Roderick, who goes by the username @roderricks.world on TikTok, recounted the situation in a video posted to the app on Tuesday. In the clip, the TikTok user maneuvered his camera to show him clearly 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 set the clip to a lyric from Lauryn Hill’s song Ex-Factor, in which she sings: “How can I explain myself?” while adding in the caption: “‘Tentative’ I’m taking an extended lunch.”
In the comments, Roderick revealed that he had been on his way to Charlotte, North Carolina, when he received the invite to the impromptu meeting.
As of Wednesday, the video has been viewed more than 1m times, with numerous TikTok users commiserating with Roderick’s dilemma.
“My worst fear realised,” one person wrote, while another said: “This happened to me last week!”
The TikTok also prompted many viewers to offer suggestions for ways Roderick could navigate the scenario without getting in trouble with his work.
“You gotta block your calendar off,” one person suggested, a tactic that Roderick said a coworker uses.
Another person wrote: “That’s when the internet ‘goes out’ or there’s a power outage in your area.”
“Wifi out, unexpected computer reboot, neighbour’s car on fire, dog ran away, repairman about to show up…I got these quick and ready to fire any minute,” someone else said of their go-to excuses.
Others suggested that the TikTok user put on a fake background on the video call, in an attempt to convince his manager that he was home rather than on his way to North Carolina.
As for how Roderick ultimately handled the situation, he revealed in the comments that he decided to simply leave his camera off for the meeting.
The Independent has contacted Roderick for comment.