Man's description of working in corporate America hits way too close to home

@fentifriedchicken/TikTok Summit Art Creations/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Oh my God this happened to me today’: Boss demands PowerPoint from worker. His formatting requests are confusing

'This is literally why I quit graphic design. I just couldn't do it anymore.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Feb 20, 2024   Updated on Feb 20, 2024, 2:23 am CST

Perhaps they call them PowerPoints because of the power they seem to hold over every corporate worker’s life. At least, that’s the vibe you get reading the comments on two recent viral videos from TikTok creator Joe Fenti (@fentifriedchicken).

The Boston-based comedian often posts bits about the absurdities of corporate life. Last month, he racked up 4.1 million views and about 362,000 likes for a TikTok skit about an exaggerated—but not too exaggerated—interaction between a supervisor and an employee who’s making a PowerPoint presentation for them. (Fenti plays both parts.)

“Hi, do you make PowerPoints?” the boss asks.

“It’s more or less my entire job,” the employee replies, before receiving increasingly vague and unhelpful guidance and even more dispiriting feedback. For example: The slide-maker is told, “Bad! Too many words! Reading is scary,” right after being told by the boss to add more words.

@fentifriedchicken Basically every day in Corporate America IB: @Cas3yart #Working #Finance #Consulting ♬ original sound – Joe Fenti

Fenti rode the success of that video into a sequel, which he posted a few days ago. The latest video has 2.6 million views and more than 233,000 likes. “Another day another Powerpoint in Corporate America,” the video caption reads.

@fentifriedchicken Replying to @Taylor Divin Another day another Powerpoint in Corporate America #Working #Finance #Consulting ♬ original sound – Joe Fenti

“Hi, are you working on the PowerPoint?” the boss asks.

“I am working on the PowerPoint. It’s only been an hour since you assigned this to me,” the employee says.

“Great. I would like to see the PowerPoint,” the boss demands.

“The PowerPoint isn’t done, and I know you don’t want to see it unformatted, but here is the PowerPoint anyway,” the employee says.

“Oh no, this is ugly. Uh, use your brain?” the boss says.

And so on. 

The employee repeatedly says that they should be focusing on the words in the slides instead of the design. The skit descends into a Kafka-esque hell of the employee sending the deck to the supervisor, who kicks it back over increasingly inane criticisms of the color red used.

“We no longer are going to make the deadline because the words aren’t ready yet. We’re going to have to circle back to this later,” the boss finally says.

A viewer commented, “Oh my god this happened to me today.”

“PowerPoint Deck, Decks, Slide Decks, PowerPoint, or Soul Crusher. I’ve seen these terms used by various age groups across many organizations,” one commenter wrote.

“But first, let’s have some meetings about the PowerPoint,” another commenter wrote.

“‘Make it PDF.’ Sends it. ‘I can’t edit it. Make it PowerPoint,’” a viewer chimed in.

“‘Any changes needed before I finalize?’ Crickets. ‘ok here is the final version.’ 4:59 on Friday: CAN WE CHANGE EVERYTHING PLEASE,” one comment read.

Another viewer commented, “every time i hear the absolute nonsense happening in corporate jobs i’m reminded their view of ‘unskilled labor’ is projection.”

“My first feedback in corporate America was that my stapling was sloppy,” one person wrote.

“Ha my company gets around this by having a template deck. You have to use all those colors and fonts. So I can focus on the words!” another person added. Fenti replied, “Talk about a big brain move.”

“This is literally why I quit graphic design. I just couldn’t do it anymore,” one commenter wrote.

Another viewer realized that there are no unique experiences in America: “so all of us design and communication specialists are just out here having the same experience just in different locations.”

Even the official TikTok account for Microsoft 365 commented: “PowerPoint (nightmare edition).” One viewer replied, “You did this to us.” Another responded, “they show up here now that the damage is done.”

In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Fenti said he was surprised that these videos had gone so viral.

”I thought these two videos would do ‘good’ at best, and they’re starting to become my most popular and successful videos. I’m definitely going to keep up this format and play around with the structure,“ he told the Dot.

Commiseration in corporate America is a popular genre of TikTok videos. In 2022, a worker revealed to viewers that she cried on Monday mornings because she didn’t see a way out of the grind. Last year, a creator explained why job hopping in the corporate world is the norm.

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2024, 3:00 am CST