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Businesses It's funny.  Laugh. United Kingdom Idle News Technology

Company Accidentally Fires Entire Staff Via Email 333

redletterdave writes with an amusing tale of missent email. From the article: "On Friday, more than 1,300 employees of London-based Aviva Investors walked into their offices, strolled over to their desks, booted up their computers and checked their emails, only to learn the shocking news: They would be leaving the company. The email ordered them to hand over company property and security passes before leaving the building, and left the staff with one final line: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future. 'This email was sent to Aviva's worldwide staff of 1,300 people, with bases in the U.S., UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. And it was all one giant mistake: The email was intended for only one individual."
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Company Accidentally Fires Entire Staff Via Email

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  • moral of the story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @07:37PM (#39777329)

    have the fucking balls to fire someone in person.

  • by Veetox ( 931340 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @07:40PM (#39777361)
    This should have happened to the United States Congress.
  • That's pretty cold to send a termination email and not bother including their name in the message.
  • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @07:46PM (#39777441)

    It will now be two people leaving the company!

    In the immediate, yes. However I suspect dozens more will follow them upon realizing that the company endorses firing people via e-mail using a form letter. It's a universally bad sign when a company has streamlined it's firing process to that degree. I worked for a company where the phrase "is no longer with the Company" was so common I had to setup an Outlook filter to mark them read and remove them from my inbox. A high turnover rate is an unambiguous indicator of bad management.

  • by hendridm ( 302246 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @07:52PM (#39777491) Homepage

    Amateur politicians still think they can make a difference, and might even try.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @07:59PM (#39777569)

    Because it also means the company has no idea who to hire and keeps hiring morons.

  • by Annirak ( 181684 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:01PM (#39777595)

    To be fair, TFA is titled "Aviva Investors Accidentally Fires Entire Company Via Email [FULL TEXT]." But, TFA links to another article as its source []. But that source isn't the origin of the story either. It came from Reuters []. Honestly, if you're submitting a story to a news aggregator like Slashdot, take the time to send a link for the ORIGINAL story...

  • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:05PM (#39777623)
    And it is, generally, a worse thing to continually hire unproductive employees. In other words, "bad management".
  • Re:Giant Mistake? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:12PM (#39777679)

    SNAFU is an apt description for doing anything "legal" via email or via the internet for that matter. Unfortunately it is becoming all too much the "norm" and billions are getting bilked from the systems every year. The free exchange of information is still all this is truly suitable for. Anything digital can be faked, intercepted, etc and after all this time there is no such thing as a "secure server", never has been, never will be, not functioning and connected to the internet at least (just to skip all the "disconnected, slagged, sealed in concrete and sunk to the bottom of the Marianas Trench type lines).

    OK, everybody, ignore the ancient noise above and get back to making money off this stupidity!

  • Re:Giant Mistake? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:49PM (#39777983)

    Situation Normal, All Fucked Up. Well, that's what I was taught it meant. And yes it is a SNAFU if your normal procedure for firing an employee is an e-mail. Man, that's fucked being dumped over AOL Instant Messenger.

    captcha: cunning
    took me like 5 tries to get right....I knew "cumming" was wrong, but fuck those captchas can be hard to read

  • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gstrickler ( 920733 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:08PM (#39778093)

    People don't need an excuse to gripe, just an opportunity.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:37PM (#39778563)

    At my company, about half of the employees have below average productivity.

    Beyond the joke (and the issue of average != median for skewed distributions) the real issue is employees with _negative_ productivity (typically "suits") who consume the productivity of other employees.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:52PM (#39778621)

    Because it would be much better to rewrite from scratch each time the instructions to people whose contract has expired, have resigned, or have been "let go".

    Rather than covering all the bases once and updating when policies change. After all leaving stuff out by mistake is much better than reusing a document.

    And when you employ a new person have the system administrators team just do it from memory too. So what if they miss a step once or twice or put someone in the wrong group much better to be personal than actually follow a well thought out and pre-written procedure.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FoolishOwl ( 1698506 ) on Monday April 23, 2012 @11:19PM (#39778719) Journal

    Among other things, a form letter suggests laziness on the part of managers.

    There is such a thing as competent management, and much of the work of a competent manager is assessing the abilities, potential, and morale of individual members of the team. Firing people by form letter suggests that the managers aren't doing that assessment. They're likely hiring people, then ignoring them, and if they're ignoring them, they can't distinguish between a useless team member and an underutilized team member with great potential.

  • by FoolishOwl ( 1698506 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @12:00AM (#39778907) Journal

    As a socialist, I want state authority to be a direct expression of popular will. A state authority that is not an expression of popular will is not a state authority I want to "do more".

    I'd rather Congress did more, if the "more" is understood to mean things like redistributing wealth through progressive taxation, providing desirable social services, and defending civil liberties. I'd rather it did less, if the "less" is understood to mean things like financing invasions and occupations, concentrating wealth through regressive taxation and subsidies to corporations, and undermining civil liberties.

    The US Congress, in its present form -- i.e., the entire complex of legislators, staff, party functionaries, lobbyists, donors, PACs, and so on -- is so tied to the interests of the 1%, that it's starting to fail to even maintain the illusion of balancing competing social interests. It is not a direct expression of the popular will.

    How to make it a more direct expression of the popular will, or alternately, how to construct a form of government that is, is no small question. But to begin with, I believe it's necessary to avoid the trap of accepting the idea that bigger or smaller government is, in itself, the issue, or even a meaningful question.

  • Re:Giant Mistake? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @02:29AM (#39779447)

    There's two fuckups I see:

    1) They send letters with legal weight via e-mail and this is accepted. That's just wrong.

    2) They wrote the e-mail so impersonal, without attribution, that 1300 people could mistakenly think they've been let off.

    What a shithole company.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @02:45AM (#39779499) Journal
    So, you invite the person into your office and tell them they're fired.

    It's more a matter of basic human decency. They're still people. They're still your employees. Most people will interpret this as a complete lack of respect, and many of them will look for a company that treats them as human beings rather than machines and an email address.
  • Re:Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tukz ( 664339 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @04:08AM (#39779829) Journal

    "read the article..", sorry but what does that mean?
    Do you mean to tell me the summery doesn't show the full picture of this story?

  • Re:Giant Mistake? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:39AM (#39780687)

    Gandhi's feelings on the matter regardless, WWII was probably the last war that the American public, as a whole, felt was worth fighting.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VIPERsssss ( 907375 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @09:57AM (#39781263)
    Which are you forgetting, "Young Frankenstein" or "Blazing Saddles"? Because both of those are fucking funny.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright