A college student who works as a food runner in a restaurant says she was so overworked during a particularly humid day that she had an asthma attack and almost died. The young woman, named Lia (@outlawlpb), relayed her experience of the terrifying night in a duo of now-viral TikTok videos.
@outlawlpb so iver being treated this way. Pt 2 up right now. #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #asthma #work #asthmaattack ♬ original sound – 😵💫
“I was so overworked at my job yesterday, which is where I’m currently at right now,” Lia starts, “that I had a severe asthma attack for an hour-long, meanwhile having to work, and was rushed to the hospital after I collapsed on the floor, and almost died cause I was getting no oxygen to my brain.”
Lia notes that many of her 22,400 followers found her through another viral video she shared in which she claimed she had to show up to work just 20 minutes after finding a dead body in a park.
“So if that doesn’t tell you already, my job treats me pretty badly,” she says.
The TikToker explains that during her shift yesterday, she was only one of two food runners on the clock, with other coworkers calling out and being sent home, on top of already being understaffed.
“We’ve been really short-staffed because we’ve been over budget,” she adds. “But yesterday one girl called out, one girl got caught vaping in the restaurant and got sent home at the beginning of her shift. So it was no server assistant, and there were only two food runners, one of which—the one I was working with—has back and neck injuries and can barely carry trays. She can only carry like two or three plates on a tray or two plates at a time.”
She adds that she doesn’t blame her fellow foodrunner for her abilities, but believes she should be in a different role.
“Last night was one of our busiest nights in the restaurant we’ve had all year, kid you not,” Lia continues. “It was so extremely busy from, probably 5:30 PM till the time I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, we had maybe 25 tickets in the window. It was ridiculous.
As a food runner, Lia’s job is to garnish each plate, get each order together and bring it to the table, serve the plates, and bus tables.
“So keep in mind, there’s like a hundred and fifty people in the restaurant right now. And I’m doing all that. For 150 people,” she continues. “Which, the girl I was working with—she did help me a lot—but I’m still working way more than I should have been.”
The creator notes that her severe asthma was triggered by continually running outside to serve guests.
“It was so humid, so hot outside, and I was so exhausted I could barely breathe,” Lia describes. “And every time I’d come back in I was so dizzy and I couldn’t breathe.”
She then told the head chef that she needed to run to her car and get her inhaler. The TikToker says he was incredibly supportive. “Love my head chef to death,” she says. “He helped me so much last night.”
However, Lia says her manager wasn’t so helpful.
“At no point in the next hour, of me getting so much severely worse with my asthma, did he ever check on me,” she describes. “Not once did he check on me and say ‘how’s your asthma, Lia?’ Not once.”
@outlawlpb ♬ original sound – 😵💫
After hitting her inhaler, Lia says she waited thirty minutes but still felt no relief. She then repeatedly hit her inhaler, before collapsing on the floor. “I was literally just laying on the ground wheezing, could barely prop myself up on a table,” she recalls.
Her coworker found her and told the manager, who urged Lia to go to the hospital.
“She goes and gets the manager that I had originally told an hour earlier that I was having an asthma attack, who never checked on me,” she continues. “He comes in and he’s all like, ‘Oh my God, you need to go to the hospital. What do you need? What can I get you?'”
Lia called her mom, because “[she] can’t afford a fucking ambulance cause they don’t [pay] her enough.” However, she couldn’t risk the wait, and one of her co-workers had to drive her to the hospital. “So thankful for her, she quite literally saved my life,” Lia adds. “I fucking love her.”
When the paid arrived at the University of Tennessee Medical Hospital, her co-worker, Emma rushed to the front, skipping the line for Lia’s emergency.
“And so they come over to me and test my vitals,” Lia recalls. “My oxygen was extremely low, my heart rate was extremely, extremely high. My heart rate was 196.”
According to Medicine Net, any adult with a heart rate over 100 beats per minute is considered high.
She adds that her blood pressure fluctuated throughout the night, stating that “at one point it was extremely low” and at another “point it was extremely high.”
The TikToker says she received two steroid shots, an IV, and a breathing treatment at the hospital.
“At that point I was much, much, much better,” Lia says. “I’m on steroids for the next I think two weeks, to help with my lungs swelling, but what do I do from here? What do I do from here? What do I do with my job? Because I know they’re gonna overwork me again I know nothing’s gonna change. What do I do?”
In the comments section, Lia said that she set a meeting with her boss to discuss filing a report with the business and getting them to cover her hospital bills, as the incident occurred while she was at work.
Her first video regarding the incident received over 73,000 views since it was shared July 31. TikTokers expressed sympathy for Lia in the comments section, remarking that no one should be worked to the point that they suffer a medical emergency.
“Yes, I wanna here everything they have done to you! I’m so sorry you had to go through this,” one user wrote.
“i’m so sorry, this actually made me emotional. no one deserves to be treated like that. so tired of these kind of workplaces,” another added.
“Oh honey 🙁 I’m so sorry. No job is worth your life,” a third said.
Others were surprised that Lia went into work the next day, to which she replied that she needed all the money she could get in order to help cover the cost of her medical bills. She even pinned a comment at the top of her video that contained her CashApp information, asking people for help with her situation.
“And you went in today?!” one user noted.
“Sounds like a lawsuit brewing,” a second wrote.
Others shared their own experiences of being overstressed at their jobs, while some encouraged her to look for a desk job and not a vocation that requires her to engage in so much physical activity.
“Girl the same thing happened to me except with heat exhaustion,” a TikToker claimed.
“I used to have a lot of panic attacks at my last job. I was working through severe trauma and my work environment was horrible but I had a really bad,” another said.
“girl find a desk job or somthing! you shouldn’t be treated this way! I’ve been overworked in Healthcare for 10years. and during covid I had enough!” a third user suggested.
Some TikTokers urged Lia to dish out the business where she worked, however she only shared that she worked at a high-end country club.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Lia for further comment on TikTok.
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