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Topic: Fired Via Email

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Fired Via Email

    No More Pink-slips: Radio Shack uses e-mail to fire 400 employees as part of planned job cuts.
    RadioShack Corp. notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts.

    Employees at the Fort Worth headquarters got messages Tuesday morning saying: "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated."
    But don't think Radio Shack is as heartless as it seems:
    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.

  2. #2

    Re: Fired Via Email

    That was damned nice of Radio Shaft to spam their employees like that.

    They should have hired the services of Donald Trump to deliver the "you're fired" message.

    Doesn't that impersonal, uncaring way of treating employees irk you? It does me.

    Larry G. Alexander

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Re: Fired Via Email

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander
    That was damned nice of Radio Shaft to spam their employees like that.

    They should have hired the services of Donald Trump to deliver the "you're fired" message.

    Doesn't that impersonal, uncaring way of treating employees irk you? It does me.


    My father holds the opinion that accounting principles do not provide an accurate reflection of employees' worth. Instead of treating employees as only expenses, he thought that companies should classify them as assets. Considering that the company spends a fair amount to train and retain the employees, and that the company cannot create any value without the employees, "asset" would be a more accurate characterization. Similarly, a mass layoff would then show up in the annual statement as a huge loss of value and assets - which again, is closer to the real situation.

    It is hard to be "personal" to several thousand employees (probably by definition), but one can at least be human.

    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

  4. #4

    Re: Fired Via Email

    I am just old enough, and lucky enough, to have worked for companies that truly valued their employees. I should point out that my Dad worked for the local power company his entire career, so my view of companies is probably a little skewed. His boss was like an uncle to my brothers and I, and he still stays in touch with guys that were part of his "cadet" training!

    My first job - I was greeted by a large sign in the main lobby welcoming me. When I finished filling out my paperwork (took about 15 minutes!!!) I went back to my desk, which had all the necessary tools of the trade, and a name plate, and a box of business cards. The entire department (all seven of them, including the department sectretary) stopped what they were doing and we had a little introduction thingy - even though I had met all of them during the interview process.

    My second job - a different local power company (Dad and I had discussed me working at his company, but he'd have been my boss, and neither of us thought that was a brilliant idea<G>!), nearly the same drill. Except that this time there was a cadet program of sorts, as it was a much larger company. Oh yeah, and they had the personalized note pads!!!

    After that things went downhill. I can forgive a company waiting to see if you really show up to make up business cards, but I've started at places that didn't even have a desk for me yet.

    When I was a hiring manager I made certain that the new employees had a desk, a telephone and a telephone number or extension, and more recently, a computer, network address, etc. Whatever they needed to be productive!

    I think that the way a company treats a new employee on their first day speaks volumes about the company!

    So, imagine my surprise about ten years ago when I joined one of the Big-5 consulting firms. There was no sign out front, but then there were nine of us starting that day, it would have needed to be a very big sign! But, offices were ready, laptops were loaded with all the software, business cards were printed, heck, even our pagers were waiting for us. (I could have lived without the pager!!!) The biggest difference was the time it took to fill out all the paper work - nearly two hours. I never had a doubt that they knew the staff was the reason that the partners took home those huge bonuses!!! We really were treated very well.

    On the other end of the continuim... I started working in 1982, which was not a particularly good year for US industry. In 1983 the company I was working for had to do their first ever layoff. It was ugly. The officers were genuinely upset. When the rumors started flying around they called all of the salaried employees into a conference room and admitted that they were going to have layoffs. Then they offered to short circuit the process, since the cat was already out of the bag. IF everyone wanted to know who was being let go (it had to be unanimous) they would make the announcement right then and there, and the unlucky employees would get a few extra days off with pay. Everyone agreed, and they let a handful of folks go. It wasn't fun, but I thought they did the best they could given the circumstances.

    Since then I've watched several layoffs, and even been axed twice myself. The closest to humane I witnessed was my first layoff. I was called into the bosses office after lunch, he took me to a conference room where his boss and the HR boss were already seated. I knew! They were quick and to the point, and then I was escorted to my office to get my stuff, and then my boss walked me out (he could have had security escort me out!) There was no clue leading up to it, and it really was pretty painless.

    The rest of the reductions were bungled beyond belief, at big companies and small. In a lot of cases you could tell that the bean counters at the top did not know, or care about the people who were being let go. If they did (and I doubt it very much) they hid it well.

    In some cases (like my first), there is a great deal of concern about retribution. This is especially true in IT departments, where it would be pretty easy. Thus we have the escort to the desk and to the street process.

    Probably the worst tale I've heard (and I'm pretty sure it is true) was at a large computer manufacturer. They had a huge layoff at headquarters, and the IT manager was tasked with removing everyone's credentials from the systems because the brass did not want to let the work force know what was coming. Finally, about 6pm on the day of the bloodletting, this poor manager walks into his bosses office and states that it was the worst day of his career. His boss says that he knows, and he hates to keep him one minute longer, but there is one more person to remove from the systems... yup, the poor IT manager.

    It has been said more than once that employees don't seem to have the same loyalty to their employers that the previous generations displayed. I think that is very true... but I do not think that it is the cause, rather, I think it is the result of companies that have little or no loyalty to their employees!

    I had one boss (for a very brief time) who told me during my annual review that I was only going to get a small raise that year. When I asked why he explained that he needed to keep me underpaid. If he paid me what I was worth then he would not be making a profit on me. I thought he was kidding, but no, that's what he was taught at his MBA school!


    This is why I work for myself now. I may not be the best boss in the world, but I know my boss likes me!

    Whew... it's late...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Fired Via Email

    Were these Radio Shack employees "Fired" or "Laid Off"? Big difference. At least in most areas one can collect unemployment if laid off but getting fired is a whole different ball of wax. (The link is broken)
    Besides, I know no-one who plans on making a career working for or at Radio Shack sales.

  6. #6

    Re: Fired Via Email

    Emails can be forged. Imagine if your friends wanted to play a trick on you.
    Professional companies should not use emails for such documentation.

  7. #7

    Lightbulb Re: Fired Via Email

    Quote Originally Posted by korgsp200
    For the company, it is just a simple decision to fire, but for the employee it is his / her future on fire.
    Well, that was really his point - that it is too easy to lay off employees. Companies lay off a large number of employees because it reduces their expenses (payroll, HR, 401k, insurance, facilities, OSHA, etc.). Thus, a company can short-sightedly reduce its expenses, thereby transiently raising its profits, by doing a mass layoff. In the long term, however, the remaining employees are slammed with extra work, and demoralized from the layoff itself. The aftermath is that the company's productivity declines, and may never recover. So, they do another layoff the following year, and so on. About the only time layoffs are truly justified is when a company discontinues an entire division, and can't sell the product. E.g., when you decide to stop making buggy whips, you may lay off the entire buggy whip division (assuming you can't reasonably use them somewhere else).

    Firing isn't a simple decision either: too many legal implications, with a fair probability of a retaliatory lawsuit.

    I've been laid off before, but not fired. It is profoundly unsettling, but life comes with no guarantees.

    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Fired Via Email

    Hey Jim, whatcha doing?

    - Working on the Jones Contract.


    - What do you mean , ‘why’? I’ve been busting my butt on this for weeks and still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel…

    No, I mean ‘why are you doing it since you were laid off last week?’

    - Laid off?

    Don’t you read your e-mail?

    - When I have a minute or two I look at anything dealing with the Jones Contract but I don’t have time for anything else. What’s e-mail have to do with being laid off?


    There was a New Hampshire based technology company (which shall remain nameless) that used to fire its employees by the boss getting everyone in the cafeteria’s attention during lunch, reading a list of names and then saying those people had to pack up and leave. Very nice way of treating your employees…..
    Trent P. McDonald

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