"Hey! Whiny bosses! ... if you want your entry deleted, you must allow 48 hours AND provide us with the URL [Web address] ... Thank You, The Gang at MYBOSSSUCKS.COM."

"Hey! Whiny bosses! ... if you want your entry deleted, you must allow 48 hours AND provide us with the URL [Web address] ... Thank You, The Gang at MYBOSSSUCKS.COM."

Messages like that (on the front page of the website www.mybosssucks.com) may seem to prove that charm levels are plumbing new depths on the internet. But it and sites like it are providing a new outlet for frustrated employees, replacing the canteen or pub as a venue for staff to vent their feelings about the people in charge of them. The content can get extremely personal: one London-based manager, according to the site, is "the top guy's ass-kisser supremo. She's an old hag, wrinkled up bag, that has no real teeth left, and chain smokes all day, and hates non-smokers. Her liver is shot to hell from years of drug use and can't drink any booze now because of it. Lies to people." And that's before we get to her sexual habits.

The site also has an agony aunt (whose advice generally boils down to "grin and bear it!" or "go!") and a "Boss Of The Month", which is anything but a plaudit.

Yet the busiest area is the one devoted to being rude about those in charge. "Has the management skills of a shell fish", said one of the less rude anonymous entries about one British manager of a large computing company, who was mentioned by name yesterday. Contacted by The Independent, he looked at the site and commented: "I can't say I'm that bothered by it. But you don't get a chance to reply, either on the site or by e-mail. That seems the strangest thing. What's the point of it?"

According to a conference yesterday, the point is that it allows employees in modern, pressured companies to let off virtual steam - "cyber-venting" A growing number of sites have been set up for specific industries, such as airlines (where pilots have swapped tales of near-misses) and the rail sector. Sometimes, though, it gets out of hand.

The conference, organised by the law firm Eversheds, heard 86 per cent of companies allow their workers access to the internet - but that, among attendees, 66 per cent had disciplined or dismissed staff for breaking policies for using the Net or internal networks.

The most misuse was downloading offensive material: 71 per cent of employers cited this as a reason for disciplinary action or the sack. The second most popular reason, cited by more than a quarter, was excessive personal use of the internet during work hours. Martin Hopkins, a partner at Eversheds, said: "The convention has served to highlight some major issues employers are facing in the internet age - cyber-venting is just one of these. Sites such as www.mybosssucks.com and www.workingwounded.com are visited by thousands of people a day.

"Although much of the information posted on these sites may be harmless, some complaints and accusations can cause massive damage to a business' reputation and affect other areas like recruitment."