how to ridicule lazy bosses online

What do I do if others are doing nothing?Credit:John Shakespeare


You didn’t strictly ask a question in your email, but this is not a criticism; your correspondence was wonderful and I’m going to respond to what I consider the most important concern you’ve raised: making fun of bosses online.

My first piece of advice is actually a bit of a warning. As of last year, Slack made it quite easy for employers to read what you think of their theatrical impotence. They were able to get access to your digital eye-rolling previously, but according to a New Yorker article from 2018 it’s now “possible for your company to download and read those messages without your knowledge”.

I’m assuming, though, from your email that (a) you gain great consolation and relief from messaging your comrades on this subject and (b) your superiors are too busy organising meetings on end-to-end workflow journey optimisations to get around to snooping on you.

So, let’s get down to how to better convey your sense of frustration and cynicism on Slack.

I’m 37, so technically a millennial, and that means I know my internet culture inside out. Let’s get straight to the good stuff: memes.


A quick history – memes, pronounced meh-mees, were invented in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, now one of the most widely respected characters on the internet. He introduced them while playing World of Warcraft on his Olivetti Programma 101, a giant calculator.

Memes are a great way of expressing exasperation. In fact, in 2019, they’re the only way.

Which ones should you employ? It’s hard to go past Hello Darkness My Old Friend, which essentially involves you putting the lyrics of the Simon and Garfunkel song, The Sound of Silence, over the top of an image, video or gif (pronounced gife). Ben Affleck responding forlornly to a question about his movie getting “mixed” reviews is particularly good.

Then you’ve got dozens upon dozens of reaction images and gifs of Tim from The Office (played by the wonderful Martin Freeman). An absolute treasure trove of tactful incredulity there.

If that’s not quite doing it for you, I can point you in the direction of the Drew Scanlon reaction; select gifs of Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood and American game show host Steve Harvey; pretty much all of Patrick Stewart in Star Trek; pretty much all of Jennifer Larwence ever and absolutely none of Louis CK, who’s an awful pervert.

This is just a selection of only the very latest memes. Some have been around for only a matter of decades, so please use them thoughtfully in front of your less cyber-savvy colleagues.

Have (electronic) fun, fellow web surfer.

Whether your work question is highly technical, like the one above, or a bit more “analogue”, we’re always happy to help. Send it through to

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