Trucker Fired By Text Message

Randy was a trucker until he got a couple texts notifying him otherwise, South Carolina’s WTLX reports.

Randy tells WTLX he found the insensitive fate befell a colleague before the digital guillotine severed his neck:

He jokingly and with serious note to it said if that load was going to Alabama, that he was going to take the load and kick my (expletive) just so he could get home for Christmas,” said (Randy).

Only after getting two text messages a short while later did (Randy) realize he was out of a job.

This sort of thing makes the firing-by-webcam motif of the movie Up in the Air seem downright warm.

What’s the rudest way you were ever fired?

Columbia Trucker Laid Off Through Text Message [WLTX, via AOL]
(Thanks, NORMLgirl!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. wrjohnston91283 says:

    Phil left out a very important note here – the whole company has shut down. All 900 of the truckers are out of work.

    • Aesteval says:

      Well, if you want to take that route: the truly messed up part of the story is that the company nearly abandoned their employees whereever they happened to be at the time. A decent employer would find a way to properly ramp down and not dump all of their employees in random parts of the country. I find it very hard to believe that there was an immediate need to shut down as opposed to this being something that was known about behind closed doors for a longer period of time. This sounds very poorly managed.

      • Psychicsword says:

        “This sounds very poorly managed.”
        Couldn’t that be why they had shut down in the first place?

      • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

        Most likely scenario is that they were trying to obtain financing to keep the company running. If they had “ramped down” when they were struggling they would have had less revenue coming in, they’d lose customers that they couldn’t service, their fixed expenses would not go down and thus would put them in an even worse position, and they would not have been able to obtain financing. The only way they’d have been able to give these guys a hope to still have their jobs in 2010 would be to keep operating as normal.

        Turns out it still didn’t work out for them; it’s unfortunate that 900+ people are losing their jobs.

    • Fujikopez says:

      Yes. My sister in law is a trucker and has many trucker friends, and according to her, they were left with unpaid wages and gas bills, told to drive their rig to the nearest dealer to turn it in, and they would be given bus tickets home. Leaving a rig without enough gas (as in, the truckers had no gas cards or their own money to pay for it) could kill them in the middle of winter! And all this went down right before Christmas, to boot.

      • PølάrβǽЯ says:

        You don’t put gas in a semi. It will ruin the engine. Also, there is no gas pedal, as there is not supposed to be gas going into the engine.

  2. Dilbitz says:

    I was fired within 20 minutes of my shift. Boss called me and said don’t bother coming in to work today. I was dressed and almost out the door. Could’ve called me earlier, I would’ve saved time getting ready.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i got lucky once by having my roommate be a coworker. at the time i walked 5 miles to work each day and was scheduled to come in early afternoon. my roommate found out my boss was going to fire me when i came in and she threatened to quit if he didn’t call me at home and tell me so i didn’t have to walk 5 miles to find out i was fired and then walk home.

      • katstermonster says:

        Oh. My. God. Thank goodness for your roommate.

      • P=mv says:

        I once had a boss fire me, and not tell me. I had just handed him my two weeks notice. He just didn’t put me on the schedule for the next week and never told anyone what happened. It took the managers about 15 minutes to figure out what happened. All these stories are highly crappy. But, I think this trucker got it much worse than I ever have.

        • pot_roast says:

          Getting let go right after turning in your two weeks notice is actually viewed as standard practice, depending on what industry you’re in. companies don’t want “short timer syndrome” as you sit around on the clock for the next two weeks.

        • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

          That happened to me once as well. I put in notice because I was moving out of state, I still needed to work, and the manager just took me off the schedule and caused me a world of financial pain. Years later when I moved back into the area, I looked for employment with them again (at a different location) only to be asked in an interview if I hadn’t just quit and walked out and had to explain that I had put in notice and been taken off the schedule.

          As far as I know it has never been standard practice to short staff your business and screw the other employees by taking an employee off the schedule before you have a replacement. That’s what a manager would do if they were a moron.

        • meltingcube says:

          I’ve had the same happen to me when I worked at a grocery store. I had put in my 2 weeks and then showed up to see what the schedule was for the next week and noticed they had taken me off completely. Luckily at that time it didn’t bother me much and I was glad to go.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I swear someone told me if you show up for a shift and clock in, and they fire you, they have to pay you for the shift. That’s why I ALWAYS snuck in the exit door at work and hand punched in my employee number so they couldn’t pull my swipe card from the slot and I could enter it in about 2 seconds.

      • RandomHookup says:

        The answer to this is pretty complex, I would guess. I doubt there are too many laws requiring you to be paid for work you don’t do, but some states require you be paid immediately if the employer separates you. Since it takes a little while to get together a check, the result is often “go home and we’ll pay you for today with a check delivered tomorrow”. The decision on what to pay can also be determined by employee handbook, standard company practice and union contract.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          I always thought it was that you entered an agreement to work, and they had to give you notice. I was also in a grocery store, and was Union. Maybe it was a Union thing?

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            depends on if it’s a right to work state or not

            • thompson says:

              No no no no.

              “Right to work” does not mean that, it doesn’t mean anything close to that. States with “right to work” laws allow employees to opt-out of joining a union representing the other employees at that company (cf. non-right to work states where compulsory membership is allowed)

              • diasdiem says:

                It also means that an employer or an employee can end the employee’s employment at any time, with or without giving a reason. An employee doesn’t have to give notice, and an employer doesn’t have to give a reason, but if they do, it has to be a legal reason.

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                a right to work state is often associated with employment of the ‘at-will’ variety.
                you can quit, they can fire you. no one HAS to give notice because there’s no employment contract.
                first time i experienced an employment contract in florida was working for disney and it still stated that this was pretty much an at-will employment situation but that if you quit you couldn’t get hired back for at least 6 months and they claimed intellectual property on any idea they could prove you have while under their employ, whether it was on the clock or not.

    • cmdr.sass says:

      on the bright side, you were already dressed for your first interview!

    • dragonfire81 says:

      I once got all dressed, to work and nearly clocked in before the boss pulled me aside to fire me.

      Seriously? I honestly would have preferred a phone call telling me NOT to come in rather than make me go through all the effort to put on my uniform and show up only to wind up getting canned. This particular business had a reputation for treating its employees poorly.

      • RandomZero says:

        One call center I worked at had an even worse policy: They’d just deactivate your security card. When you called the ops center to get them to let you in, they’d show up with a couple managers and just go “Yeah, we need that back now. Go away.”

    • coren says:

      I actually got let go from a (very shitty) job about ten years ago (god I’m getting old) after I had clocked in, but before I had done much on shift. Maybe ten minutes in. I also had no car, and again, ten years ago so no cell phones, so I had to wait for my ride to get home, get the message to come back to get me, then wait…probably 45 minutes sitting around in store uniform waiting on my ride. I only realized after the fact that had I not clocked out I would have gotten a pretty big windfall.

      • MrEvil says:

        Similar thing happened to me. I worked at one of Consumerist’s favorite retailers (I mean favorite sarcastically) about five years ago. Came in at 7AM Sunday morning for a BS meeting and was canned at the end of it. The SOB could have called me and told me not to bother coming in that morning. Maybe I would’ve handled things better than I did (wound up in the hospital having a mental break). To this day I pretty much have to keep tabs on where the manager that fired me works so I can avoid any potential legal entanglements, in fact that SOB got me in trouble at my new job after working there.

  3. ktetch says:

    I had a friend who was fired by SMS about 2 years ago, worked for an insurance company I think. This was in the UK though.

    • ktetch says:

      I actually just sent someone an email telling him he was terminated last night, and sent an SMS straight after to check email.

      Does that count?
      The person would have found out last night if he’d bothered to turn up to the regular meeting, but then if he’d turned up he probably wouldn’t have been released (as head of the US Pirate Party)

    • MsAnthropy says:

      Wasn’t Claims Direct, was it? Not that they were an insurance company (more of a “Had an accident? Feel like suing? Give us a call!” personal injury one that advertised on the TV a lot), but it was very well-publicised when they fired their entire workforce via SMS a few years back.

  4. Philthadelphian says:

    He broke up with me through a text message!
    Yeah, it’s like firing someone over the internet.

  5. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Did Phil just give away a plot point for the movie Up in the Air? Boo.

  6. lehrdude says:

    Step into my office


    ‘Cause you’re fucking fired!

  7. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Someone gets fired by webcam in Up in the Air? You better not have spoiled the movie for me Phil.

    • chiieddy says:

      That’s like the whole plot of the movie. It’s not a major spoiler, it’s what the movie is about.

    • Chuck Norris' wig says:

      He saved you 2 hours of your life you will never get back.

      I think thanks are in order.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      Yeah, it’s not a major spoiler. It’s a plot element that gets introduced very early on, and is probably listed in most early reviews, but don’t worry, it won’t ruin anything…

    • pjfranke says:

      It shouldn’t spoil the movie for you. Job of Clooney is to fire people, which he does in person. At an early point in the movie, the concept of “firing via webcam” is introduced. Hilarity ensues. Knowing that isn’t exactly a “Snape kills Dumbledore!” sort of fact.

      Plenty more plot to go around. Good movie, I just saw it and recommend it.

  8. burnedout says:

    Is anyone else completely freaked out to see truckers texting while driving? I’m a little terrified of semis anyway, and when I see the drivers on their phones or texting I want to run them off the road.

    I haven’t been fired in a rude way, but I did have a job where management hired me only to tell me that it was my job to notify my predecessor that she was fired (she was a friend which made it double-suck). It was sort of her fault, though – she was a teacher and it was summer break, but she hadn’t been checking her email and didn’t let her job know of her new phone number, so she didn’t get the 10 messages they left her requesting a meeting. Still…AWKWARD.

    • burnedout says:

      I also had a colleague get fired at the door of her classroom on the first day of class – department chair met her there with the sub. Different school, though.

    • Garybaldy says:

      I am more concerned about AMATEUR drivers texting than i am PROFESSIONAL drivers.

      • SybilDisobedience says:

        Please. As someone who works directly with truckers day in and day out*, many of them are no more “professional” than anyone else on the road. Yeah, they qualified for a specialized license, but that doesn’t mean they’re all good drivers. And a “professional” isn’t any less likely to crash while texting than the average joe. Texting while driving is dangerous for anyone.

        *I’m a shipping clerk and logistics planner, so no lot lizard jokes! :)

        • admiral_stabbin says:

          I agree that the word “Skilled” might be a more appropriate sub. when referring to OTR drivers.

          Now, don’t you go makin’ fun of the Ice Road Truckers though, eh? Them boys be darn pro-fess-ional.

      • admiral_stabbin says:

        Once you start texting while driving, there is no difference between an amateur and a professional driver. Texting while driving should be as illegal as reading a book while driving. Or writing a letter. It’s a significant distraction to both of the eyes.

        As for talking on the phone while driving, I definitely agree that amateur vs. professional comes into play. Some of us are completely capable of putting situational awareness first while carrying on a conversation and driving.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Humans CAN NOT multi task. Anyone who thinks they can are deluding themselves.

          I do note that I/others can drive “by instinct/subconsciously”. I have been deep in thought and gone like 5 miles without actually doing anything active, i.e. changing lanes, and don’t even remember driving. Or I was abducted by aliens.

          • admiral_stabbin says:

            I guess I’m not human, or I’m delusional.

            Either way, my primary focus when in a car is driving. I must have a superhuman capability of being able to field phone calls while still being able to drive safely. Perhaps my conversations are just simple enough that I never need to 100% focus on them.

            I’m also able to operate the climate control and audio system while driving. It’s really starting to sound like I’m just an alien wearing a skin suit. If that’s the case, I’m moving back to my home planet where it doesn’t snow or get so cold. ;-)

          • DeeJayQueue says:

            Tell that to a drummer and watch yourself get your ass kicked by all four limbs at once, in different ways.

            Seriously, drumming especially, but all types of music require you to be able to focus on one thing but let other things go in the background. For instance, playing drumset often requires you to develop a good sense of rhythm on the hi-hat so that you can forget about it while you play polyrhythm and counterpoint on the snare, toms and cymbals. You have to learn the fingerings on a saxophone so that you can play them without thinking and concentrate on the notes and rhythms of the tune. You have to learn how to read music without thinking so that you can play the notes at all (again without thinking about the fingerings).

            So don’t tell me that humans can’t multitask. It’s just that some of us are better at it than others.

            Now I will give you that we can’t perform 2 separate tasks at once that both require our full attention. I couldn’t build a deck and bake a cake simultaneously. But I don’t believe talking on the phone requires your full attention. Texting OTOH, takes your eyes from the road and hands from the wheel, so that’s sucky.

        • SunnyLea says:

          Once you start texting while driving, you *are* an amateur driver. No true “professional” would do it.

      • dolemite says:

        Although anyone texting is dangerous, if a Semi crossed lanes, he could easily take out 40-50 people.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I agree. Nothing is more dangerous then texting. Not even a car attempting to push a multi-ton vehicle off the road. Oh wait….

      • burnedout says:

        I agree that makes no sense, and of course I’d never do it. But I get so mad, I really, really want to! When I see a guy driving a truck covered in “hazardous materials” stickers using both hands to text on the freeway, I just want to “learn him a lesson” before he kills someone. Illinois has made all use of a cell phone while driving illegal, so hopefully the cops will do the learnin’ for me :)

    • Cyberxion says:

      I almost got hit yesterday on the way to work by a truck driver on his cell phone. The guy just started to drift into my lane, all the while talking on his cell phone. Luckily he happened to glance over and saw that the lane was occupied, but man….that shit pissed me off.

  9. dreamfish says:

    Slight call-sign typo in the article – it should be WLTX, not WTLX (which is in Madison, WI).

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    My boss laid me off face to face but quite literally told me to get out of the building immediately – in the middle of the day – and gave me a teensy tiny box to contain my belongings. In the hurry, I left my demotivator posters, calendar, and numerous other personal belongings and felt awkward about going back to get them.

    • rpm773 says:

      I’m not HR person, but I’ve heard it going down like that fairly often. Nothing personal, but management really doesn’t want to have the terminated hanging around the rest of the day.

      And if you were the type to, uh, act violently to the bad news, the company would be responsible for any unpleasant results.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        I understand that for sure – and had it been a large corporate entity cubicle farm I would’ve understood. But it was a small company, about 20 people in the building. I would’ve liked some respect :( As it was I felt like shit.

    • cynical_reincarnation says:

      Its odd they let you collect them.

      Usually when I see someone let go they are led away under guise of a “meeting”, and someone boxes their stuff up for them and meets them at the door with it.

    • The Cheat says:

      You were lucky to get a box. Here (a large newspaper) people get a tap on the shoulder and walked to HR, then escorted out of the building by security. Their stuff is then boxed up by their coworkers and given to them after hours.

      It has happened hundreds of times here over the past six months.

      • cortana says:

        Yeah, I had a place I was working pull this one on me.

        “NO! You can’t go into your office and get your personal belongings. We’ll get them for you!”. I gave them about 10 minutes and called the Sheriff, and told them that I was concerned for the safety and privacy of my belongings. The Sheriff was nice enough to send out a deputy who basically chewed every inch of ass-fat off my boss, AND the HR director, in front of me, while I gathered my things up personally.

        Needless to say, there were a lot of very angry looks at me from upper management. Especially when the deputy went and got everyone else who was waiting outside and did the same for them. I felt vindicated. =)

      • whylime says:

        I think I’d prefer to just leave and have my stuff boxed up for me. It’s incredibly embarrassing to pack all your things while the entire office stops and watches you. It was especially bad at my office where the desks are set up bull-pen style and everyone is sitting like 3 feet from one another. It got really quiet and I just knew everyone was wondering what just happened. And the whispering, the whispering!

    • Smashville says:

      I was allowed to stay the rest of the day because I was the only one let go and didn’t want anyone to know.

    • whylime says:

      At least you got a box. When I was let go last year, management gave me a paper bag to carry all my stuff home. A paper bag that consequently ripped within a few feet of leaving the building. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have an hour and a half commute using public transportation.

      Luckily I was close friends with a lot of my coworkers, and they were able to grab anything I forgot in the office.

    • Rachacha says:

      Not uncommon. We had a layoff at a former employers several years ago. It was actually handled fairly well. The terminated were all called into their manager’s office at the same time, they were told they were let go, and their severance package was reviewed. At about the same time, there was an “ALL HANDS” Staff meeting to advise the remaining employees of what was happening, why it was being done (decrease in work), and what the status of the company was.

      The terminated employees were able to gather up their belongings and were escorted out of the building before the staff meeting ended. Every employee was aware of what happened, and you avoid the “whispering” and embarassment. One of the best ways to handle a bad situation.

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      There have been several rounds of layoffs at my employer and, in general, it seems they have been pretty decent about it. After people get their notice they are allowed to return to their desks and pack up their things at their own pace. I work for an architectural firm and the principals have also let people return to the office and work with the marketing staff to get images and drawings for their portfolios.

      That said, it’s plainly obvious that the management is burnt out from dealing with layoffs. We’ve had three big rounds and several smaller/individual ones. At first, everything was well organized and there was good communication with those of us remaining. Not so much anymore.

  11. ClarenceCochonTheEasterPig says:

    I survived 2 rounds of layoffs over a period of about 9 months. When the second round occurred, I went into my boss’s office and said, “Seriously, if I’m ever on the chopping block, will you just give me a heads-up? You know I would always have your back.” She assured me that she would, even said she was just a bit offended that I felt I had to ask. Went on vacation for a week, came back to work on Tuesday, June 30 (which, incidentally, was the last day of our agency’s fiscal year). Came in to work the next day and she – the boss who swore she would never let me walk into something unaware – immediately called me into her office along the H.R. Director and they told me my position was eliminated effective immediately. Nice!!

    • freelunch says:

      happens to us all.
      I survived 5 rounds of layoffs at my last job only to get terminated. I had over 10 months of client work on my schedule, and was currently managing a group of 5 individuals in a large conference room. Had a brief meeting with the boss who shared the news – I went and told my team and watched their jaws drop… and fielded phone calls the rest of the day from home as everyone else at work found out.
      First time to be layed off…. two months later I found a new job with better pay. I should be happy, but I’m still ticked.

  12. Yankees368 says:

    sweet way to ruin a part of a brand new movie that I have no seen yet…

  13. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    I got fired when I was 16 and in my first job. I had a family vacation I’d been going on the same week every summer for 16 years and had informed my boss of it way back in like April for a first-week-of-August vacation and made sure it was okay and I was on the vacation list. I checked a couple times after that just to be sure he remembered and that it was, in fact, written down. Mid-July the August schedules come out and I said, “Um, Bob, I can’t take any shifts the first week of August, I have that vacation.” (August was a busy time for us with back-to-school, I guess I should add.)

    He starts SCREAMING at me in front of the entire staff, shouting obscenities, accusing me of lying to him, and when I start crying (having never been screamed at that way by an adult before in my LIFE, plus he’s calling me a liar and all kinds of other horrible things, some of which are impugning my sexual purity, and doing it in front of 15 other people), he starts shrieking that I need to grow up and learn to deal with having a job and not lie to my boss and not fucking burst into tears etc. etc. etc. I was so cowed I didn’t even think to run out of the room (let alone stand up for myself). Finally he fired me and told me if I wasn’t coming that week, not to come back at all and if he had anything to say about it, I’d never work in one of those stores again. (Several local stores owned by one guy; I worked in the variety store.)

    The second week of August I get back from vacation and he calls to demand to know why I haven’t shown up for my shifts. I said, “You fired me.” He said, “Oh, that. I just took you off the first week shifts and moved everything else around. We need you in today, we’re short handed, and you already missed yesterday’s shift.” I said, “You FIRED me and called me names, I’m not COMING back.” And he starts screaming again until my mom takes away the phone and gives him the what-for.

    And then I couldn’t shop there for, like, ages until he got fired for breaking federal laws about breaks and overtime and stuff like that. Made pregnant women climb ladders living 60 lbs. or be fired. Once wouldn’t let me pee for an 8-hour shift. That was an awful job. Once two of my male co-workers locked me in the merchandise cage in the basement and left me there in the dark because they thought it was HYSTERICAL.

    • B says:

      Wow, sounds like a real fun guy to work for.

    • katstermonster says:

      Ho. Ly. Crap. Good job on standing up to him when he wanted you to come in again!

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        I only wish I’d actually stood up to him and told him what an inappropriate jerk he was being. And reported him to the owner.

        Oh well, high school jobs are learning experiences, and I definitely learned something!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      wow. i’d have to say getting fired from that job might have been an excellent career move

    • Skankingmike says:

      My first job was at a grocery store and we had a union.

      I was at the expresslane and the manager walked up to me and said that I needed Black pants, I said well my mom claims their black and maybe you’re color blind. Meanwhile I was knee deep in people during rush-hour Friday night wanting their ice-cream, condoms and cigarettes.

      He said: “well you need to wear black pants or you can’t work”,

      I said: “great then you take over I’m gonna go home see ya tomorrow.”

      I then left the cash register told the customers I was sorry but my boss thought it was more important that I wear black pants then help ring them up for their items, and walked to the break room.

      20 minutes later ( no license) My boss comes in and tries to scold me and I explain that not only did I do exactly what he asked me but if he has any further issues he would need to speak to my Union rep.

      This was honestly the first few days of my Job (after training)

      HAH I’ve been a pain in managements ass ever since for every company I’ve ever worked for.

      gotta love dick head power trip bosses.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Something similar like that happened to me. I was in college and working a summer job. I notified my boss of my upcoming schedule for when school started in August in JUNE when I had registered for classes. Needless to say when I couldn’t show up on a Friday because I had class, I wasn’t put back on the schedule.

    • utensil42 says:

      Similar story, though yours is much much worse. I was 15 and was working food service at the zoo over summer break. When I was hired I told my manager that I could work full-time until the end of August but after that could only work afternoons or weekends because of school. I made sure my manager and scheduling manager were aware of this periodically throughout the summer. Come the end of August I was still on the schedule for full-time. I talked to my manager and told him that I couldn’t work full-time since I was still in high school, etc. and he flipped out! He kept shouting about how I should have told him sooner, was being irresponsible, was why he hated hiring young women (yes, really) and then told me that this job was more important than my high school diploma would ever be and that I should just change my school schedule to accommodate my work hours (as though 15 year olds can do that). I quit right then and there and only went back to pick up my final check. A friend of our family was the HR director and later told me that my former manager was fired and arrested for assaulting his employees.

    • subtlefrog says:

      Wow. That is amazing. Amazing. It never ceases to amaze me that people are actually like this. But they are.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      When I was around 16, I was a babysitter and we didn’t take many vacations. We were going to take a short one-day trip to an amusement park, and I was really, really excited. My parents worked a lot, so it was a big deal for them to be able to take a day off during the week for this. The people I babysat for were family friends, but that didn’t prevent the mother from going batshit crazy on me when I called and said that I wasn’t going to be able to babysit on Thursday. She went crazy and started yelling at me about being unprofessional. My mom told me that I probably should have given her more notice (I think I called her on Tuesday), and that they could have taken a different day to go – but I don’t think she understood just how much I was looking forward to the trip, and I resented her for months after that conversation because she never quite grasped the whole being a kid thing. I wasn’t a mini adult, for god’s sake. I was 16, and they had finally taken a day off to actually spend time with me.

      But in her defense, my mom took the phone and told her that she didn’t have a right to be like that, and told her that I wouldn’t be babysitting for her family anymore. I never saw that family again, and I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t talk to them for a really long time.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      What a scumbag. People pull some awful crap on teenagers working for them. Any way I could find out the name of the corporate company so I can make sure never to do any business there?

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        (It wouldn’t let me reply yesterday …)

        The corporate parent was broken up some years ago, and the (very, very nice) older gentleman who owned the local franchises (but ran them pretty hands-off) died about a decade ago. So luckily (?) nobody has to do business with them. :)

        The manager himself? Had like six lawsuits pending when I graduated and went to college. So probably bad things happened to him.

    • Bog says:

      I think if you had been my daughter I would have gone down and did some ‘business’ with your ex-boss.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      That’s awful. Those co-workers sound like the sort of people who think kicking puppies is funny too.

  14. INTPLibrarian says:

    I was fired once and then asked if I could stick around for a couple of weeks so that I could train my replacement.

    • sprocket79 says:

      One of my co-workers was laid off and was told that she had to stay 3 months to train her replacement and write up training documents about her job. She was told that if she didn’t, then they wouldn’t give her a severance package – the same severance package that everyone else who was laid off immediately got. They basically held her hostage because she was one of the best employees there. To this day there are a lot of deficiencies in her department because no one has been able to do her job right.

    • chiieddy says:

      I’ve had that happen. They were outsourcing my job (which was email admin by the way, they outsourced the entire company email structure). They gave me comp payments and I just didn’t show up after they let me go. I had another job within a week and didn’t really care about the bridges burned. The company was completely out of business within a year.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      That doesn’t even make sense. If they feel you’re doing so poorly that they need to replace you then why have you train the replacement? So that you can tell them your way of doing things when the company apparently doesn’t like the way you’ve been doing things?

      • INTPLibrarian says:

        IIRC, I wasn’t explicitly told why I was being fired, but got the impression it was because I looked too young. I was in my 20s, but looked like I was in my teens. The owner of the business wanted someone who looked older to be doing my job. However, she had no clue HOW to do the work I was doing, so she needed me to train whomever was going to replace me.

        I ended up NOT training anyone; I just spent the rest of my week there writing a procedures manual.

        I would have liked to have just walked out at that point, but I didn’t want my other coworkers screwed over by not having anyone doing what my job was and no one knowing how to do it.

        • Shadowfax says:

          Which, of course, plays right into the jackass’s hands. Over the years I’ve learned NEVER to try and make life easy on a manager who’s life has become hard because of poor decisions he makes. You wanna cut half the staff? Fine. Don’t expect the same level of productivity from your company that you had before. If you want to fire the only person that knows how to do something, then you have to expect that your company will no longer be able to do that function until somebody goes out and learns it again. If that’s a problem, then you shouldn’t have fired that person, especially for something stupid like looks.

        • diasdiem says:

          See, in that situation you should be lacing the manual with deliberate yet feasibly accidental-looking mistakes.

          • Shadowfax says:

            No, you should refuse to write it (what are they gonna do, fire you?) and then, being the only person on the planet who knows how to do that task, hire yourself back out to the company at a sky-high consultant’s hourly rate (I’m thinking at least 600 an hour).

  15. parabola101 says:

    I got fired for accidentally discovering by boss was embezzling payroll funds… (she was “manager of the year”) she tried to cover her tracks by transferring me to a different undesirable location, then had the all of the locks changed at the new office so that I couldn’t get in… Nobody has ANY finesse these days?!

  16. Dondegroovily says:

    u r fired. cu l8r :(

  17. Blueskylaw says:

    This just goes to show why I have a data block on my phone. It forced my previous employer to call me instead, at which time I was able to ask some very pointed questions of him.

  18. roguemarvel says:

    It was christmas time at my first retail job. My co worker and i had just bought a nice gift for my boss and given it to her. She was very touched, because we were both seasonal and we didn’t have to, they she told us corporate was cutting store hours and while she liked us we were seasonal and she didn’t have hours to keep seasonal workers this year and it would be our last shift.

    I finished the shift off but I was rather devastated.

  19. katstermonster says:

    My brother wasn’t technically fired, but he would have been, had someone not given him the heads up. He’s 17 and he got hired by the electronics department at Sears this November as a seasonal worker. His boss was kind of an asshole and yelled at him all the time, etc. My brother messed up and missed a shift one day, and when he came in, his manager was giving him a hard time, and threatening that he wouldn’t be hired permanently once the holiday season was over. Granted, he kind of deserved that, but wait for the kicker. Another manager who was transferring to another store, effective that day, pulled my brother aside and let him in on a little secret: because he wasn’t 18, he wasn’t allowed to be hired permanently. He hadn’t been told this when he was hired – in fact, he was specifically told that the best seasonal workers were kept on permanently, regardless of age. Bullshit.

    He put in his two weeks’ notice that day.

  20. Mordac says:

    While not really rude… I was working at an independent gas station (E-Z Go) when was I in high school in Naperville. The place was sold and the new owners were pretty shady (and I’m being very polite here). I worked a late shift one summer night (closed up around 11:00 pm) and was scheduled to open again the next morning. When I drove up the building was gone, demolished and the rubble cleared away.

  21. sven.kirk says:

    I got you all beat…
    I found out that they were closing all the stores in the southeast…
    From the news….
    About an hour before my shift started.
    They still wanted us to come in though.

    • witeowl says:

      That’s about what I experienced. I worked graveyard and had taken a voluntary “early out” that night. The next day, my friend gushed, “I’m so sorry!” the instant she saw me. I had no idea what she was talking about, and she explained that it was all over the news that the casino I worked at had just locked all its doors that morning and posted signs that all employees (except the posted security guards) were laid off immediately.

      I was in shock, but at least I wasn’t one of the poor folk that arrived at work to find those signs.

  22. reishka says:

    E-mail. What’s worse, it was a forward of a forward, by no one I knew, basically saying “Person A and Person B need to be told they’re getting let go sometime in the next 3 months”. I immediately called my contracting manager and he said he didn’t know what was going on (yeah, right). I went into work, and everyone but Person B and I had gotten some kind of phone call (it turns out they were axing our entire department, but would keep us in the dark/continue to change our last day of operation, and make us train our replacements (since apparently our department was being outsourced).

  23. tchann says:

    I was fired once, after a full day of work in which they had me training my temp replacements. Of course, they never told me that much, but I figured I was getting canned at the end of the day…so I told the replacements what I suspected. They assured me that couldn’t possibly be true…and then I got fired right at the end of the day. The place was scammy as hell anyway, so it was a good thing in the end.

  24. ballistic90 says:

    I did tech support for AOL in an outsourced Toronto-based company, and one day I went into work and they were taking down all the posters and stuff and someone came up to me and asked what I was doing there. They realized that they FORGOT to tell me that they lost the contract and that everyone was out of a job.

  25. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Staff meeting. Everyone assemble in the conference room.

    Ok. Now, all those who have a job, step forward. Ep, not so fast, Jenkins.

  26. JKirchartz says:

    The worst was Radio Shack… the manager AND district manager insinuated that I was ‘slow’ and that I would be better suited working at McDonalds. I was fired 3 weeks before college graduation so I just took the time to finish my finals and get everything ready for review.

    2nd worst was FYE… the manager tricked me into quitting by saying that it would be harder for me to get a new job if I was fired. it wasn’t until later I realized he had no authority to fire me.

    • JKirchartz says:

      @ Radio Shack I was hired on as ‘Seasonal Help’ my first day was black friday, with a 16 hour shift. Then a few months later the original staff (except the manager) quit leaving all untrained new hires to man the store. A few months after that my manager was demoted & replaced, possibly because corporate realized he hired the seasonal employees too late to train them.

  27. BuffaloGal says:

    I am / was an instructional designer and corporate trainer. I once actually had security walk in on the middle of one of my trainings and escort me to my supervisor’s office so he could lay me off. That was… rather embarassing.

    Another time when I was laid off (and a reason I don’t do the training gig any more – too little job security!) they turned off all my computer access a day too early. Oops! Everything shut down, and nobody could tell me why. The next day at the same hour I got the goodbye interview, and it all made sense. IT’s memo had the wrong day on it!

    Oh, the joys of getting laid off!

    The last time I was laid off my boss said, “boy, this is never easy!” I said, “you should try it from this side of the table!”

    I get paid less where I am now (a lot less!) but I haven’t had one of those meetings in a long, long time!

  28. DoubleEcho says:

    I’ve only been fired from one job, and oddly enough it was my first job. I picked strawberries on a farm when I was 12 years old during one summer – I rode my bike about 5 miles to work each day and I was early every day, pretty much at dawn. It was my first job so I was really proud and I wanted to make a good impression. I made $1/basket and I thought I was totally grown up.

    I did pretty good, and in mid August it got difficult to get a full basket because more of the berries were rotten. The farmer’s wife was in the field and she looked at my basket and asked why I didn’t have a full basket yet. I told her it was getting harder to find good berries and I was doing my best. She kind of turned her nose up at me and told me to finish the basket, and to not come back tomorrow. I was pretty much devastated.

    I finished the basket (I didn’t put any rotten ones in there) and turned the basket into the fruit stand, and had to tell my 5th grade teacher (who was the farmer’s daughter) that I just got fired. She seemed pretty sad about it and told me to have a good summer. I never did tell my parents because I was embarassed and just told them the season was over.

    Now that I look back, most likely the season was over and she was just a bitch in the way she let me go. I hope that old hag got the gout.

    • Thorn says:

      I was not fired this way, I was on the other side of things. I worked for Fleet Bank and back during the big buying,merging, selling of banks we sold our mortgage processing devision to WaMu. The guys who worked on it went along with it and were promptly let go due to the system not being stable. We had to go in and make it stable or the deal would have been killed (we still processed our loans through them and got a cut)

      Long story short when they fired the ex Fleet, now WaMu employees they attached Pink lemon aid packets to their pink slips.

      “Hey when life give you lemons”

      Can you imagine?

      “Honey we can’t pay the bills this month but I have this lovely package of lemon aid!”

  29. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I once worked for a non-profit that liked to restructure departments. Not long after I began, the CEO announced in a meeting IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE COMPANY that our department was being reorganized, and one of the admins was going to be let go. “And it is Sue. Thanks so much Sue, for all your hard work.” No heads up right before the meeting, nothing. Sue was purple with shock and embarrassment. The rest of us were livid, but there was nothing we could do.

    Some of us who used to work there refer to ourselves as “survivors.”

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Yeah, they do scummy things like that to avoid the fired employee making a scene. It’s the corporate equivalent of taking your SO to a restaurant to break up.

      As I recall, the worst time I got fired was from a small graphics company. The company was supposedly in financial trouble. Hearing this, I went to the owner and volunteered to take a reduction in hours to help out. He thanked me profusely and said several things about standing together and team spirit. The day after that, he fired me via his car phone.

      Found out at my farewell lunch (which he did not attend) that the company’s real financial “trouble” was that he was adding an 1,100 square foot addition to his overpriced McMansion.

  30. Jaina says:

    I was fired/laid off while on vacation in Japan. Of the full-time staff, ONLY the head editor was even in the office–they didn’t even wait for the rest of us to get back to tell us.

  31. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    His employer, Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Arrow Trucking Company shut down operations stranding about 900 of its drivers across the U.S. and Canada after the company canceled its fuel credit cards.

    “I was fortunate enough to have had enough fuel in the truck to get back home,”said Dakin.

    I find that more upsetting than being fired by text message.

  32. What The Geek says:

    about eight years ago I worked for a failing retailer. We all knew it was failing, but corporate kept on telling us things were going to recover. On December 26th I found a newspaper on my desk opened to the financial section where there was an article about how the company had officially declared bankruptcy, and would be closing it’s doors in just two months. Now that’s cold hearted.

  33. vdragonmpc says:

    When I was 16 I worked for a movie theater in Chester VA. We were the crew that opened the place and set up everything. I was a projectionist and really REALLY enjoyed my job. It was great the first year. Didnt pay well but hey, as a teen movies were the most expensive part of a date and they were free.

    Fast forward to summer. We get a new manager and he hires these women asst managers. He is from another theater that had “Pro” projectionists. We are part time High school kids making minimum wage and no benefits. During the summer I had a better paying day job and was there at night. My job included putting films together and taking them apart. We had to air mail em out at 2am. You need a reciept book.

    This was my first run in with ’empire building’ as the female manager had taken the receipt book and locked it in the managers office. I didnt find this out until 2am. I had to wait until 4am for her to get there so I could send out the prints. I was written up for ‘gross insubordination’ because I had to be at work at 8 am and was pissed about getting no sleep due to her ‘power games’. The main manager took it upon himself to write me up for not keeping track of the materials in my booth. (I was part time they were there all day doing whatever)

    I was fired when I came in to work. I to this day without hesitation would punch him square in the jaw. I worked till 2-3 am on school nights and was stuck working many weekends and holidays. I wanted to be a good worker and was rewarded with that. There is more to the story but I was 16 and dumb I thought I had to put up with stuff like that. I plan on supervising what happens with my son so he is not taken advantage of when he works.

    Beauty was the theater is gone now and all three were terminated not long after. But being as it was my first job and we opened the place it really was rough.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      This must have been many years ago, as this is definitely not allowed for a 16 year old at least here in NY state. Last time I checked you can’t work past 9pm if your under 18, when I worked retail all the younger employees had to be out at 8:45 just to be on the safe side.

      • vdragonmpc says:

        Thats true it happened in the 80s. People forget that it was different then and that a lot of us worked insane hours.

        I was scheduled regularly until 1am and would actually (after the new ‘team’ arrived) get off work at 2-230am it was great for my grades let me tell you. They always had some thing that could not wait until the following afternoon. (guess who was going to be there at 2pm?)

        I never forgot the way those folks acted and have tried to never treat people that way. It was foul and wrong.

        Another neat story is that they actually had me found at a party to come in as no one could work that night to close. That was a great one. I was 9 sheets to the wind and was running the projectors and working on a print. Good times.

    • SunnyLea says:

      “We get a new manager and he hires these women asst managers…”

      “…as the female manager had taken the receipt book and locked it in the managers office.”

      Umm, what the?

      • Verdant Pine Trees says:

        Agreed! Where does gender enter into it?

        • vdragonmpc says:

          Let me be a little more clear: These were 2 women with something to prove and came into areas they had no possible reason to go into ripping things off to create their little power bases.

          I didnt want to come right out and state “the asst managers were basically inept girls who slept their way into the position” but its what happened. Now that Im older I recognize a lot of what went on and that it was blatantly illegal.

      • vdragonmpc says:

        Yes the assistant manager was a female, woman, other sex. What the?

        Way to jerk a knee at a statement in the story. What is the big deal? That is who it was at the time.

  34. LogicalOne says:

    Umm…Wouldn’t the trucking company want its trucks and/or trailers back? How about making that last delivery before you deliver the news? If you tell a driver while he (or she) is on the road that he or she is fired/laid-off/resource-realigned, how are you going to manage all that? What’s to prevent a driver from abandoning his/her load on the shoulder of a back road somewhere?

    • DWMILLER says:

      The finance companies(Daimler and MCH Financial) are the owners of the trucks. The drivers are to take them to the nearest Kenworth or Freightliner dealership.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        But they canceled their fuel credits. What if they can’t make it to the nearest one without more gas?

    • RandomHookup says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the drivers are owner/operators.

  35. Invalid_User_Name says:

    Note to California workers: If you are canned, they HAVE TO PAY YOU immediately. This includes vacation and wages. If they don’t, file a claim against them with the DLSE.

  36. ahleeeshah says:

    My mom said that a company she knew had a fire drill and evacuated all employees. They then said that each employee had to individually use their keycard to get back into the building. If the employee’s keycard didn’t work, they would know they were let go. That’s pretty much the worst I’ve heard.

  37. Dethzilla says:

    This is probably the worst written article ever. I have no clue what happened.

    • kellkell says:

      Oh thank goodness, I thought it was just me. I’ve read it several times and I am still not sure what the whole quote has to do with anything. Seems like people are just caught up telling their stories of being fired and not commenting on the article.

      • SunnyLea says:

        Nah. I read the blockquote part 3 or 4 times, thought that it would make more sense in context, read the article, found that it didn’t and decided I had the gist of it and gave up.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      What’s so confusing about it? The drop quote? Trucker A, from Alabama, gets fired first. He tells Trucker B, who is hauling to Alabama, that he’d be willing to “kick his ass” to take over Trucker B’s load, and drive it to Alabama, so he could get closer to home. Alabama, I’d guess, might have fewer dealers, so he could drive it a lot longer before “turning in the keys”, and get that much closer to home.

  38. MyTQuinn says:

    Several years ago the company I was working for acquired another company, and several months later the newly acquired employees and their stuff moved into our building. At the time of the move, one of the workers was on his honeymoon. During this period, they mailed him a termination letter, which was waiting for him when he returned from his honeymoon.

  39. jsl4980 says:

    I was fired from a part time job in college via e-mail. I got in trouble for doing something that my manager trained me to do. He thought I was going to tell his manager that he trained me wrong so he fired me via e-mail a half hour before my shift.

    The best part was he misspelled terminated, the e-mail subject was “Treminated”, Thanks again Matt!

  40. dg says:

    If I worked for that company and I had the fuel to get MOST of the way home, I’d get the $200, and drop the trailer where it was. Then I’d bobtail it home (tractor only, no trailer) until I ran out of fuel at some place I could rent a car and drive that. Or I’d call some guys and sell the damn truck for enough $$$ to get home…

    One good turn deserves another. What this company did was simply awful. At the very least, they have a responsibility to ensure that all their drivers get back home.

  41. junkmail says:

    My brother drives for another company. He risked his own job (taking on passengers) to get two guys from the drop off where they were stranded, home in time for Christmas. I sincerely hope the owners of Arrow Trucking had a nice Christmas knowing they completely f*cked a lot of good people.

  42. erratapage says:

    My brother worked for a computer retailer, but was let go one Friday afternoon. Not too long afterwards, the managers of the company called a fire drill and evacuated the entire building. The last manager out of the building then locked the doors of the building and left. No one could get back in for their personal effects. Several people were unable to get their car keys or purses. The police were called, but by the time they arrived, there was no management on site, and there was nothing they could do, except help stranded people get rides home. it was in the papers.

  43. Elphaba says:

    by coming in and finding my computer was unplugged. Umm,ok, it got knocked out by the cleaners I thought. Then I couldn’t log in. UhOh.

    It was at a dot bomb.

  44. LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

    The game industry is notorious for letting people go unexpectedly – an entire company or project team’s worth, in some cases.

    While attending the annual Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) one year, I was sitting at a table with friends and professional colleagues (names redacted so as not to infringe on privacy). Another friend of mine who worked at a large developer in Texas came running over and asked me, “Hey, did you hear the news? They just let the entire team go this morning!” All of us at the table expressed our doubt that they would let the team go, as it was what we call a “triple-A” game title, but none more so than an old friend sitting next to me. He immediately exclaimed, “No they didn’t, I’m their engineering director!” He then pulled out his cell phone and called the office. After a few painful minutes of him muttering, “Uh-huh…I see. Right. Oh, okay…” and the like, he hung up and turned back to all of us. It turns out the news was true – corporate management had just pulled the plug on a multi-million dollar project and thrown the entire team out of work…while many of them were away at GDC. On the upside, the job fair had lots of companies recruiting that year, but geez…firing an entire team while many of them weren’t even on-site seems rather obnoxious.

    Sadly, that example is far from the only one I have about uncaring/uncouth firings and layoffs in the industry, which is why I’m now in PR. :|

  45. Eldritch says:

    A friend of mine didn’t realize she was going to be out of a job until she opened a sign pack at work full of “store closing” signs. The company hadn’t told her, they just sent the signs. Classy.

    My company told us a week before Thanksgiving that we were going to be out of jobs by the end of Jan and we had to go through liquidation during the holidays! You suck, Borders.

  46. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    I got broken up with via email. That’s all I got …

  47. Outrun1986 says:

    One person told me they showed up to work one day at a Friendly’s restaurant only to find the doors locked with no prior notification of the closing of the business. Probably happens a lot more than we think it does.

    • SunnyLea says:

      This happens *all the time* in the restaurant industry.

      I have a few friends who are long-term professional waiters and all of them have had this happen to them at least once.

  48. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    The shittiest way I was ever fired? I was a waitress in a Mexican restaurant, and the only non-Hispanic employee. The manager’s wife (not an employee) called me right before i left for my shift to tell me, “My brother-in-law is coming from Venezuela, and we need to give him your job so he can stay here.”

  49. cash_da_pibble says:

    I was working at an ice cream shop- it was a shithole and I should have know better- but alas, desperate times call for desperate measures.
    I had gotten food poisoning the night before and tried to call my manager to inform her I wouldn’t be in.
    No Answer. It just rang and rang.
    I knew SOMEONE had to be there to at least recieve deliveries, so I took it upon myself in my sickened state to walk to the shop to recieve product. It took me half an hour to walk 1/4 a mile.
    I opened the shop, recieved deliveries and closed the shop back up.
    The next day I arrived for work and my Manager was there- mind you, the second time I’ve ever seen her- and she asked for the shop keys.

  50. chemmy says:

    I worked for a horrible small financial company once. I had questioned them because I was hired as a salaried employee but my paycheck was different each and every single week (going down down down). I came back from lunch to find my keyboard missing. I questioned my boss and he says “Oh I forgot the monitor, can you bring that back here too?” So I lug the damn thing back to his office and ask how I am supposed to work. He gives me his dry cleaning ticket and sends me out to get his dry cleaning and when I come back, he’s also taken my CPU and left a note on my desk that he needs my address so they can FedEx my belongings to me because I am no longer an employee and not permitted to take anything from the office for security reasons. I was fuming because I was in school at the time as well and had just received all my textbooks from Amazon during that week… and he thought he was going to hold them hostage? I ended up holding his expensive suits hostage until he gave me my crap. A-hole.

    More recently (like February) I was fired from another job. My manager hated me for helping others in my department (cursed me out, called me ungrateful and said I was trying to take her job) so I got transferred to a department where conveniently enough, the boss was going on maternity leave and they hadn’t been able to find someone to cover her department. I was on call 24/7, got wrote up for taking bereavement leave when my FIL passed suddenly (“We require you to maintain a positive attitude at all times and to give us notice when you need time off. You can’t just inconvenience us like this. We require 2 weeks notice at least.”) I knew they were playing games when I was written up for not replying to emails that came in at 5am over the weekend (I replied when I got up at 8) and then when I did get up at 5 to respond, the boss on “maternity leave” had already responded and fired off an email to HR that I was not doing my job… Keep in mind I was also in the midst of being transferred to another location and had already not renewed my apartment lease and my husband had already given his work notice and was training his replacement. The boss comes back from leave, all is well. Monday morning, I am told that there will be a meeting at the end of the day to nail down some loose ends regarding my transfer. End of the day comes, I am called into an office for a conference call meeting. Yeah, they tell me I’m no longer employed there effective immediately because “It’s not you, it’s us. It’s just not working for us anymore.” WTF? They said they would pay me thru the end of the week and you know it didn’t happen.

    So because of how I got fired, it cost my husband his job and our apartment as well. We relocated anyway cause we’re tired of the assholes in that town.

  51. drkkgt says:

    I worked at a company where sales had been down (do to a 20% increase in price across the board by the execs but they said it had nothing to do with that although sales dropped 70% three months after the price increase was announced) and one day the boss brings in all the employees and says not to worry that we were going to recover soon and there would be no layoffs.

    Next day – 45% layed off. About a week later another 10%. When the owner promised me personally that my job would be safe, I knew it was time to start looking. My youngest had just been born so thankfully a great opportunity opened up right away.

  52. whatdoyoucare says:

    My husband worked in safety for a trucking company. One of his collegues fired a truck driver and my husband was asked to accompany the fired truck driver to the company’s truck to make sure he cleaned out without damaging it. My husband stood outside the truck as the driver cleaned it out when suddenly the driver jumped down and punched him in the face. He was okay but the police were called. Policy was changed after that so two people had to accompany a fired driver to his truck.

    I was always a little scared that one day a driver would lose it and pull a gun on my husband. My husband said that a lot of drivers carry weapons combined with the fact that a lot of drivers use drugs (my husband was responsible for getting the drivers drug tested- new hires and randoms). I can understand why they may have fired them via text message.

  53. jesusofcool says:

    Man, it seems like lots of people have HORRIBLE bosses.
    I’ve only worked under three seriously assholish policies. One, at a college outlet of a major national bookstore chain, where workers were made to enter and exit through a separate entrance so security could go through our bags. It was a real invasion of privacy and I was never really comfortable working there, so I quit after a few months. Another was at a charitable telemarketing firm that I worked at for a few months when I was desperate for money in college. Basically all the policies sucked there and I left as soon as I could. Final one was at an archives where I used to work – condescending, cold bosses with limited social skills. The 10 or so grad/undergrad assistants (myself included) were treated like trash – our computers had the internet disabled except for the few sites we needed for work because “we couldn’t be trusted” and we were all expected, including the women, to do heavy lifting outside the job description we were hired for. Worst, the bosses would have catered birthday and office parties. Not only were assistants not invited, but they would throw out leftover food. Ugh, I hated those people.

  54. Wireless Joe says:

    Good planning, firing an employee out-of-state with a trailer load of your belongings. His (evil) choices are park the truck, leave it unlocked and hitch back home, or open the back and start selling door-to-door.

  55. SBinVA says:

    I was let go in a voicemail once. Not a “hey, I need you to come in for a meeting”, but an actual “I’m taking you off the schedule immediately, call me if you want to talk about it.”

    It was a shock to me, apparently I was let go for working the hours (including overtime) listed on a weekly published schedule. I think it had more to do with being a week or two away from eligibility for paid vacation.

  56. dabarak says:

    This isn’t a “fired” story, but a funny (to me) “quitting” story.

    I was working at a crappy job at a crappy tiny little place, working for a crappy boss who was paying crappy wages. The boss/owner was in the process of expanding the business, and he’d leased the space next door, tore down the wall, and was going to install additional equipment and hire another person to run it.

    One afternoon, as he was chewing us out he told us that if we didn’t want to work there we shouldn’t come back. So… I didn’t. Apparently the next morning, he told my coworker that if I didn’t come back I’d be fired. And since it was such a crappy job, my co-worker quit too, about a week before the expansion “went live.”

    A few days later, I saw a want ad in the paper for replacements, so I called up the paper and cancelled the ad.

  57. ellemdee says:

    This is Arrow trucking, who “informed” all of their drivers they were fired by shutting off their gas cards, stranding them hundreds (possible thousands) of miles from home, in freezing temps (in some areas), with no notice a few days before Christmas. When they called to check on their gas cards, they were informed that they no longer had a job and were instructed to turn their trucks in to the nearest dealership. A Facebook page sprang up to coordinate efforts among other truckers to get them home. Drivers were eventually offered bus tickets home or $200 for fuel (which, I imagine, wouldn’t get you very far in those behemoths), though I saw no mention of help getting their belongings that were in their trucks home as well.

    And a lawsuit’s already in the works:

    • dg says:

      They can sue all they want. They weren’t “laid off” – they were fired. The company shut down. Out of business. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Notagonnadeliveryourstuffanymore. So sue away – there’s bubkus! And guaranteed, these guys have already moved all their personal assets into irrevocable trusts.

      Forget it – move on. Get a new job before the other 1400 guys try to do the same thing.

      • ellemdee says:

        A federal lawsuit has been filed based on a law that mandates that employers “with at least 100 employees give them 60 days’ notice before a plant closing or mass layoff.”: This includes plant closings (perhaps the legel the equivalent of Arrow closing up shop). The legal issue is going to be whether Arrow execs had warning that they were going to have to shut down or if an unforseen, sudden issue caused their demise.

        “The suit will also address other violations of state and local laws that Arrow employees have alleged, including bounced paychecks, unpaid medical premium payments, and nonreimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses”.

        Even if they are found not guity on the whole 60 days notice issue, you still have to pay your people for time worked. Likely, they’ll use bankruptcy court to try to avoid giving employees the paychecks they are still due.

        I’m not a trucker and I don’t personally know anyone who is, but this is a sad situation. Many truckers live out of their trucks and even have pets that live with them. With no notice of the closure, many probably had to abandon their belongings or pay out of pocket (if they had it or were able to arrange it on short notice) to ship their personal belongings somewhere when they suddenly had to turn their trucks in. Many itmes, like TVs, might not be cost effective to ship and were likely left behind.

        • Verdant Pine Trees says:

          Ellen, I’m glad someone is detailing more on this. Apparently Arrow and leasers offered reward money for those who turned in Arrow drivers and trucks – people are afraid to get food or get some sleep lest everything they own in their cab get stolen right under them.

          One of my friends is a trucker and I haven’t heard from him in a while. I am praying he didn’t work for Arrow.

  58. sea0tter12 says:

    Two coworkers on my team were allowed to sit through an intensive three-hour introduction to our new computer system at the beginning of their shift before they were called in and laid off.

    Another coworker was laid off in the same round, and she was allowed to start her design project for the day in Indesign. The computer crashed on her, and while she was rebooting she was called in to be laid off. She was rehired six months later and logged into the same computer — only to see her recovery file load in Indesign from the project she started six months earlier.

  59. Bog says:

    We had employee who we found out was skimming credit cards, so with evidence the owner called the cops. They hid in back. An excuse then made up for him to come in to work – he wanted the hours. The cops took him away never to be seen again.

  60. elc32955 says:

    This goes back a while, but at the Sheriff’s Office I used to work for during the 1980’s, the preceeding Sheriff before my time used to be in love with his inter-office teletype network. Yes, it was actually a punch-tape driven teletype network serving two Sheriff’s substations and the Communications Center (72 mile long county in Florida).

    Deputies who would feel the fickle finger of fate would come into work and find a teletype taped to their locker(s) terminating them (this was in the days when employment was basically “at-will”, no unions or job protection) with absolutely no advance notice. Their squad supervisors would have a copy of the teletype and would then disarm them (take their guns) if they were using County weapons, remove their badges and ID cards, and make them go home, change, and bring back the uniforms. Now THIS was the 1970’s version of impersonal firing!!

  61. JiminyChristmas says:

    The problem, as I see it, with the whole ‘escorted from the building’ phenomenon is that some lawyers/staff counsel convinced some execs that there would be hell to pay if someone was laid off and it lead to a violent incident in the workplace. I can’t entirely blame the lawyers, after all it’s their job to think up worst-case scenarios and avoid liability for them. Sadly, the result is treating people like trash for no good reason. The impression I get from the news is that if people are inclined to shoot up their workplace they go home, pack up their arsenal, and return to the workplace days or weeks later.

    In the end, the practice of treating laid-off employees as would-be homicidal maniacs is bad for the employer themselves. There is one local employer in my field who laid off a lot of people in the early 90’s and were especially insensitive and callous about it. Here it is over 15 years later and people still talk about it! The way they handled one year of bad business has been dogging their reputation in the field for the better part of two decades. How much do you think that has hurt hiring and retention?

  62. dijkstramatic says:

    A while ago, I had a temporary job working for Verizon. I worked there for one day. I got a call at 5 AM, three hours before my shift was supposed to start, telling me I was fired for wearing “the wrong shoes”, even though they didn’t tell me anything about their dress code.

    I showed up anyway, and the real reason I was fired: “you’re an AT&T subscriber”.

  63. Forty2 says:

    In 1999 I was fired via FedEx after I politely told the badgering HR Dragon Lady that I would not be permanently relocating to China. Sure yeah, with a 100% expat raise and housing allowance which they refused, but not on the shitty pay I got that wouldn’t let me rent a crumbling hutong.

    I mean I was fired by overnighted letter signed by the CEO, not, you know, by FedEx.

  64. KennyS says:

    Six years ago my company outsourced the IT department to IBM. We were all hired by IBM and had jobs for at least six months. Three monthe later IBM sent out about 50 notices saying they were losing their jobs in three months. In a big meeting about three days after the letters they told us “IBM dosen’t hire people just to fire them”. The fired people had to train their replacements, all of whom were in India. We eventually found out that in my group of about 90 there were going to be 15 people onsite and the rest in India.

    More recently a friend of mine was called into her bosses office at the end of the day because “I have some good news for you”. The good news was that she was fired as of right now. It took her several weeks to get her personal belongings.

    About 40 years ago a coworker went away on vacation and came home to find a pink slip in her mail.