Elon Musk trolls Twitter employee with ‘Office Space’ clip

Twitter owner Elon Musk used a clip from the 1999 comedy “Office Space” to troll a disgruntled former employee who claimed the social media firm never informed him he had been fired.

The public war of words began after Haraldur Thorleifsson, an Iceland-based Twitter employee who lost his job in a recent round of layoffs in late February, called out Musk for the company’s lack of communication around his dismissal.

“Dear @ElonMusk, 9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees. However your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not.

You’ve not answered my emails. Maybe if enough people retweet you’ll answer me here?” Thorleifsson tweeted.

“What work have you been doing?” Musk replied.

Thorleifsson responded with a list of a accomplishments during his tenure at Twitter. Thorleifsson’s personal website notes that he “led an innovation team” that “spearheaded” the Twitter Communities project and helped to develop an edit button on the platform.

Musk appeared skeptical of Thorleifsson’s claims about his design work – at one point responding with a pair of laughing emojis and  asking him to post “pics or it didn’t happen.”

Thorleifsson fired back by noting the company had “locked [his] computer.”

Musk eventually replied with a scene from “Office Space,” in which two outside consultants ask a soon-to-be-fired employee, “What would you say you do here?”

Elon Musk
Twitter has conducted multiple rounds of layoffs under Elon Musk.
Getty Images

“Would you say that you’re a people person?” Musk tweeted.

In the midst of the exchange, Thorleifsson said Twitter’s human resources division had “miraculously” reached out to confirm he was no longer an employee.

Musk eventually provided an even more blunt critique of Thorleifsson, who uses a wheelchair and notes on his website that he’s “slowly but surely losing strength in my upper body and arms” due a muscle-related condition.

“The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm,” Musk said. “Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.”

“But was he fired? No, you can’t be fired if you weren’t working in the first place!” Musk added.

Thorleifsson founded Ueno, a design agency that Twitter acquired in 2021, long before Musk’s acquisition of the company.

Prior to the layoffs, Thorleifsson had been on a “do not fire” list at Twitter due to the steep costs required to pay him out of his stock holdings, Platformer reported.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk bought Twitter last October.

Esther Crawford, the now-fired senior director who gained infamy after being photographed sleeping in Twitter’s offices, was also on the list prior to her firing last month.

Musk has faced sharp criticism from former Twitter employees following his takeover of the company.

The billionaire has ordered sweeping cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, as he looks to reverse a major drop in revenue.