That Fire Alarm Is False, But Hey, Speaking Of Fires, You're Fired

from the people-skills dept

It's always a good Friday when you find out the company you work for is going under. But what can make those days really great is the caring and sensitive manner in which the company lets you know. For instance, in 2003, a British company told its 2,400 employees that the company was shutting and they wouldn't get paid any more via text message. Today, a department store in England gave its 140 employees the news that they're going to be out of a job in two weeks by pulling the fire alarm to clear the store of shoppers and to gather staff in one location -- the point where they're supposed to meet up in case of fire. The administrators brought in to try and salvage the store's broke owners say "the most efficient and practical method of informing their colleagues of this business development was by using the fire alarm", and they wanted staff to find out from them before word was made public. Efficient and practical, indeed -- not to mention completely crass and obnoxious. Perhaps we can take some solace in the fact that these nice folks didn't actually burn the place down instead.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Ron (profile), May 4th, 2007 @ 7:47pm

    Illegal

    In the US, I think it is illegal to pull a fire alarm unless an emergency exists. Maybe the owners of the store will be arrested for falsly pulling the alarm. I presume the local fire department responded (unless they were informed there would be a test alarm at a certain time ... in which case the store personnel were actually the second to know). So, maybe the owners will also be charged for the cost of the fire department rolling on the call.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    eskayp, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:20pm

    alarming situation

    The owners are bankrupt alright -- socially and intellectually.
    After ripping off a movie for the concept of a 'You'r fired' alarm,
    I wonder if the owners foresaw the possibility of 140 fire alarm calls
    to their private residences at 2 am in the near future.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    mike3, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:58pm

    this explains it....

    I mean if this is the way they fire people think of how they run the business and manage there employees? I mean if you thought that SMS a your fired message to all your employees was a good idea I mean what other "great" ideas did these people have?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    DittoBox, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Illegal

    I'm not sure about legality, it's likely a state law.

    However here in WA you get fined for it if the fire department comes out and lo-and-behold there's no fire.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    The Swiss Cheese Monster, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:45pm

    Interesting. I might have to try that sometime

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Jim Beam, May 5th, 2007 @ 2:15am

    It's been done

    In NYC under Guiliani, they faked a fire alarm to clear out a firehouse that they wanted to close down permanently. While the guys were out in the trucks, they locked it up

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Steve, May 5th, 2007 @ 5:18am

    Jim,
    Do you have a citation for that story about NYC?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2007 @ 5:23am

    Re: Illegal

    It's not illegal at all. You think buildings never check their fire alarms? All you have to do is notify the proper authorities before hand.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Stephen, May 5th, 2007 @ 6:18am

    Closed for Business

    A local restaraunt which had been open for 15+ years one day last summer posted a 8 1/2" x 11" printed sign on their door stating that they were closed for business. That was how they notified their employees as they arrived for work the following morning. They didnt intend to pay them either. :P

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2007 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Illegal

    but i think that someone from the fire department has to be present at the drill just in case, that was the case last summer when they had a drill at my office, but it could be different for every city/state

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Machavelli, May 5th, 2007 @ 11:05am

    Re: Jim Beam

    It's been done by Jim Beam on May 5th, 2007 @ 2:15am

    In NYC under Guiliani, they faked a fire alarm to clear out a firehouse that they wanted to close down permanently. While the guys were out in the trucks, they locked it up

    ===============

    He will not post a citation for it because it didn't
    happen, he just has an axe to grind with guilani, and
    or is a Billary fan.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    rEdEyEz, May 5th, 2007 @ 11:46am

    drills and testing are common, WFR - not

    Most large facilities contract a third party service that monitors the fire/security system. Upon indication of an incident, for instance, our service supplied a 3 minute grace window in which you can call in, provide a password/code, and notify them of either; a false alarm has occurred or testing is in progress. If after the grace period, noone has called, the service relays the alarm to the local FD for response.
    We were constantly in contact with the service, because of accidents (cracked sprinkler heads) or because our insurance company required flow testing/system integrity checks/monitoring...

    In the event of a "no call," the fire department will respond, and will charge you for the incident. If false alarms becomes a frequent nuisance, they will fine you as well.

    Standard practices and all, except for the Work Force Reductions... (then again, maybe not)

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, May 5th, 2007 @ 12:27pm

    Lawsuit...

    Just be glad nobody got hurt when they were leaving the store, otherwise, when the truth came out, they would have been a lawsuit, for sure.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Hyrulio, May 5th, 2007 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Illegal

    It's not illigal to do that - most fire alarm systems simply come with a 'test' function - you push a button and it sounds the alarm in the building, and nowhere else! That is most likely what they did!

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    TG, May 5th, 2007 @ 8:15pm

    your fired!

    excuse me...isnt the point of the matter how insensitive life can be when you get the axe-not fire codes?

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    kb, May 6th, 2007 @ 1:07am

    this what i call cruel jokes

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    ogman, May 6th, 2007 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: Jim Beam by Machavelli

    Wow, you had some cred there, right up to the distinctly unclever Billary thing. It's just possible that Jim has absolutely no ax to grind with Giuliani, while it's blatantly obvious that you have a problem with anyone named Clinton. Kind of hypocritical of you, eh?

    While the incident may just be an urban legend, it's also possible that what Jim said did happen and did not, for obvious reasons, receive a lot of publicity.

    Oh, and if you are going to use Machiavelli's name, at least learn how to spell it.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Jim Beam by Machavelli

    Likely the firemen were union. Ever try to fire a useless union worker? Driving the US jobs out one lazy, overpaid, under performing, non-competitive person at a time.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Jeff, May 6th, 2007 @ 10:10am

    There was a rock radio station here that changed formats AND employees by having a big party for everyone one fine night and at the end of the night, everyone was told, "door prize time..."
    "We're changing formats on Monday morning, you're being let go." Contract buyouts and such were delivered the following morning.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, May 6th, 2007 @ 10:42am

    rotflmao!

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2007 @ 2:32pm

    Re: It's been done

    thats funny

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Liesl, May 6th, 2007 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Jim Beam by Machavelli

    Likely the firemen were union. Ever try to fire a useless union worker? Driving the US jobs out one lazy, overpaid, under performing, non-competitive person at a time.

    I'm sure that when you dial 911 and expect a fire truck to magically appear in your driveway with a hose to put out the fire. Do you know any lazy firefighters, except for that lard-assed Tenny Pierce, aka Snausage Breath, from the LAFD?

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    chet, May 6th, 2007 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Closed for Business

    that is common in the restaurant biz. It has happened to me 3 times in a 20 year career.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    IHMB, May 6th, 2007 @ 7:37pm

    got fired? talk to us

    www.ihatemyboss.com.au

    this is a website for the world to complain ANONYMOUSLY about their bosses and colleagues!! come and have an anonymous vent- it will make you feel so much better! or move to australia and find a cool casual job with us

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Thel, May 7th, 2007 @ 8:19am

    Re: got fired? talk to us

    this is a website for the world to complain ANONYMOUSLY about their bosses and colleagues!! come and have an anonymous vent- it will make you feel so much better! or move to australia and find a cool casual job with us

    Your paying for the moving correct? Please tell me so. :-(

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    JustMatt, May 7th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Are You Free, Mr. Granger?

    Oblig. Are You Being Served ref.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    aly, May 7th, 2007 @ 2:03pm

    maybe the owner was expecting the place to be touched up . that way the fire crew are there in time. and migth even be able to claim insurance ...

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    chris (profile), May 8th, 2007 @ 9:36am

    irony

    the term "getting fired" comes from the medieval practice of setting fire to the homes of people who were no longer welcome in a community.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This