Zoning out at work is one of those things that everyone can relate to. However, no one has found themselves at the center of a heated online debate about it, let alone have members of parliament weighing in on the matter.
One on-air personality found herself in this exact situation, and had Australian members of parliament backing her.
Natasha Exelby was hosting Wake Up! at Australian Broadcasting Network’s News 24 when she zoned out, her attention completely directed at the pen in her hand. When she finally became aware of her surroundings, the people watching the live broadcast were particularly amused.
@ABCmediawatch posted the video on Twitter, and it quickly went viral. It was definitely the most relatable thing since BBC dad.
Unfortunately for Exelby, the network executives were not thrilled, and she was subsequently fired.
This move sparked outrage online, prompting many to call out the network for the overreaction. Bill Shorten, Australian MP and leader of the Labor Party, was backed up in Exelby’s corner, and so was another member of the Labor Party.
Sen. Sam Dastyari told the Sydney Morning-Herald: “The idea that someone would be punished for what is a very innocent mishap is extraordinary. If she is going to be punished for such a minor, humorous, and innocent error—I think bigger questions need to be asked about the culture of the ABC.”
If we were all fired for zoning out, the world would be painfully devoid of employees.