TikToker breaks down what common business phrases really mean

A TikToker has broken down some common phrases allegedly used by job investigators and toxic workplaces, and viewers think she’s onto something.

The TikToker, Ashley Feinstein Gerstley (@thefiscalwife), has about 1,200 followers on the platform and posts about finance and “helping women get rich.” Gerstley is also the author of the book Financial Adult: Everything you need to be a financially confident and aware adult.

In her video, Gerstley listed a handful of “toxic workplace phrases” alongside what she thinks they really mean. For example, if a recruiter uses the term “fast-paced environment,” that means a worker won’t miss work.

The phrase “needing a self-directed person,” she asserts, simply means that a worker will not receive any training, but will be expected to produce results. If they say “must wear many hats,” that means a workplace is understaffed, she adds.

Finally, the phrase “we’re like family” indicates that a worker will never get a raise at that job, Gerstley says.

@thefiscalwife it’s going to be a no from me 🙅🏻 ♀️ #job interview #careertiktok #negotiation #moneytok #financialeducation #womeninbusiness #salary negotiations #toxic workplace #toxic work environment ♬ original son –

The TikTok video garnered 1.4 million views on Tuesday, and viewers chimed in in the comments section with their own additions.

“Also fast paced environment = constant unrealistic deadlines that will have you working OT 3 times a week,” one viewer commented on the video.

“‘Up to $15 an hour’ – you don’t make $15 an hour,” a second viewer commented.

A third said: “Flexible hours: we will schedule you when we want, please.

“Competitive salaries = 0.25 cents more than the place down the street,” commented a fourth viewer.

Several viewers had their own explanation for the term “we’re like family” in particular.

“We are like family = family you can’t call cps on,” one TikTok user wrote.

“The biggest red flag ‘we are family here’,” another user said.

Someone else commented, “We’re like family, which means you’ll get paid less and be asked to work for free.”

“We are family here = we will break all worker laws and you are not allowed to tell anyone,” another user wrote.

One viewer said if you even see the word “family” on a job application, you should run the other way.

Although the phrases are commonly recognized as toxic or manipulative, some viewers have claimed that they are used in most if not all job descriptions.

“Why is this on every job description,” said one viewer with a laughing emoji.

Another viewer wrote, “I can’t remember seeing a job posting without at least one of them.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Gerstley via a TikTok comment.


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*First published: May 31, 2022, 1:31 p.m. CDT

Cecile Lenzen

Cecilia Lenzen is a journalism student at the University of Texas at Arlington and a freelance writer for the Daily Dot.

Cecile Lenzen

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