Colder Than Winter: Getting Fired Via Facebook
The newest way to avoid a face-to-face sack
The arms-length treatment used to be a phone call, or even email, and even that was considered tacky by experts. But things have only become worse, like the Florida restaurant owner who fired everyone via text messages. And now there's a new variation: firing someone via Facebook.
No, not getting fired for something you put on Facebook. Getting fired through Facebook. The most recent example is from Wellington, New Zealand, where women were fired on a fast food store's private Facebook page, according to The Dominion Post.
Cases in point
One 20-year-old, Taryne Cullen, had worked for a Pita Pit franchise location for a year and then was out for knee surgery. When she returned, the shop was under new management and her name was absent from the work roster. When she asked the owners, she was allegedly told on the Facebook page "you don't have a job anymore."
"I felt brushed aside, like I was no-one," Cullen told the Post.
Another worker, 19-year-old Brooke Adams, reportedly said that after working for the company for more than a year-and-a-half, she received one day's notice after also finding herself missing from the work roster. A third, who remained anonymous, went through the same routine after three years on the job. When she contacted the owners, they told her to bring in her uniform.
And the warm response when contacted by the news organization? Owner Wayne Cui allegedly said he was new to running the store, could have done better, and that the "door is always open" if the three "want to talk to us."
Sadly, this wasn't a first. The phenomenon is officially years old. In 2010, 16-year-old Chelsea Taylor was allegedly fired from a U.K. cookie shop for losing a ten-pound note (roughly $16.50). The note -- riddled with grammatical and spelling errors -- was on her page and visible to any of her Facebook friends.
A couple of years ago, talk radio host Angel Clark claimed that she received notice from a radio station in the form of a Facebook message. At least it wasn't public.
Classic boss rant
Though there are times most people might understand a public Facebook firing, like the woman known as "Lindsay" who ranted about her boss and apparently forgot that she added him as a friend on the social network, as the London Evening Standard reported. The boss -- "Brian" -- reminded her that menial tasks were part of her job, there were two weeks left in her trial period, and she was fired.
So, what's next? An official Hallmark humorous "You're fired!" card? Or e-card. After all, what boss would want the expense of an actual stamp and the inconvenience of having to stop at the local mailbox?
Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman