- Work (Bitch) -Is Slackbot Passive-Aggressive?
The co-worker who responds "k." The note left on your desk asking you to tidy up. The absolute psychopath that microwaves fish. All things we thought we left back in March 2020, as we quarantined ourselves away from all our inter-office grievances. Or so we thought. No no, my friends — Janice from Human Resources walked so Slackbot could run. Because as the days go on, I'm feeling increasingly judged by that colorful avatar that shows up to tell you precisely what you're doing wrong. I can't be convinced otherwise: Slackbot is passive-aggressive.
Now, I've always been suspicious of Slackbot, ever since I saw this mug:
I feel attacked. Stripped down. Patronized. This is the face of the person who says it's so great how you can wear anything while eyeing your miniskirt. Who says they "thought you knew" about post-workday drinks you weren't invited to. Who says you should take the last Krispy Kreme in the kitchen because "you clearly need it more than me." That smile is bone-chilling; those eyebrows raised just enough to show surprise that you just went for another glass of wine but, good for you for not worrying about how that looks.
The avatar is bad enough before it talks. Then I got the following message after erroneously adding a co-worker to a channel she didn't yet belong to.
Just a note. Just a note. No "by the way," or "letting you know," or just... nothing at all. "Just a note" is such an unnecessary clause to add to the sentence, I have no choice but to read into its intent. And I'm reading so much passive-aggressiveness, it might as well go ahead and ask for my TPS reports.
I understand as my Slack account's administrator, I supposedly have complete control over my Slackbot, and can tweak its language usage and more. But I've seen enough movies to know trying to overpower technology only makes it more passive-aggressive.
Let me be clear: When technology does take over, I, for one, will welcome our new robot overlords. But can I let go of just a note? I'm afraid I can't do that, Slackbot.
Tell me: Is your Slackbot as passive-aggressive as mine? Click that green little button and tell me how you really feel, m'kay?
UPDATE: This just in from my colleague Allison Piwowarski:
Now it's just getting downright aggressive. Is an exclamation point too much to ask, Slackbot?
UPDATE 2.0: I take it back — Slackbot is just straight-up aggressive. Exhibit A:
Not. Even. A. Period.