The story breaking on the humor site The Chive was just too good to be true. Under the headline of “Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office,” comes a story of Jenny the Assistant who quits her job working for a stock broker named Spencer because she accidentally heard him calling her a “HPOA” on the phone. (That stands for Hot Piece of… well, you get the message.) Through a series of 33 photos, Jenny tells of her abuse by her boss and the fact that he spends half his work week playing the Facebook social game Farmville.
The story spread like wildfire over the Web Tuesday. There were a host of Tweets linking to the post at Chive, along with a number of stories, some skeptical, others not so much. This post from CNET presents it as a presumed legitimate story that might be a hoax, a blog at the San Francisco Chronicle passes on the story, the Huffington Post certainly could have been more skeptical, and Jezebel bought it hook-line-and-sinker.
This morning the news broke that the story was a stunt/hoax/meme from the same pair of guys who had hoaxed a $10,000 Donald Trump tip. The Chive did the best job of explaining it with a second round of Dry Erase Board Girl. Perhaps the best response came from BuzzFeed about How To Make A Web Meme using re-edited photos from the stunt. By the way, Jenny the Assistant is actually actress Elyse Porterfield.
As for me, I think this is a great example of Truth 7 – There is no “they.” The initial post on The Chive gave a first name but no last name of Jenny or her evil boss, Spencer. It didn’t say who her employer was or where her employer was located. In short, there was an awful lot of “they” going on here. (By the way, did you know that chives are a kind of onion? Just sayin….)