Leo at The Chive:
We received the following photos last night from a person who works with this girl. Her name is Jenny (not confirmed) – we’re working our contact for Jenny’s last name. Yesterday morning, Jenny quit her job with a (flash)bang by emailing these photos to the entire office, about 20 employees we’re told. Awesome doesn’t begin to describe this office heroine. Check back as we will be updating if we get more details.
Jessica Pressler at New York Magazine:
It’s probably fake — there’s something super actressy-looking about this girl, and the change of clothes at the end is weird — but it’s still good fodder for the cubicle-bound masses who have been secretly fantasizing about what form they might use in their own dramatic exit — YouTube? Skywriting? Jumbotron?
Margaret Hartmann at Jezebel
Peter Kafka at All Things Digital:
Yesterday, everyone on the Internet loved Steve Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who quit his job by cursing out his passengers and bolting out of his plane using the emergency slide.
Today, our favorite job quitter is “Jenny”–”a girl” who left her job by sending co-workers a series of photos where she uses a whiteboard to insult her boss and expose his fondness for Farmville.
We know that the Steve Slater story is true. But what about Jenny’s story?
Almost certainly made up.
The story showed up this morning on theChive.com, a dude-centric site run by brothers John and Leo Resig, who own a series of photo/humor sites. (That’s Leo on the left.) Before that, the Resigs ran a site called Derober, which features doctored photos of celebrities in their underwear.
And Derober’s moment in the spotlight came back in December 2007, when it made up a story about Donald Trump leaving a $10,000 tip on a $82.27 bill. The story was convincing enough to fool Fox News and the New York Post (both of which are owned by News Corp., which also owns this site).
So Jenny is a fake, too. Right, Leo Resig?
No, Resig says over the phone. “Jenny’s very real.”
Really? Really, Resig says.
He says Jenny is with his brother John at this very moment, and that the three of them are trying to figure out the best way to identify her and tell her story.
Jay Leno wants Jenny on his show, Leo Resig says. “Good Morning America” wants her, too. He’s not sure the best way to proceed, because “we’re trying to be respectful of that girl.”
But don’t worry, Leo says. The brothers plan on identifying Jenny “tomorrow morning around 10 am. We’re not exactly sure who or how we’re going to release it. Obviously it will be on thechive.com as well.”
Okay. But you’re the same guys who gave us the Donald Trump story, and that was fake. Is this one different?
Pause. “Good homework. That was a good time.”
Ah. So is Jenny’s story real, then? “This one is to be determined. People are kind of making up their own stories.”
Aside from the Resig brothers connection, there are all manner of indications that the story is dubious.
- The posing and photo quality are both professional
- Why would a boss spying on his employee’s Internet habits give the codes to his secretary?
- Why would Jenny think being a secretary was a route to becoming a broker?
- Why would she consider being referred to as a HOPA grounds for quitting?
- Why does she think HOPA and HPOA are the same thing, anyway?
- It’s plausible that a broker is spending a lot of time on Scottrade. But Farmville? Seriously?
- The story was “broken” on a professional comedy site
It’s amazing how often these things go viral without people getting suspicious.
Ryan Tate at Gawker:
Their near-certain hoax will provoke some outrage, but the Resigs should get some credit for supplying the world with yet another bizarre story to laugh at this week. That’s no small accomplishment, even if it did mean suckering everyone into trusting two known media pranksters.
Chris Matyszczyk at Cnet:
Porterfield, 22, is already on Twitter at Twitter.com/officialelyse. And the only tweet she would offer about her little hoax with TheChive is: “Yes, I am Jenny (the dry-erase board HPOA) 🙂 Thanks to the creative and amazing duo John and Leo Resig at TheChive.com.” I am sure she now has very good agents.
Part of the fascination of Jenny’s fictitious story is that it coincided with the real story of a JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, who, having been allegedly cursed out by a passenger, announced that he was quitting just after his plane had landed, proceeding to sweep down the emergency slide, only to be subsequently arrested.
Slater has also become a hero. He now enjoys more than 120,000 friends and supporters on Facebook.
Working people who feel they have been squeezed a little too much, a little too often, may find that the only way to receive some modicum of revenge–or even a sympathetic audience–is on the vast, (currently) open support group that is the Web. This should make it quite fun for everyone else.