Online communication: "If you just message 'hi' and nothing else I assume I’m getting fired"


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Sometimes ‘hi’ means ‘hi’, unless you’re high as fuck


Firing people by email is so passé. All the cool kids use Twitter.


Hello! . .


My boss does this, without punctuation. Just “hi”. He’s also the owner of the company. Yeah. Every time my heart stutters a bit.

I don’t see a link to the full essay. Is it a browser fail on my part, or is it missing?


huh? Are people thinking way too much again?


Anyone, any time, any context: “Is this a good time to talk?”

Me: Oh SHIT.


In Chat apps, if you preface whatever you are bout to say with an introductory “Hey”,“Hi” Whatever. It means you’ve already interrupted me, and am sitting there for several seconds loathing the “So and so is typing…” before we can actually start conversing.

Do us both a favor:



My personal favorite anxiety trigger: “Come see me please”


I absolutely agree with the point of the article. I have the same reaction whenever someone important (be it boss, co-worker, or girlfriend) does that. Luckily, few do.

It’s interesting to watch the development of implied etiquette in new communication mediums, like still having to teach people that writing in all caps is equivalent to yelling.

Another preference I’m developing is that it’s useless to add a signature in your email. The email client already tells me who it’s from, and thus I already have your name and (email) contact info. There is no need to duplicate it at the bottom of your email and it just clutters my threaded view.


Data: Geordi.
Geordi: Yeah.
Data: May I ask a question?
Geordi: I think you just did.
Data: Quite correct. Then may I ask another question after this one?


If I get that subject line in an email I assume it’s my dad sending me a Hi and Lois comic.




Is this a learned behavior? How many times has one been fired starting with a “hi”?

Seems rather odd and one of those little things people construct in their head and then freak out about. We all do something like that.

I’d say 80% of my Skype business chats to me start as “hi”, and it means they want something.

I admit that one will raise my eyebrow, but if i think about it, it has never meant anything bad. I think one time it was even something half way unpleasant.


If I get an email that just has my name or something like ‘hi’ in the subject line, it’s almost always spam. I’ve never gotten something like that at work.


Okay, we get it. You’re old and/or a Luddite.

In the olden days, when the only communication was phone, it was necessary to confirm the person was on the other end. “Hello” and the response “Is so and so there?” was how the conversation was initiated.

Nowadays, this is not only unnecessary, but a waste of time. We already know if the recipient is logged in and we already know the identity of the sender.

Just ask your stupid question, or say what you want to say, and when we see it, we’ll respond. Unless you like wasting everyone’s time.

Exercise for the reader: write a macro/plugin/script that automatically responds to “hi”, “hello”, “good morning” or your first name, so the idiot on the other end can actually let you know what they want.


I had a temp job, where I got my ‘how to get paid’ info in an email from the remote head of HR. The email was missing a critical piece of information, but she had a HUGE signature block at the bottom with a clickable link for her email. I tried and tried clicking it and kept getting ‘Mailer Daemon’. Hmmmph! So I went all through the directories and finally just had to Google her name and the company to pull up a fragment with her correct email address. She had misspelled HER OWN NAME in her fancy email signature block! Who knows how long it had been that way, and she just probably thought, “Wow! I’m doing a great job with onboarding. No one has any questions for me!”


That’s how I feel about the phrase “We need to talk.

Velcome to boing boing, new comrade!


See, that makes perfect sense. It indicates a conversation serious enough that it must be had face-to-face.

Do people seriously get fired via Slack? I feel like if you’re worried your boss would fire you over Slack, you’ve got a bad boss. That’s like breaking up with someone in a Facebook message.


When someone messages me with just ‘hi’ or ‘hello’, and nothing more, I ignore them. Just ask your question or leave me alone. I shouldn’t need to acknowledge my presence in an asynchronous communication medium.