Worker Backed Over 'Offensive' WhatsApp Greeting to Colleague

In a now-viral WhatsApp exchange, a worker named Shreyas received a lecture from a colleague, Sandeep, for using the word "hey."

A screenshot of the exchange was shared in Reddit's "Antiwork" forum on Monday by an anonymous poster under the username u/Familiar_Mango_7509, who wrote: "How do you react to this? And how the hell is 'Hey' [not] professional?" The post has garnered over 30,000 upvotes and thousands of comments from bewildered Redditors who slammed Sandeep's "outdated" business standards.

"Hi Shreyas," Sandeep's first message read. "Have you submitted the test?"

The following day, Shreyas responded: "Hey...No, not yet."

Confused woman on phone
A worker revealed in a now-viral post that she was lectured by a colleague via WhatsApp after greeting him with the word, "hey." fizkes/istock

As previously mentioned, Sandeep took offense to the word "hey," so rather than talk further about the test, he sent a four-message lecture on professionalism.

"Hi Shreyas, my name is Sandeep. Please don't use the word 'hey.' It's offensive for me," he wrote. "If you cannot remember my name, simply use 'Hi.'"

He went on to say that the words "dude" and "man" should also be avoided in professional conversation and advised her to use more formal greetings, such as "Hello" and "Hi there."

But Shreyas saw nothing wrong with the greeting.

"Well, considering that we are having a conversation over WhatsApp and not over LinkedIn or a mail chain...I'm just being casual as you are texting me on my personal number," Shreyas responded.

Sandeep, however, claimed WhatsApp isn't a "personal space," and told Shreyas that they'd understand his point of view "sooner or later."

Speaking to Inc. in 2020, career coach Barbara Pachter said the word "hey" is "informal" and should therefore be avoided when communicating with a client or colleague.

"'Hey' is a very informal salutation, and generally it should not be used in the workplace. Use 'Hi' and 'Hello' instead," Pachter said, echoing Sandeep's advice.

In a conversation with The Independent in 2018, Pachter added that "Hi [name]" is her favorite greeting, as it is a "safe and familiar way to address someone, whether you know them or not," the paper said.

Author Will Schwalbe added that this particular greeting is "perfectly friendly and innocuous."

The two went on to say greetings such as "Dear sir or madam" and "Good morning/afternoon/evening" should also be avoided.

Many Redditors, however, argued that these rules are "outdated," and slammed Sandeep for lecturing Shreyas.

"Who the f**k does this a**hole think he is?" asked u/Dave_The_Slushy.

"Condescendingly explain to them that they are using outdated standards for communication," advised u/piceathespruce.

"If 'hey' is unprofessional, so is 'hi,'" u/Voeglein argued. "They're both informal."

u/princessxmombi added: "I say 'hey' in emails all the time. So does the CEO of an organization we collaborate with. This dude is a pretentious, micromanaging a**hole."

Shreyas could not be reached for comment as u/Familiar_Mango_7509 told Newsweek she is not the owner of the screenshot.

On Monday, a groom posting in "Antiwork" went viral for sharing that his boss rejected his time-off request for his wedding day.

Wednesday, another worker went viral for sharing the "mic drop" moment they had with their boss after handing in their resignation.

And earlier this month, a job candidate received online attention after sharing that her interviewer sent her home over her outfit.