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Radio Shack E-Fires 400 Workers 512

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-can't-fire-me-I-equit dept.
KingSkippus writes "You've got mail! ...and no job! The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that RadioShack has notified 400 workers by e-mail that they are being laid off. The e-mails state, 'The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated.' Nothing says thank you for your years of service to our company quite like an e-boot out the door."
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Radio Shack E-Fires 400 Workers

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  • HAHA... (Score:5, Funny)

    by alfs boner (963844) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:14AM (#16013203) Homepage Journal
    0wned!
  • Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gemini_25_RB (997440) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:17AM (#16013212)
    Let's get a hand for RadioShack and their PR skills! I've always wondered when things along this line would start to happen. I'm surprised it didn't become popular to fire people by voicemail when that was the "new" thing. Firings can become a very confrontational situation (especially since the messenger didn't always have a hand in the process), so I wonder if the messenger decided that email would be better than hell.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:12AM (#16013471) Journal
      I've never seen a company fire someone who didn't have a security guard escort them to the desk for thier belongings and then to the the door. In a mass layoff, the company would contact a few employees who weren't getting laid off and ask them to com in early, then meet everyone else at the door and take them in a few at a time. Usualy this is preceeding a form letter issued the previous payday.

      I do know of a guy who was fired at some company (not nameing names) and was left to finish his shift. He wasn't escorted out or monitored and decided to place clear scotch tape over a few dozen opticle sensors on the production line after his shift. This was on friday and it took three weeks to get the production line going again. Every section was registering an obstruction when there wasn't, the computer was replaced two times and you couldn't see the tape on the sensor heads. Eventualy someoen decided to replace everthing on the control and safety circuits and found the causes later. I don't know how much it ended up costing them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sporkmonger (922923)
        I was gently encouraged to voluntarily quit my job awhile back. They knew I wanted to quit and they had layoffs coming up, so I guess they thought they'd just asked me quietly if perhaps I wouldn't be happier being self-employed. (Which I am.) Was really quite entertaining. But I gotta say, I thought they were really careless. Facilities managment shut off my security card a week early, which was kinda cute, but everyone kept letting me into the building in the morning anyways, and eventually my manage
      • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Funny)

        by mhayes57 (898458) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @02:20AM (#16013713)
        I once worked for a company that fired many employees without notice on a Monday. The only problem was that they fired one of the system administrators, but forgot he was always one of the first people in the office. He was still able to log on to the system, and as various other fired employees were showing up, he diligently re-activated thier passwords and passkeys. When the "Management" bastards showed up, they had some serious splaining to do...

        This kind of thing and the people that perpetrate it deserve all the ridicule that they get...
      • by An dochasac (591582) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:43PM (#16016820)
        Does anyone know of any other countries where such childish, sensless, brutal, inhumane and counterproductive employee termination techniques are used? My former (U.S. based) company used voice mail on recent firees (They couldn't fire me, I quit way ahead of time! ;-). The U.S. division of my current company uses immediate firing within the U.S. but employees outside of the U.S. are generally given time to get things in order, finish what they were working on, use company resources in the job hunt and talk to collegues to help ease the transition. This technique works! I've never heard of a case of an employee going postal or sabatoging the company here. So is it U.S. employees, U.S. managers or U.S. HR people who are being childish?
  • Moo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chacham (981) * on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:17AM (#16013217) Homepage Journal
    Radio Shack actually hired these guys from Sony's Advanced Systems Sodium-Chloride Electronics Division (SASSED). The sassed employee's were fired for explosive behavior, assault, and battery. Even though the workers were feeling blue, Ray Sirr, a manager on the project, said that other employee's were safe, and the fired employee's were pre-picked, and put in a queue, cataloging it all. I just hope that all of you, PC in all, realize what was going with, by quickly scanning what i have written.
  • Worse than... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:18AM (#16013219)
    I'd say this is worse than getting a job application rebuffed by a form letter. With a job application, they don't know you and you really are little more than a name (at best) and a number (at worst) to them. For termination of employment somebody really ought to know who you are and what service you have provided the company. It's inexcusible - and a good indication of what those up the ladder really think about their workers. "Your job is very important to us... please hold."
  • Sign of the future (Score:5, Interesting)

    by virtuald (996377) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:18AM (#16013225) Homepage Journal
    Wow... that would really suck. I mean, I guess for the company, it makes life easier, because you don't have to deal with confrontation -- but it certainly doesn't motivate me to go and try and get a job from them. What if someone didn't check their email? That would be really awkward..

    Reminds me of "Office Space".

  • New slogan (Score:5, Funny)

    by toupsie (88295) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:18AM (#16013226) Homepage
    You've got e-mail, we've got pink slips!

    My only question is if they outsourced the e-mail pink slip processing to an Indian firm. That would have given Radio Shack double plus style points. I would not be too shocked if someone goes e-postal over this.

  • by saskboy (600063) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:19AM (#16013227) Homepage Journal
    "you-can't-fire-me-I-equit"

    I'd reply with, "Ha Ha, joke's on you. I've been working from home for the past 8 months, and have been selling the store's LED flashlights on eBay."
  • e-fired? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Superpants (930409) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:19AM (#16013228)
    They should be e-happy they got e-fired because Radio-Shack e-sucks. Besides, they can always be e-hired again at BestBuy or some other know nothing e-electronics store. At least I e-think so...
  • Have you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumFTL (197300) * <justin.wickNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:20AM (#16013231)
    Have you ever met a Radio Shack employee? Methinks they should all be fired (and replaced by someone who knows what they are talking about).

    I used to want to work there, back when they sold computers and gizmos for hobby electronics instead of being a glorified cell phone store (though I do suppose cell phones are a type of radio, so it is more fitting...)
    • Re:Have you (Score:5, Funny)

      by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @02:14AM (#16013694) Journal
      My worst ever: I was trying to buy an adapter so I could plug an old IBM Model M keyboard (with the old AT / 5-pin DIN style connector) into a newer computer (Mini-DIN 6-pin / PS/2). The employee, who I could swear was a robot, kept completely disregarding everything I said; just the look on their face made it obvious they were filtering out all the things they didn't understand, which basically meant they were hearing, "I need a thingy that makes a thingus be able to attach to a thingeroo it's not supposed to attach to.", I guess...and then they would say, "Yeah, we have that." *points at drawers where they keep all the capacitors, resistors, etc.* After the third attempt to explain what I needed to them, they got all exasperated, walked over the the drawers, and pulled out the drawer containing...alligator clips. GAH! I came within an inch of an aneurysm, I swear...
  • by sporkme (983186) * on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:22AM (#16013245) Homepage
    Radio Shack has been in real trouble for years, since shortly before I left. The article mentions RSH stock price closing just over $18, down from around $80 before this all began. I can't say that I am surprised that they chose email as the way to go on the firings.

    Make sure you don't have any beverage in your mouth when you read this: All members of Radio Shack management and all of their top sales people from the entire company, plus most of the corporate staff (thousands of people) just returned home from an all-expenses paid 3 to 6 day drip to Las Vegas, NV for a "Peak of Performance" rally. More like a valley of performance, but to hell with it.
    • by deadhammer (576762) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:30AM (#16013289)
      The news in this is that we've reached that particular point in our society where a corporation doesn't even have to have the common decency to fire people in person. There's a certain lack of class here - sure, corporations have to lay people off sometimes, that's not the problem, it's the fact that this company thinks so little of the mindless drones working for them that they don't even have the common courtesy to force their overworked, underpaid manager to take them into the back and fire them personally. This is about as anonymous and abusive as it can get. Yes, Radio Shack sucks, and yes, management are jackasses. Corporations like to fire people when they're at "peak performance", whether or not the whole company is circling the drain. This doesn't excuse the fact that they've chosen to lay their employees off in the most lazy, insulting way they possibly could.
      • by fantomas (94850) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @04:02AM (#16013990)
        "Common decency" ... hmm, maybe exists in some 50s romantic B-movie comedies, but alas, welcome to the real world pal. That stuff never existed. Read your histories of work and industry through the ages. Watch a few Monty Python sketches if that's too boring (something about working in coal mines and getting up at 5am and being grateful for it: Victorian decency didn't have a problem with sending 5 year olds down mines and up chimneys after all). That's why unions got going in the first place, to actually give the little guys some real power rather than having individuals just sitting at home feeling shocked after layoff at the wake up call that they weren't actually working for a paternalistic social enterprise.

        If you don't like the word 'union' then pick another, but you need some sort of collective ability to organise and respond when the big guys put the pressure on. They screw around with your workmates, you all stop work and threaten to take the company down if they don't start behaving better. Drastic, sure, but the USA is *proud* of its free market hire em and fire em attitude, you aren't going to get some middle manager to change their way by asking them to remember the unwritten rules of Lord's cricket ground and the British Raj. They are watching over their shoulder as well...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sydb (176695)
          It's funny, the OP didn't say or even hint at anything about Victorian values or the Empire yet your argument is that it's naive to hark back to those days. Maybe your fighting some kind of inner conflict. Common decency is actually fairly, well, common, because contrary to popular belief, some managers are human too.
      • by oohshiny (998054) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @04:07AM (#16014002)
        The news in this is that we've reached that particular point in our society where a corporation doesn't even have to have the common decency to fire people in person.

        What kind of phantasy world do you live in? Labor rights and relations have come a long way since the 19th centuries; companies didn't use to fire employees by E-mail, they used to work them to death and kill them.

        You're confusing a company with a thinking, feeling person. Companies are like big, impersonal machines, and they have always been. Complaining about being fired by E-mail makes just about as much sense as taking the BSOD or a washing machine malfunction as a personal insult. The company doesn't want you anymore, so just move on. If people get fired too often in your opinion, then the solution is to fix the system (by working for more labor rights), not to whine about the form in which you get fired.
  • I'd still show up. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:29AM (#16013282) Homepage Journal
    Nothing says "e-mail what now? Must have gotten caught in my spam filter, heh..." like going into work anyway, and forcing the boss to say it to your damned face.
  • by in2mind (988476) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:30AM (#16013290) Homepage
    "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated."

    One of the guys who received that mail should have followed it up with a mail to everyone@radioshack :
    "Pls ignore the previous mail.It was a prank mail by someone."

  • Tandy Dandy (Score:4, Funny)

    by Wansu (846) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:34AM (#16013317)


    They got Radio Shafted.

  • by tcopeland (32225) * <<tom> <at> <thomasleecopeland.com>> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:40AM (#16013341) Homepage
    ...the TRS-80 Model I [kjsl.com] support team. I mean, after I splurged on the 16K RAM expansion and everything!
  • by Danga (307709) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:45AM (#16013362)
    I would love to know what pointy haired boss thought this was a good idea. I could not even imagine what it would be like to get fired that way, especially since it sounds like most of the people fired were not just retail workers (which would still be wrong) but were employees at the companies headquarters in Fort Worth. I am not one to hold grudges but if any of my employers were ever to do that to me after I had worked for them for years I would forever hate them and I would let them know it. In the article it said that there were meetings prior to the e-mails being sent out that explained they would be notified electronically if they were being laid off but still, that is just plain heartless and gutless. Spend the few minutes it takes and do it in person like it should be done. I hope whoever gave this the OK burns in hell.
  • Severence pay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McFortner (881162) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:48AM (#16013375)
    Laid-off workers got one to three weeks pay for each year of service, up to 16 weeks for hourly employees and 36 weeks for those with base bay of at least $90,000, the company said.

    Hey, at least they are taking care of their upper management with up to 36 weeks of severence pay. Otherwise, they might have to actually give up a whole week of vacation in the Bahamas! Who cares about the nameless masses below them. That's why they are nameless masses!
    • by adrianmonk (890071) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @02:55AM (#16013793)
      Hey, at least they are taking care of their upper management with up to 36 weeks of severence pay. Otherwise, they might have to actually give up a whole week of vacation in the Bahamas! Who cares about the nameless masses below them. That's why they are nameless masses!

      They might be nameless masses, but we know one thing for sure: each individual one of them has his very own, totally unique e-mail address.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2006 @12:49AM (#16013381)
    I came in late and everybody was standing around excited for me to check my mail.

    Do you have a meeting? Do you have a meeting?

    Um, yeah, in 30 minutes.

    Oh man, that sucks. Only a few of us got it, and none of the boss' friends got the meeting invite. You're gone.

    They were right.
    • by pwagland (472537) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @02:34AM (#16013746) Journal
      They asked you to a meeting. That is a reasonable, and professional course of action to take. People get laid off, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad. The real problem with the article is not that some people were laid off, but that they were told by e-mail not to bother coming in anymore. HP at least gave you the courtesy of a face to face.
      • I'm not sure I agree (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jesterzog (189797)

        I don't feel at all good about the precedent of firing people using email, but I'm reluctant to make an assumption based on the tone of a slashdot story. The article states:

        Company officials had told employees in a series of meetings that layoff notices would be delivered electronically, spokeswoman Kay Jackson said. She said employees were invited to ask questions before Tuesday's notification on a company intranet site.

        If this is true, it at least means that the company had given employees some warnin

  • I could be worse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dbIII (701233) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:05AM (#16013446)
    When my co-workers were sacked by email I breathed a sigh of relief when I didn't get one. The next morning my swipe key wouldn't get me in the door. The guy I asked to reactivate my swipe key at lunch time was the one that let me know that I had lost my job.
  • by Lactoso (853587) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:14AM (#16013482) Homepage

    Mr. Kim: You got a message.
    Korben Dallas: Yeah.
    Mr. Kim: You're not gonna open it? It might be important.
    Korben Dallas: Yeah, like the last two I got were important. The first one was from my wife, telling me she was leaving. The second was from my lawyer, telling me he was leaving... with my wife.
    Mr. Kim: Aigh, that is bad luck. But grandfather say 'It never rain everyday'. This is good news, guaranteed. Hey, I bet your lunch.
    Korben Dallas: Okay, you're on.
    Mr. Kim: Come on. [opens message, in a excited voice] 'You are fired'. Oh, I'm sorry.
    Korben Dallas: At least I won lunch.
    Mr. Kim: Good philosophy, see good in bad, I like.

  • by PizzaFace (593587) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:24AM (#16013524)
    Do you need any batteries today?
  • by MCTFB (863774) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:25AM (#16013533)
    The firing of employees by email is just another way to automate away just another management function. If people find it acceptable to be fired by an email, rather than a face to face meeting with a manager, then this means we are just one more step to automating away most of management in company decision making. Anything that eliminates the jobs of useless corporate butt munchers who are adept at convincing their superiors they are valued exployees in the company with "people skills" is not just a good thing, but a great thing.

    This means that eventually expert systems and other AI based systems will execute all firings in a fair and objective fashion. If you fail to meet your quotas, the "Virtual CEO 9000" will fire you with a nice little trite email. If you meet your quotas, then the "Virtual CEO 9000" may indeed give you a raise. No performance review will ever again be necessary where you have to interview for keeping your own job every year through kissing up to your former human manager, rather the "Virtual CEO 9000" will instead be constantly evaluating your usefulness to the corporation in real-time and compensate you objectively.

    Just imagine what this would do for a company like Oracle that has about 10 maybe 11 engineers doing all the real work in the company with about 50,000 managers whose idea of work is schmoozing with other like-minded individuals on a golf course all day long. The "Virtual CEO 9000" could cut out so much bloat that profits would go so through the roof that Larry Ellison could pay down the entire United States national debt of 65 trillion dollars or whatever it happens to be right now.

    Seriously, I have not figured out why the board of directors at our largest corporations has not already outsourced or automated away executive management yet, when they happen to be the least efficient and least accountable group of people in your typical corporation these days. The "Virtual CEO 9000" doesn't need stock options to the tune of 400 million dollars like one of Exxon's former CEO's, instead it just needs some electricity to make the kind of decisions that your typical corporate bean counter makes based solely upon some Microsoft Excel spreadsheet calculation where they say "AHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA THERE IS THE FAT WE NEED TO CUT. THAT DARNED IT DEPARTMENT IS NOT SELLING ANYTHING AND INSTEAD IS JUST COSTING US A LOT OF MONEY, LET'S FIRE SOME EXPLOYEES AND SLASH THEIR BUDGET!".

    Oh wait, I forgot that modern corporations usually have a board of directors that also just happens to be personal friends of the executive management they are supposed to be directing. Nevertheless, my point still stands that being managed by a cold, unfeeling, computer application like the "Virtual CEO 9000" is still better than being managed by the sociopaths that typically run our public companies today.
    • Squeeze 'em out (Score:3, Interesting)

      Actually, what might work with the cubicle set would be to put an opposing two of their partition walls on motorised rails, linked to a database that moved them inward when their quotas went down, and outward when they went up. Give them inflatable chairs, too -- so when the walls move in too close, you can fire them directly through the roof.
  • by dbc (135354) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:48AM (#16013606)
    In the early 80's I was a CPU designer at a large mainframe company that was going through waves of RIF's. All layoff's always happened on Friday, and the sysadmins were always given a list of userid's to disable before hand. So, it became a regular Friday morning ritual for everyone to get a cup of joe, joke about whether their login would work, and see if they could get on the system. An officemate typed his password incorrectly one Friday and nearly crapped. Most victims had their desk half cleaned out before their manager found them.

    Heck, at least these people got an e-mail.
  • The next spam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cheros (223479) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:54AM (#16013628)
    Well, if that is now really legally acceptable I know what's going to happen next, expect a new type of spam, the 'sack' spam. That also has the effect ot training your spam filter so you'll never receive the real one. As a matter of fact, it probably pretty much nukes this for the next time it's attempted.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:57AM (#16013638)
    But not for the reasons you might think. The natural reaction is that it's too impersonal. That's really the least of the problems. The big problem with email is that it's not reliable, and not very official. What's to stop someone sending out a prank notice to non-fired rad-shack employees that says they're fired? Maybe you don't like the rad-shack guy you work with (and you've already been fired), so you send out a fake email to him with headers that look like it comes from rad-shack and the same body as yours. How's your (former) co-worker going to know he wasn't actually fired?

    Email isn't reliable either. There's no guarantee that people read their email on a regular basis, and even if they did spam filters can filter out an email like this.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @01:57AM (#16013639) Homepage Journal
    ...a guy from an African nation in the very next message promised to give me a new job if I help him with an international transaction.
  • by CFD339 (795926) <andrewp@@@thenorth...com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @02:13AM (#16013688) Homepage Journal
    My experience with them is from 18 years ago, but the organizational style rings true.

    I found this organization to be utterly classless, morally bankrupt, and totally incompetent. The sole exception to this was that INDIVIDUAL store managers and a couple of reginal guys were fantastic sales people and had solid retail skills. The entire corporate profile is designed to mass produce cheap crap and sell it at a huge margin, sucking every ounce of effort and creativity from the few good sales kids and retail level managers who give huge efforts to eek out a poor living.

    The times I was in Ft. Worth for one reason or another the level of waste and incompetance was stunning to behold.

    -- Please forgive the poor spelling and typos. I'm typing on a small keyboard and have limited editing here.
  • Not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JewGold (924683) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @02:23AM (#16013719)
    As a former long-time employee at RS, let me just say this news comes as absolutely no surprise.

    Their entire management structure is irrepairably flawed. Most of their top guys were promoted from store-level positions with absolutely no formal training on how to run a fortune 500 corporation. These 'executives' know only how to lead through threats, intimidation, and constant turnover.

    In the 1980s and early 90s, they went from being one of the largest and most respected computer manufacturers (Tandy) to almost zero computer sales. In 1990, there was a RadioShack store in every neighborhood, yet they completely missed the boat on the Internet boom. In about 2000 they happened to be in the right place at the right time and lucked into the cell phone boom, hence their good stock performance during this time. They soon (within months) screwed that up and their stock fell to a third of its former value almost overnight.

    Now they've been doing nothing new, with the exception of several scandals involving their former CEO, Dave Edmonson. I'd imaging their long term strategory at this point is simply circling the drain long enough for some conglomerate to buy their name at a firesale price for use in some branding strategy
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      In the 1980s and early 90s, they went from being one of the largest and most respected computer manufacturers (Tandy)

      One of the largest? Sure. One of the most respected? No way. Why did we call it a Trash-80?

      RS was known for selling substandard computers and parts all along... we knew, but accepted it because they were so cheap. Kind of like a Yugo.
  • by archeopterix (594938) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @05:12AM (#16014176) Journal
    > On xx/xx/xxxx xx:xx The Employee <slave@thecompany> wrote:
    >> On xx/xx/xxxx xx:xx The Management <lickmyboots@thecompany> wrote:
    >> Knock, knock!
    >>
    > Who's there?

    Not you anymore! Hahahahahaaaaa!
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @05:39AM (#16014247) Homepage Journal
    I have read all the 5-rated comments and seems to me that the consensus is American job culture sucks, Radio Shack sucks.

    Due to my trollish habits, I am always inclined to say something in contrary.

    At the last company I worked for, there were 3 waves of firing people. In all of them a top level manager talked to them, thanked them and explained to them why they are fired. That it has nothing to do with them, that it is related to the products performance which is very little to do with them. Of course, people were not happy anyway, and they rightfully should not be: well, they were fired, but there was an effort from the company to alleviate the pain.

    The company I am talking about is not the best, and it has a bad reputation in the IT industry for their cold and mindless approach to people, so I assume the situation with graceful firing is better in other IT companies.

    I have to admit though that people who were fired were seasoned professional programmers, many with PhD in physical, chemical and biological sciences.

    Another important comment is that the waves were about 50-100 people. When the amount of people to be laid off is larger it becomes a logistic problem to fire them at once, in one take to minimize the effect on job. It might explain the "e-mail" twist of it, but in no way it explains the "no-thanks" angle. So yes, Radio Shack sucks.
  • Oh the humiliation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by popsicle67 (929681) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @06:57AM (#16014442)
    I once worked for a company that was as chickenshit as this. One of the partners was diagnosed with cancer so he sold his holdings and went to Ireland to live whatever he had left. An ex-wife of his son had a job in the company and they wanted to get rid of her quietly so they sent a process server to the bungelow she was staying in on Maui with her final check and severance. She hired a lawyer in hawaii and filed suit there after renting a house that her lawyer found her for residency reasons. She sought 3 million in damages and the company had to deal with the whole thing,including depositions by all of the parties involved in the buyout, in hawaii which damn near broke the bastards. She never figured to win, she just wanted to see them jump through hoops. They eventually settled out of court with the usual NDA but I know it had to be a good chunk because she sent all the people she knew in the company a 250 dollar gift certificate for Walmart that christmas saying she knew the company wouldn't be able to afford the usual christmas turkeys that year.
  • This is heartless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @07:04AM (#16014469)
    You know, I usually am the one who says we don't need new laws, but in this case, I think it's justified. Noone should be fired or laid off in any other way other then in person. Not on the phone, not by a voice mail, not via text message and certainly not via e-mail. Any other way should be considered invalid. There should also be other rules also....rules that say you have to be human about the whole thing. None of this shutting down card keys and removing desks or anything else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2006 @08:16AM (#16014753)
    Many years ago I was working as a system admin for one of the largest computer companies in the world. We were going thru some major downsizing. Our standard procedure was at the end of the day, we were shown a list of employees who were being let go, our computer operators would disable their accounts that evening. The employee would show up next morning and the person's manager/supervisor would then inform them of the bad news and would walk them to their desk and let them clean it out and escort them out the door.

    Of course, the person's manager/supervisor would be too cowardly to show up on time on the day the employee was being let go. The employee would show up at say, 8:00 a.m on the boss would show up at 9:15-9:30 (deliberately late). When the employee couldn't log into their account, they would phone the system admin (me) and ask me to reset their password. I told them I couldn't do that (because their name had been on the termination list the previous day) and they were annoyed at me for refusing to do so. I asked them to talk to their manager (who wasn't there). After a while people had heard about this. The next time they couldn't log in, they would phone me and when I told them I couldn't enable their account, they would say "am I getting let go", and I would hear the "I just bought a house", "my wife is pregnant", etc. They shouldn't have to hear that they were being let go from me. It just shows you how cowardly the local manager of that person was.

    Once we had people with the same first initial and last name (such as Carol Brown with login name of cbrown and Christine Brown with login name of crbrown). Lets say that Christine (crbrown) was being let go. The computer operators disabled cbrown (Carol's account) instead. Carol Brown thought that she was being let go when she couldn't log in.
    Someone later told her "sorry for the incovenience".

    My boss works two hours from my site. I had been with the company for 30 years. When it was time to let me know that I was history, my boss wanted to drive to where I work and tell me in person. My boss's boss didn't want to pay mileage so I got the info via phone.
    What a company.

    Companies are soulless and heartless. I am surprised more people don't go postal these days. Also, when people are let go, the workload doesn't go with them, its dumped on the poor suckers who remain behind.
  • by FictionPimp (712802) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:07AM (#16015049) Homepage
    I once worked for a small ISP that was bought by a big ISP. The big ISP layed us all off only to bring us back a few weeks later because they didn't know how the stuff worked. Then they moved us to their home office. I worked there for a few years. I got a girlfriend and we were going to get an appartment. I noticed the signs that they would be doing a layoff soon. So I approached my boss and told him I was going to sign a lease on a new appartment (with increased costs) tomarrow and I wanted to make sure my job was secure. He said it was secure and the layoff rumors were just rumers. Then he reminded me of our saturday morning meeting to cover policy changes. So I went home, signed my new lease, work up saturday morning and went to work for the meeting. When I got to the meeting we were told we were all being layed off and asked to sign a Non disclusure agreement to get our last paycheck. I walked up to my boss, put my fist though the wall directly next to his head and left. My paycheck came on time.
  • by moyix (412254) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:05AM (#16015480) Homepage
    I always wanted to break up with a girl via electronic greeting card:

    "moyix has sent you an e-card! Click here to read it!"
    *click*
    "Yeah, I'm breaking up with you. Enjoy this cute picture of a kitten, though."
  • by neo (4625) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @10:08AM (#16015507)
    A job is basically an exchange of skill and effort for currency. In some cases the measurement of skill and effort is based on hours worked, and those employed in this way are called hourly workers or contractors. In other cases skill and effort is not measured, these permanent employees are given a guaranteed salary. Contrary to what the term permanent implies, in both cases the majority of jobs are actually at will, which means that either the employee or the employer may terminate the relationship at any time, for almost any reason.

    It should be noted that it is the employer that invokes at will termination in the vast majority of cases.

    If you don't know the person who signs your paycheck, they don't know you. You're just a number on a spreadsheet. Quit now before they realize you're number is too big.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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