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So recently some of the folks from our office left the firm. I work at a mid size multinational IT firm. So what I have observed is some folks have shared some memes in the sign off email on last day of work. Some of them I will attach here:

The Hyperbole and a Half meme with the text "Last day of work steal all the office supplies!". The Fry Frowning Futurama meme with the text "Last day of work or best day of life". The girl smiling in front of a house fire meme with the text "Last day of work what will they do without me".

I was thinking whether it is advisable to share such memes on the sign off email? I am asking this because it may or not leave good impression about the firm to new employees.

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    Why do you believe there is any kind of global standards for this? Nov 19 '21 at 8:46
  • @PhilipKendall Well I have tagged it for India based companies. So I am not looking for global standards. It's just these emails are shared org wide so it might not look good for new joinees. Nov 19 '21 at 9:28
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    Why do you believe there is any kind of national standard for this? Nov 19 '21 at 11:24
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    It just depends on so many factors. The last company I worked for it was absolutely normal to send memes. Even tough this was a multi billion corporation and we Germans are seen as unfunny by the rest of the world. There these messages in a final farewell message would have not been out of place. Other workplaces have other rules tough. Just stick with the crowd. If in doubt don't do it.
    – seg
    Nov 19 '21 at 11:41
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    The issue is not that they are memes. You could send a meme about how much you will miss everyone, or anything else positive. The issue is that, whether in meme or plain text, these messages say "I like to steal" "I hated this job" "This job didn't appreciate me and I smirk at the thought of their impending destruction". Sending those messages on your last day is childish at best. At best. Nov 19 '21 at 13:36
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It really depends on everything.

The actual meme, the person that's leaving, and the remaining colleagues.

In the first meme, if the person was actually reprimanded for theft, that's just the dumbest thing to say on the last day. However, if the guy is known to be a real stickler for not stealing supplies, then it might work, depending on their colleagues.

As a general rule, if there is even the slightest uncertainty about something, you simply do not do it. Of course, lack of uncertainty doesn't mean you're clear though, and it can still catch up to you in unexpected ways.

You tagged India, so culturally only you would know how well your organization handles humor.

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    Although when someone can't find their stapler on Monday morning, it might lead to some awkward questions...
    – Gh0stFish
    Nov 19 '21 at 13:33
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    ....not for the poster. They've left. Nov 19 '21 at 13:43
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    @mattfreake leaving a company doesn't mean that your reputation can't be damaged (especially in small industries). It also doesn't protect you against being accused of theft.
    – Gh0stFish
    Nov 19 '21 at 14:24
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Read the room

Personally, I'd never send an email containing a meme. I expect my son wouldn't see a problem with it.

I'd say it's "advisable" to share a meme if you know it will be received in the way you intended, and for no other reason.

You never know when you will encounter someone in the future who worked at an old company you also worked for, and who remembers how you left it. It happens more often than you'd think.

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No

Unless for some reason you happen to be fourteen and the company you're leaving happens to be exclusively staffed by other fourteen year-olds. Rubbish like this from fourteen year olds is not any better of course - it's just people will accept that they perhaps don't know any better and will cut them some slack.

The content of all the given examples reflect badly on the person sharing them IMO. Should a person doing this encounter a former colleague again in their professional life do you think it's more likely they will remember these memes and think "Oh yeah, that's a great person they posted some classic memes when they left" or that they will think "Hmm there's a question mark over this person's maturity and professionalism"?

While it's not massively likely that it will have unpleasant ramifications in the future (the most likely outcome is that it will be forgotten entirely) the chances are still non-zero and there is precisely nothing positive to be gained by doing so.

Don't do it.

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    You can't emphasise 'Just don't' enough.. Sharing such memes is not just unprofessional - they also undermine the the ethics of the remaining employees..
    – iLuvLogix
    Nov 19 '21 at 9:42
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    I've worked places where people have posted "amusing" sign-offs when they left and it provided a small smile and left a good impression with me, I can also believe there are places where it would be inappropriate. I don't think any of us can say there is some uniform standard here. Nov 19 '21 at 11:05
  • I just realised all my colleagues were 14-year-olds!
    – Stef
    Nov 19 '21 at 16:13
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Generally speaking:

If you would include such a thing in a regular email if this was not your last day, go ahead. Your last day doesn't make it special.

But if you wouldn't and you just consider it because it's you last day? Don't. Your last day doesn't make it special.

It's the last day. So it's still a day at work. Be professional to the normal standards of your company.

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    While I agree with you: why is it important to "be professional to the normal standards of your company" on the last day with them?
    – Player One
    Nov 19 '21 at 11:07
  • @PlayerOne I don't really understand the question. The last day of something is still "a day of something". Your question boils down to "why should I act professional at work".
    – nvoigt
    Nov 19 '21 at 11:23
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    "Why should I follow the standards of a company I have chosen to leave, after I have chosen to leave that company" is maybe a clearer version of what I mean.
    – Player One
    Nov 19 '21 at 11:31
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    @PlayerOne because companies and staff don't exist in a vacuum. Even if you never go back to the same company, staff move between companies, and staff talk to their peers at other companies. Blacklists exist in industries (even if they're illegal). You can certainly choose to act unprofessional and burn your bridges on the way out, but there's a good chance (especially in smaller industries) that it'll bite you in the arse down the line.
    – Gh0stFish
    Nov 19 '21 at 13:05
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Depending on the exact contents of what you send, you could be opening yourself up to a world of hurt doing something like this.

Take your third image for example. What exactly are you trying to imply with it? Because it would be very easy to read that as saying that you've sabotaged something, or failed to do proper handover, and you're expecting the place to burn down (metaphorically) after you leave.

And while that might be an amusing joke to share with a few co-workers, what happens if something actually goes wrong after you've left? If a sysadmin left a company having shared that kind of image in their final email, and then the next week a load of servers go down or the company gets hit by ransomware, how does that email get interpreted by senior management? Is it just a joke, or is it an admission that you've screwed them over? Are you absolutely sure that your former co-workers, manager and senior staff in your company will see it the same way you do, especially when they're looking for someone to blame for problems who can't easily defend themselves?

If you want to share something light-hearted in your leaving email, then that's fine. But joking about stealing from your company or having sabotaged them on the way out the door is completely inappropriate, and could end very badly for you.

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The key principle here is to BE PROFESSIONAL as you leave. That means you don't send such memes or ranting emails or anything of that nature. Don't even send a blast email because most people at the company don't care that you're leaving and probably don't even know you.

If you have had a close working relationship with a few coworkers, you might send a short and simple email with a personal email address or a LinkedIn profile if they would like to stay in touch but beyond that, refrain from such behavior regardless of how badly you feel the need!

Of the memes you posted NONE of them are professional in any way and they will reflect badly on YOU. You don't know that some of these people may be your coworkers or even managers at some point in the future and your unprofessional actions may reflect poorly on you in a future job or interview.

My #1 rule is ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL! Be professional before you are employee, be professional as you work there, be professional as you leave. That way the impression you leave is PROFESSIONAL and that's a good thing.

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I do notice a slight culture shift in how workplace conduct generally occur. At my current employer, using meme seems to be common practice since in MS teams you can post the meme.

However, I would be careful about what sort of meme you use. In the sample you gave the first one about stealing office supplies and the last one about burning the place down strikes me as something that may be misunderstood by some. The middle one with Fry seems to be okay to me as it cannot be misunderstood.

My thought: think of who you're sending the message to. If it is within your team and you guys generally share meme then that might be okay. But if it is going company wide and you don't generally do this this or see it, then I would hold off on it.

However, it's really your last day there. So in general it probably won't matter what you put in. Just don't threaten violence or show violence or some sort of act you wouldn't normally do at the office (like stealing things or burning the place down).

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Some ideas are really dumb, and this happens to be one of them. It isn't necessary, it isn't appropriate, and it isn't "cute." Do you really need to send a "see ya" email to anyone at all?

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