Question of the day: What was the most unusual way you've heard of an individual being fired?

From today's RBC Daily:

Do employers fire people by email? What if someone hit "send to all" by accident? UK based Avina Investors answered both questions last week as they terminated the entire company. Yes, you read that right. The entire company. BusinessWeek reported the incident as a clerical error that led to an email that was intended for a single employee to be sent to the entire organization. Paul Lockstone, a spokesman for Aviva, told Bloomberg an apology was quickly issued for the flubbed message and added, “From time to time, things go wrong.” That might be the understatement of the year as the mistake understandably put a number of the organization's employees on high alert.
This would have been a strange way to be let go from a company, however, I bet some of you have heard other interesting tales of how employees have been terminated.

Question of the day:
What was the most unusual way you've heard of an individual being fired?

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I didn't hear of this one -- it happened to me. On the very day the doctor told me I'd had a silent heart attack, and that I needed to take 4-6 weeks off from work, I got fired. I went in to the office afterwards, and told my boss. She immediately got on the phone to personnel to request the paperwork for Long-Term Disability coverage for me.

That afternoon, the Director of HR came into my office and called me into the conference room next door. In the room were the Employee Assistance Program counselor, with whom I'd been discussing my stress issues, and two rather large men from security. I was told that, due to reorganization, my position was being eliminated, but they were going to pay for my COBRA for one year because of my medical report, AND gave me three months' severance pay.

My assistant was only told I was "leaving to pursue other opportunities" and the people I was working on projects for weren't even told I was gone. One of them called me -at home- the following week, wondering where her project was.

My boss was in tears.

Two weeks later, my job was listed in the newspaper. So much for "being eliminated"

I sued for wrongful termination. I won, but not till after I lost my home.

When I hear that there was a Dir of HR involved, I cringe.  They are supposed to represent the company's interests in a fair and legal manner.   I am sure your lawyer was smiling even if you weren't. 

Hope things have turned around for you.


Upper-level exec was sent out from corporate to close two offices and terminate the employees who worked there.

When he returned back to corporate his name had been removed from his parking spot.

I knew of someone in the retail electronics trade who was forced to resign or face "job abandonment" while he was under psychiatric care in a Mental Hospital. Company didn't care, Although looking back, how does one go to work whilst one is "locked up" True Story

Being “fired” or “terminated” or “laid-off” or “excessed”—all can have different connotations but all amount to the result of being cut. 

Yes, being laid-off due to a company closure is dramatically different from being fired for performance and all industries have their horror stories of "terminations" done wrong or badly. Aerospace in particular, due large and small contract approvals and sudden contract cancellations, is famous and infamous for unique terminations--like "pink slips" received by new hires upon arrival to start a new job (heard that).  Or Security and HR-ER following you to your desk after you’ve been terminated to pack you up to go with escort (saw that). And mass terminations where groups of employees, actually former employees, were addressed in mass relative to benefits, outplacement services, etc.  Some were contentious.

However, most “terminations” I’ve noticed, and have been a part of, were handled with civility, respect and appreciation for legal ramifications.  I recall one PhD Research Scientist had her job offer rescinded soon after it was accepted due to an unexpected change in organizational needs.  She was given a verbal and written apology and a check in the amount of what six-month’s pay would have been had she started at the salary originally offered.  She called me to express her understanding of the situation and for the generous compensation for not a single day of work…and offered to be available to my employer in the future should are needs change.  

Sometimes it’s time to cut or be cut.  It's happened to me, it happens to worst and the best…and to those in the middle of those extremes.

The only job I've ever been fired from, and I wasn't even fired.  I was working partime on the weekends after I graduated from college at a gas station.  I went in on Sunday to look at the next weeks schedule and the areas to the right of my name under each day of the week was empty.  I thought...sweet, they didn't schedule me.  At this point I had worked 7 days a week for like 6 months....    Didn't think much of it, I went in the next Sunday and my  name wasn't even on the next weeks schedule.  I called the manager the next day and he said they were not going to need me anymore. 


I told him it wasn't that big of deal, I was just doing it for beer money...told him would have been decent just to tell me, without emotion he said "sorry" and that was that.   

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