Someone sends you an email.
The subject line: This is SOOOOOOO hilarious!
The link they include? “Chocolate Rainnnnnnnnn.”
Oh, man. COME ON!
This happens to me fairly frequently. Good meaning colleagues, friends and family members discovering pop culture gems that were all sparkly and hilarious the first 12 times you saw them. And just when you think something has officially died (ahem, “Dick in a Box”), someone jumps on the bandwagon a little too late and can’t wait to share their perceived “new discovery” with the world…again…
What do you do?
My first instinct is always to eye roll and send back a sassy reply. “Yeah, this was pretty funny the first four times I saw it, which was, by the way, about 6 months ago.”
But I guess that’s kind of harsh for the corporate world. After all, if this person is a colleague, it’s probably not the best career move to mock their tardiness to the party-ness (Real Housewives of Atlanta reference) just for trying to share something funny or ridiculous.
So, here’s a quick rundown of how to handle these small, awkward interactions, if a colleague/parent/business associate sends you something OLD*:
1. Share your honest opinion about the link. The person is looking for a reaction from you—whether it’s disgust or laughter (usually they’re looking for praise or a nice, juicy LOL!). If the link/joke has lost its luster for you, remember back to when you originally saw it and share THAT genuine emotion with them.
2. Thank the person, sincerely. Don’t be a jerk. I know, I know—you probably want to thank them in an ungracious, sarcastic tone. But try to resist the urge. Thank them for thinking of you and passing on something they thought you would enjoy.
3. Depending on the person, jab at them subtly for being behind the curve. This step is a little bit sticky because it really depends on who sent it to you and how old the link is. If your Mom sent you “Charlie Bit Me,” don’t mock her. She’s your Mom for goodness sakes!
Hope that helps!
*Note: if the person sending you one of these dusty, old jokes/links is your BFF or just an RF (Regular Friend, ha, I made that up!) feel free to belittle and humiliate them. My personal favorite is just to Reply All “OLD!” That’ll make them think twice before spontaneously clicking "Send" again.