I was fired from my first job deservedly. I came in late, burned the coffee and shot our trickle of customers the evil eye when all they sought was our mummified Black Forest cake. The method of termination was memorable: Tying on my apron for another mind-numbing shift, I found my name crossed out on a schedule posted publicly in the kitchen, with "FIRED" spelled out in red ink.
Today, that technique seems old-timey-cozy, as mild furor rises over reports that a Florida restaurant owner canned all of his employees via text message.
It wasn't quite "thx 4 all ur help, but ur fired," as one media outlet quipped, but it wasn't much more thoughtful either.
"I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci's effective immediately," texted Gregory Kennedy, owner of Barducci's Italian Bistro in Orlando.
When he shuttered his restaurant earlier this month for reasons that remain unclear – Yelp reveals mixed reviews including complaints about the undercooked "garlic knots" – Kennedy didn't bother to meet his dozen-plus staff members in person or give them any notice. He texted them a copied and pasted message on their day off, the Fourth of July.
"I think it's immoral. I think it's cowardice," one of the restaurant's cooks, Jodi Jackson, told local station WFTV, maintaining that she hadn't received a final paycheque.
Ever the clueless businessman, Kennedy didn't return WFTV's calls. But he did text: "Unfortunately businesses are forced to close across Orlando every day especially in the restaurant sector," Kennedy said using his thumbs. "I am working to resolve issues including final paychecks as quickly as possible."
Gawker readers slammed the boss and shared war stories ("I once got laid off via e-mail [by] a guy who sat in a cubicle about 50 feet from me"). But some also saw no offence in termination-via-text: "Ridiculous. Do you expect him to hold an all-hands meeting with a catered breakfast?" wrote one.
Is firing via text efficient, or punishable by viral Web-death? What's your worst ouster to date?