Last Week’s Text Message Bombshell
In the news this week was a story of a 21-year-old sales assistant, Katy Tanner, who was fired via a text message. (Unbelievable, I know.) If that wasn’t bad enough, the company has defended its decision to fire Tanner by a text message claiming it was keeping in touch with youth culture. Call me a traditionalist (considering I am part of generation Y as well), but firing via a text message simply seems wrong, selfish and thoughtless.
According to the South Wales Echo newspaper, the text message said, “We will not require your services anymore…Thank you for your time with us.” If I were Tanner, I would have looked at that text message and said, “Are you kidding me?” And then I would have said, “What does the ellipsis mean?” The ellipsis sparks so many more questions, than if she were fired decently. (I know “fired decently” seems ironic considering termination is never a pleasant circumstance—that is, unless you are Donald Trump who gets some kind of high out of it.
But terminating someone decently means bringing an employee in, sitting down with him or her and explaining why his or her services are no longer required. (Is that too much to ask for today?) This also ensures that all loose ends are tied up, like where to mail the employee’s last paycheck, if he or she will be paid for unused vacation time, etc.
Also, I thought text messages were strictly used for informal notes, not formal “You’re fired!” conversations. For this very reason, I have not yet succumbed to using text messaging.