home moment prompted many users in the comments section to share similar stories of lying to their supervisor about their whereabouts.

“This happened to me on the way to Hawaii so I didn’t answer and it turns out they were laying me off in two weeks,” one person shared.

“Bahahahaha I’ve been there,” someone else said. “It’s like they can smell when you’re not in office.”

Another user wrote: “This is going to be me next Tuesday, wish me luck.”

Many people also took the opportunity to suggest tips and tricks for avoiding impromptu work meetings while traveling, without getting in trouble. Some users advised others to take a personal day during a scheduled flight, while others suggested filling a calendar with meetings for the duration of the flight.

“This is why you always fill in your calendar with a few random length meetings during your flights,” one person said. “Always take personal or sick days on the flight days!” another user wrote.

Others jokingly said that remote employee should tell their bosses that the internet is down or they’re having connectivity issues.

“INTERNET IS DOWN! I’m traveling to a new location,” one person advised.

“Say you don’t have internet service or electricity shortages,” said someone else.

“Put a background filter on,” another person suggested.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have reverted to remote or hybrid schedules, which allows employees to do most of their work from home or in the office part-time. Last July, another remote worker went viral on TikTok after their manager similarly invited them to a previously unscheduled work meeting while they were on a flight to North Carolina.

The TikTok user, who goes by the name Roderick, filmed himself sitting in a seat on a plane and wrote: “When you are working remote and your manager randomly adds a meeting to your calendar in 30 minutes.” He ultimately revealed in the comments that he decided to leave his camera off for the meeting.