Just as it doesn’t surprise me that the sun rises in the morning and the bank ran screaming from my mortgage application, it doesn’t surpise me that HPOA Girl, a.k.a Jenny Whiteboard, is a hoax. For those of you unaware of the Twitter-fanned flames of Jenny’s jokey jinks, HPOA Girl was supposedly a disgruntled office worker who outed her boss as a Farmville addict and halitosis-ridden sleazebag after she overheard him refer to her as a Hot Piece Of Ass. In a series of thirty-three photos, published on comedy site The Chive, “Jenny” uses her dry-wipe whiteboard to quit her job and let her former boss (and his giggling subordinates) know exactly what she thinks of him.
First impressions, all over the world wide hinterland, was that “Jenny” was a hero. Fed up with her boss’s sexist attitude and draconian treatment of his staff, she uses the savvy he never acknowledged in her to humiliate him. It was a fairytale for those of us still suffering under Brentist management techniques, a blow struck for the common worker, an example to all of us oppressed over the water cooler. Except, of course, it wasn’t. “Jenny” is an actress. Her act of bravery was but a skit written by The Chive. Woe and waily? Not quite. It’s difficult to mourn a funny swipe at the establishment when “Jenny” failed on both accounts. It was no swipe at workplace sexism. And it just wasn’t funny.
I don’t mean that it wasn’t funny because its heroine just wasn’t feminist enough. It simply wasn’t funny. The first tweets I read let on that it was an absolute triumph of wit over boorishness, but perhaps I have been ruined by years stuck up my own arse reading Tolstoy, because I found “Jenny’s” coup on the dreary side of underwhelming. A feminist heroine, and the best weapon she has is the revelation that her boss … plays Farmville? Yawnsville, mo’ liek. Surely the guys from The Chive could have come up with something a bit more side-splitting than revenge against a smelly nerd ruling over the hawt folks?
Then, of course, there was the fact that “Jenny”, the lady so offended by being referred to as a Hot Piece Of Ass, went to great pains to prove that she was a Hot Piece Of Ass, even going so far as to do a Mariah and perform a needless costume change right in the middle of her call to arms. Nonsensical nonsense indeed. To be sure, to be sure, whenever I am offended by a sexist comment, I try to strip down to a pair of Daisy Dukes and put my shapeliest leg forward, too. That’ll learn the ooglers.
Only we may use HPOA. That’s our word.
If there was any ‘ikkle clue to the webbly that “Jenny” wasn’t what she seemed, it was the fact that she was, in fact, a very HPOA and proud of it. Like Clark Kent, all she had to do at the end of her whiteboard exposé was take off her nerdy office glasses and exposé the HPOA within. Rather too perfectly cast for the masses to identify with her, no? Just like oft-parodied teen movie She’s All That, I wasn’t buying it.
Nor was the sceptical division of the Geek Brigade, it seems, for no sooner had “Jenny” gone viral than they were sneering at its less-than-trustworthy provenance. Could “Jenny” have been an ad for something, something wonderful and clever and great that hasn’t been revealed to us yet, something that will make belated with welcome sense of this dusty attempt at LULZ? Time will tell.
In the meantime, I’ll stick to what’s genuinely witty for my laughs, and keep my accolades for those who don’t try to construct a thrilling tale of revenge out of the watery concept of whinging at one’s boss from afar.