For everyone Farewell to Webex

  • By A.J. Betts
  • This article was published more than 2 years ago.
  • 14 Dec 2021

There are tricks to signing a farewell card for a colleague you don’t like. To begin with, ensure you’re one of the last to sign it. If you hold out long enough, the giant card will have done a few rounds of the staffroom before landing on your desk, by which time the prime sections (the edges, the corners, and the gaping space below the Hallmark message) will already be filled up by better acquaintances who have genuine things to say. If you’re lucky, there will only be a couple of tight spots left. 

Once you’ve selected your site, remember to curb your enthusiasm. This is a situation in which Less is More. Now is not the time to channel Shakespeare – there is hardly the room and, besides, Shakespeare was better known for his insults than his tributes. There’s no surer way of bringing attention to your dislike of the colleague than writing, “Away, you starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish!”, even if you think you might get away with the ‘joke’. 

In fact, resist all urges to attempt humour. Comments along the lines of: “Did you ever really work here anyway?” or “I’m sorry to see the back of you, but it’s better than the front!” may be interpreted the wrong (i.e. right) way by switched-on colleagues. Not even a smiley emoji at the end will make up for any offence caused. 

Really, it’s best not to channel writers or comedians at all, but to stick to tried and tested platitudes such as “All the best for your next chapter!” or “Good luck!!!” (This is one situation where exclamation marks are not to be curbed, but encouraged. 

The thing is, you want your colleague to: a) leave and b) leave in good spirits, oblivious to your ill will. So, keep things simple with a black, fine-line biro. Better yet, use one of those erasable pens whose ink is destined to fade over time. Once you’re done, cross your name off the post-it note on the front of the giant envelope and dump the card on another desk for the next chump to sign. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What about the troublesome colleague who nobody likes? Who should sign first, and how? What kind of comments could aptly farewell the pesky colleague that everyone wants to see the back of? How do we say farewell to Webex? 

For two years, this on-again off-again ‘colleague’ has pervaded our professional and personal lives. It’s taken up residence in our kitchens and bedrooms and judged our lessons. Day after day, Webex has mocked our idiosyncrasies and exaggerated our frown-lines and facial asymmetries, causing us to consider cosmetic surgery and/or another career choice. 

In the early days of 2020, Webex presented as competent, clean and organised. Professional Webex wasn’t rude, simply a little glitchy and hard to know; a reserved colleague. We overlooked its awkwardness, for its work ethic was solid and it seemed eager to please. 

The same couldn’t be said for Zoom. Sure, it was fun and popular, but it lacked maturity, with practical jokes that would sometimes find their way to commercial news stations. Zoom was a prankster. The cool teacher who was always up for a laugh and didn’t mind allowing strangers to Zoombomb their way into class. 

Zoom had ‘special features’ and an ‘interactive whiteboard’. It was ‘all that’ and it knew it, encouraging out of school cocktail nights and third-party parties. But it didn’t take a genius to see through the visuals: Zoom was all style and no substance; a teacher with tons of charm but dubious qualifications and experience. 

Which is why we kept Webex – polite, punctual, secure – on the payroll. But it seems we kept it for way too long. The monotony wore us down. Its dogged, colourless persistence. Its relentless surveying of students’ personal spaces had them switching off their video and muting themselves. Its stony judgment. Its lack of interaction and interminable suck of joy. 

There’s a rumour that Webex is leaving – for good this time – which means a giant card has been purchased and has begun its circulation. You know what to do: bide your time, select your worst biro, choose the tightest spot, then give it the farewell message it deserves.

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