Youth Culture: Video Games, Downloading Music... And Getting Fired By Text Message?

from the not-quite-what-you'd-expect dept

We keep hearing ridiculous scare stories about how "youth culture" is corrupting our children. The stories about instant messaging and writing skills or violent video games impacting behavior are easily shown to be exaggerated -- but that doesn't mean the basic ideas aren't widespread. So, what happens when you have the reverse situation? Rather than kids being corrupted by youth culture -- what about adults who justify their actions because they think it's acceptable as part of youth culture? Stories about people getting fired via SMS text message are nothing new. We've seen them for years. However, the in the latest such case in the UK, the manager in question has a unique defense for firing a sales assistant at a chain clothing store. You see, it's all cool because it's just "a part of youth culture" to send a text message to a young employee stating: "We've reviewed your sales figures and they're not up to the level we need. As a result we will not require your services any more. Thank you for your time with us." The young woman notes angrily that the company even has a bit of a "double standard," as employees are not allowed to text message in the fact that they're sick if they need a day off. Of course, this manager might want to watch out. Youth culture or not, a bunch of employees fired by text message a few years ago in the UK won compensation for being "cynically manipulated."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    JJ, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 2:34am

    also a part of youth culture: complaining to the press when you get fired using technology...

     

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  2.  
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    georgelipton, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 2:47am

    response

    I really have to stop for a moment and think of one word because this is the way i deal, and my word for my country which I love very much is "Priority".

     

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  3.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 4:01am

    That does suck...

    I've been fired by email and let me tell you it was not cool. Mind you I went up to the manager in question and plainly asked him why I was fired. I knew I deserved to be fired. It's not cool to bring a Playstation and TV to work. But the guy had been pissing me off for a long time by way of leaving me on the short end of the stick when he was scheduling shifts to please other employees. But I confronted him just so he couldn't chicken out and fired me from a hundred paces.

     

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  4.  
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    WFIGUY, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 4:37am

    Text Message

    I don't really see the substantial difference here from recieving a "pink slip" in your company mailbox. It's just a new way for managers to avoid confrontation with employees who may react in a harsh or threatining way. The reason most employers now have a "at will employee" clause is to minimize litigation in the event an employee feels he or she didn't deserve to be fired. Regardless of the medium!

     

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  5.  
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    joe, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 4:57am

    depends

    i think that the message sent was perfectly acceptable, but if bosses really started embracing youth culture, we'd have a problem. like i would be pissed if my boss (like i have a job HA!) messaged something like "OMGZ you got PWN3D!!!! LOLZ //y lvl 60 41r3d your //008 azz!!!!"

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 5:06am

    Pink Slips Suck Too

    I knew a woman that worked in HR at a large
    corporation known for its government contract
    work and for hiring and firing by the contract.
    She was typing up a stack of pink slips and found
    hers in the pile. Which prompted her to tell her
    boss "I'm not typing this, I quit."

    The same company sent recruiters into the bar
    next to the business where I was empolyed when
    our project was cancelled. To buy some drinks
    and see who he could hire for a very similar project
    they had just been awarded. Hmmm...

    I've never been fired. I guess I'm lucky. Having
    a company implode around you, leaving you
    without of a job, is stressfull though.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Me, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 5:20am

    Fired by 'phone

    I was phoned whilst on holiday to be informed that I'm to be made redundant. Under UK law that's unlawful as redundancy requires reasonable consultation.

    Don't let employers get away with ignorance of HR law.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Lee, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 6:10am

    Have to admit...I never got fired like that. I have been told "we don't have to have a reason" when I asked why. Guess maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that I found where they were committing insurance fraud :/

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    McEscher, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 6:40am

    Switcheroo

    So can I submit my resignation via text message?

     

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  10.  
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    Fizbon, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 6:49am

    Fired...

    Just one thing what do you folks do that so many have been fired i have worked at 3 jobs in my life 5 12 and now 2 years and have never been fired allways hired away from the last one with promises of grandure (they never appear but i always hope) If you did some thing to get fired dont let the door hit you on the ass on the way out suck it up and go get another job. You got this one you can get another. May be your additude and tell the youth culture freeks you have to work up you dont start at the top

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 6:51am

    Re: Switcheroo

    use older tech...just type it on bumwad.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 6:51am

    Re: depends

    "OMGZ you got PWN3D!!!! LOLZ //y lvl 60 41r3d your //008 azz!!!!"

    hahahaha, nice one ;)

     

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  13.  
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    Professor, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 7:32am

    ah the english in this story is really bad... needs a lot of work. However on topic... Some people would rather be told they are loosing their job by email etc. Whe n I was on tv not long ago being interviewed about computer gaming and the future it will hold for the next generation, I stated that it is just not the young generation that has been taken in by the new technology, communication is and always will be based on now rather than the future, as soon as a new form of communication comes- it will not be only the young using it.

    So, 'Youth Culture'? No, don't think so... I say it's a New Age movement much like what we have seen in the past with technology- TV, Cell Phones, Computers, internet.each and everyone of them is a means of communication and each and everyone of them has been used to make the human contact between us even less.

    This New Age Movement will just bring upon another, it is and always will be just a natural process of evolution. WE are changing as a people... The values and morals we hold are not.

    Though personally I would not mind being told I can no longer teach by text message... That would mean I don't have to face them personally. Though if I was to face them personally I would like it done in a nice cafe over lunch.
    (for the joy of all your minds and sanity I will not end this post as it is 2:32am)~

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Chris, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 7:36am

    They can't do that to me!

    First off, if you are getting an SMS message, then you gave them your cell phone number. I would not do that, and untill I am told face to face I will not stop showing up, because I can simply say I didnt get the message. Not that I have a job or anything

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Baorc, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 7:54am

    "ah the english in this story is really bad... needs a lot of work. However on topic... Some people would rather be told they are loosing their job by email etc."

    You should really watch out what you say, if you are going to say the english is bad in this story, you should at least know the difference between loosing and losing.

     

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  16.  
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    Jeff, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 8:08am

    I have worked for several large companies and I see variations of this all the time. I currently work for an IT company and manage security for many large companys. The managers or whoever gets to do the dirty deed usually do not enjoy this- espesially face to face. Most companys have a policy to do thier fireing on Friday afternoon with no warning - in other cases the fired person is escorted out the door after my company locks them out of the system and changes any passwords they are privy to (in the case of internal IT personel). In the state I live in, no reason or explanation is required to just fire you ass so it doesn't do much good to have it done face to face anyway - but they still expect a written 2 week notice if you decide to leave.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Chris, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 9:10am

    Re:

    If they can fire me with no notice, then I can leave with no notice

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Think Before You Fire, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 9:11am

    They Can Use Whatever They Want...

    Rather it be via cell phone, e-mail, pink slip, over the phone, in person, or any other number of ways if any boss I ever have for the rest of my life tries firing me without a real good cause or a company lays me off for whatever reason I am going to have my boss beaten by hired thugs... rather it is their fault or not... no two ways about it... if he dies he dies... fucking with someones job(livelyhood) ain't a game and they will pay for fucking with my wallet... lord knows I help them line theirs... I'll say no more...

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Whatever he said, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 9:35am

    New age for snipers..

    I once took a lot of crap for dumping an ex girlfriend on the phone, but I didn't see the sense in driving for an hour just to say good-bye to someone who knew it was coming. But I wouldn't have text it.

    Text messaging can be used like a sniper or a bomber -- kill your enemy from a distance and there is less guilt.

    Whereas our new technology grants us global communication, the quality of that communication is poor. I am not talking about the grammar or abbreviation issues -- any student of communication will tell you that 70% of communication is non-verbal. So what happens when we take away the verbal?

    I don't know a figure for this, but I would be surprised if you have even 10% left over with texting alone, probably far less.

    To compensate for this I expect teachers will treat English like math; new systems and methods every year, and subdivided into countless catagories. But in math, the rules haven't changed much since the zero was invented -- language changes daily.

    And I haven't even touched the subject of your rights under the law.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:23am

    just text her/him back!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Dam, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:31am

    Gutless is what it is

    Any employer that can't face an employee about to be sacked is gutless and a coward. Regardless of the situation, notifying someone via email, text message or any method that eliminates the face-to-face meeting is a sign of utter disregard for the employee.

    It's been said that people entering the workforce in the 21st century will have two to three more jobs in their lifetime than their parents ever did. Loyalty is a nice thought but it's really come down to watching out for yourself - because cowardly, uncouth employers never will.

     

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  22.  
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    Tyshaun, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    I didn't realize employers were THAT spineless

    I've only been fired from one job in my life and that was when I worked at McDonalds as a teenager (and I deserved it for cursing the manager out). Even then, the owner of the store did it in person.

    I always thought that employers did firing face-to-face. Anything less than that while practical I guess really belittles the human factor of working relationships. I dunno, just my personal opinion but if you're taking a persons livelihood away the least you should do is be able to tell them to their face. If the firing is with cause (the employee messed up), then you should have no problem, if the cut is because of downsizing or lack of funds, at least the face-to-face is a chance to console the person and make them feel a little bit less like a piece of used toilet tissue.

    Anyway, I always assumed that the reason managers got paid the big bucks is because they have to do stuff like fire folks from time to time.

    while we're on the subject, I worked at one place where if they were letting you go, the called you into the managers office while IT and HR minions came to your desk and packed all your stuff into a box and handed it to you as the security staff escorted you out the front door. OMG, how incredibly rude. I can understand locking down the system and even having someone come around and secure and company property while you are being axed, but at least give the person the basic courtesy of being able to say goodbye to their co-workers before shooting them out the door! IMO the work world has de-humanized us a bit too much when this behavior is acceptable (along with SMS firings and the like).

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Whatever he said, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:43am

    employers rights

    Employers have the right to be rude and insensitive -- its business, get over it.

    If you choose to be a cog in a machine, expect to get replaced without notice or cause. Your employer owes you nothing except money for the labor you gave.

    This is the difference between those who do, and those who don't. Business exists for profit, not to give you a job.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    txjump, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:50am

    the other side

    Not that I think dehumanizing is a great thing but wouldn't you be a little worried about firing a psycho?

    Obviously most people aren't and they don't deserve that kind of treatment. But if I had an employee who didn't treat the company and fellow employees very well, I'd do the escort thing too.

    The psychos are usually the ones who think it's everyone elses fault that they got fired. They don't own their mistakes. They also tend to think they deserve a job just for breathing. These people don't deserve much respect in return.

    On the SMS note, that's a bit rediculous. It's not even like email where you can expound on the reasons, or where someone can save and print a copy. Not that email is great method either, but texting is just the lowest.

    Oh, and 'Professor'...doesn't English have a capital E?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Lost, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:55am

    What the *&#! does this say?

    "OMGZ you got PWN3D!!!! LOLZ //y lvl 60 41r3d your //008 azz!!!!"

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: depends

    "OMGZ you got PWN3D!!!! LOLZ //y lvl 60 41r3d your //008 azz!!!!"

    Holy crap, does this stuff actually have a translatable meaning?! I always thought it was just crap people wrote.

    Now I'd love to see a TechDirt article about that! If anybody knows what this means, please let me know, now I'm curious...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    ebrke, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 11:21am

    Re: employers rights

    But when an employee they "need" has the temerity to act in this same way, the indignation is unbounded. "How could they leave with 5 days notice!" Works both ways, but no employer wants to believe it--"at will" also means at the employee's will.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Nick, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 11:22am

    Translation

    "OMGZ you got PWN3D!!!! LOLZ //y lvl 60 41r3d your //008 azz!!!!"

    Loosely translates into, "Oh my god, you got owned! Laugh out loud, fired your ass"

    4 = f
    1 = i
    3 = e

    those numbers roughly look like the letters that correspond with them. This is "Leet" speak where "leet" stands for elite, now spoken by 8-12 year olds who think they are cool.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    the Fire, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 11:49am

    Burned

    I think a whole lot of you all are confusing FIRED with LAID-OFF. Very different.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 11:50am

    SMS Terminated

    I'd rather be told before i was at work than have to drive for hours and be told as i walked in the door that i am no longer needed, and promptly walk back to my car and drive the hour or so back through rush hour traffic..

    i dont know, fired is fired, and it's shitty wether you wanted it to happen, or not.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 11:52am

    I wouldn't be sure if I would be happy of sad if I got fired via SMS. Afterall, if that's all the sense that boss has, it's probably best to find a new boss to work for anyway.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Josh, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 11:59am

    Re: Translation

    Exactly.

    "OMGZ you got PWN3D!!!! LOLZ //y lvl 60 41r3d your //008 azz!!!!"

    Just a few more things:


    //y lvl 60 I think implies "by your boss" and //008 equals "late" at least in my opinion.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Dork420, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: depends

    If you really want to know try checking a wikipedia...
    or picking up any MMORPG.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    5h1t |3itcH, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 1:29pm

    Oh my god! You got owned!!!! *Laugh out Loud* My Level 60 fired your noob ass!!!

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    5uck4 f15h, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Oh my higher being! You got bested to the point of humiliation!!!! I was laughing out loud as my higher level geek personification fired your noob buttocks!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Whatever he said, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: employers rights

    That just isn't realistic -- any decent company would rather you left asap, saves us $$, whereas hanging around for 2 weeks means your work will suck, and will likely upset others who aren't leaving. Regardless of how much you are "needed," when you give two weeks, they want you gone NOW.

    Indignation is a human attribute, not a company's. Of course, with small companies, you might get some satisfaction.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Dan, Aug 4th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    Wow, in my opinion, that was the most interesting part about this thread.

    I know it's kinda old news, but this is a freggin' foreign language.

    I guess it just hit me, because whenever I see that abbreviated crap, I can usually determine what they're talking about to some extent (lol, btw, l8r, etc)... but this is truly a divergent language. It's like pig latin on steroids.

    Eh, whatever, please excuse me while I philosophize.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Dollface, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 11:19am

    this is cute, My boss would come right up to My face and tell Me I am fired...

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Aug 11th, 2006 @ 3:45pm

    Just dont give them your mobile number when you are hired and you cant be fired by sms.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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