Shittiest Boss Email Ever?



  • I have had it.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>Yesterday during the day, my boss told me that she was considering laying off two of my key employees during next the month.  This news upset me, in more ways than one.  Productivity in my department would drop, but that was the least of my concerns.  What I was the most worried about was how the layoff would impact the two employees and their families.  Both had recently bought new houses.  Both had spouses that were unemployed.  And both had a child to worry about – one, a youngster less than a year old; the other, a baby on the way.  <o:p></o:p>I shared these concerns with my boss.  Below is the answer that I received.  I have x-ed out the names of the employees in question, but everything else is copied and pasted right from the email:<o:p></o:p>Wow, and I dont have a house, and a kid, and $1.5M in debt to continue to pay everyone while trying to maintain all positive energy which is the only way to gain investor is to sound confident and not desparate and not ever sleep or leave the house or do anything other than continuously work on things to make this work..... and not be qualified for an IT job.... yes, I can see why your first concern is with xxxx and xxxx. I will work on trying to figure out how to shit or print  money so you are no longer concerned.”<o:p></o:p>I’m mulling over how to or even if to respond…<o:p></o:p>

     



  • Not wishing to sound callous as regards your colleagues' plight, but I don't see the "WTF" here.  Shouldn't this be in General Discussion?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>



  • If I ever got an email like that, I'd resign, but not before forwarding that email to the whole company first (I think HR would really appreciate it).



  • The email sucked, but the problems of those who are laid off, while sad, aren't the company's concern.  It may seem cold, but that's business.



  • @Zagyg said:

    I don't see the "WTF" here
    Cursing someone out for bringing their issues forward in a professional setting is a WTF.  In my eyes, it may as well have been all capitalized with spelling mistakes all over.

    I do agree with pesto, but this was totally unprofessional.



  • Belgarion is right. The company made a business decision with respect to what's in its own best interests. That said, your boss' response to your concerns was wholly unprofessional.

    When I was forced to lay off folks for budgetary reasons (the worst part of any job I've ever had), I made a concerted effort to offer personal and professional references (and anything else that I could do) to help them get something else.

    Your boss sounds like a real tool.



  • @endofmyrope said:

    What I was the most worried about was how the layoff would impact the two employees and their families.

    What you should be the most worried about is how not to be in the blast radius when your boss blows up, which appears to be a significant risk.

    A good way to do this might be to take her out for a drink, and ask her to help you understand how the decision was made. You don't have to listen - although I recommend it - but just having the opportunity to tell someone who ostensibly cares may help.

    Layoffs suck for the boss, too. I like you, I like your work, you've been a valuable and appreciated member of the team... but you're not on it anymore. That's one of the hardest things to tell someone. Until you've done it, you just don't understand.



  • @snoofle said:

    Belgarion is right. The company made a business decision with respect to what's in its own best interests.

    You never read Dilbert, I imagine? A business decision? For all you know, some boss screwed up and now these two people have to pay for it. It happened to me once. I was in a start-up that got a substantial amount of money and they burnt it on trying to beat Ask Jeeves. Yes, this was 9 years ago when Ask Jeeves was a known name. And with some hindsight it's a strategy doomed to fail, since Ask Jeeves failed miserably, so anyone trying to beat them ... Anyway, they burnt their money on a public search engine thingy after knowing it was doomed to fail, but since IPO was impossible without such a feature, especially after the dot com bubble burst... Money was in supporting business websites (B2C) but unfortunately the commercial staff and the CEO were inapt and couldn't make a deal past the first one. So what does a CEO do then? Step down? Fire sales? Nope, fire normal workers, the ones that were building actual content. After they sacked people in circumstances similar to the OP's story (to make it even better: one had a handicap as well, which made him unsuitable for quite a few jobs), I left. Obviously, they never went IPO. Last thing I heard is they're trying again. Good timing...

     

    Hmm, sounds like I forgot my meds... 



  • @endofmyrope said:

    ...

     

    While your bosses email was out of line, I think you the problem here.  The company cannot worry about the plight of ex-employees.  The fact that productivity is the least of your concerns would be my greatest concerns.  

    That being said, I'll tell you what I would have done.  I would have offered to lay you off instead of one of the two employees.  If you care so much about them then I'm sure you'll be willing to do that.  After all, if companies never layed off employees they wouldn't be able to survive and then EVERYONE at the company would lose their job.



  • @TGV said:

    You never read Dilbert, I imagine? A business decision? For all you know, some boss screwed up and now these two people have to pay for it. It happened to me once. I was in a start-up that got a substantial amount of money and they burnt it on trying to beat Ask Jeeves. Yes, this was 9 years ago when Ask Jeeves was a known name. And with some hindsight it's a strategy doomed to fail, since Ask Jeeves failed miserably, so anyone trying to beat them ... Anyway, they burnt their money on a public search engine thingy after knowing it was doomed to fail, but since IPO was impossible without such a feature, especially after the dot com bubble burst... Money was in supporting business websites (B2C) but unfortunately the commercial staff and the CEO were inapt and couldn't make a deal past the first one. So what does a CEO do then? Step down? Fire sales? Nope, fire normal workers, the ones that were building actual content. After they sacked people in circumstances similar to the OP's story (to make it even better: one had a handicap as well, which made him unsuitable for quite a few jobs), I left. Obviously, they never went IPO. Last thing I heard is they're trying again. Good timing...
    Boohoo!  The company was poorly run, and I'm sad I don't work there anymore!



  • @TGV said:

    For all you know, some boss screwed up and now these two people have to pay for it.

    For all you know, the two people being laid off are poor performers who have only kept their jobs this long because the boss was concerned about their homes and families.

    Actually, for all we know, the two people being laid off were trying to get laid off so they could make a case for a mortgage bailout... but they can't tell anyone that.



  • @CDarklock said:

    (...)For all you know, the two people being laid off are poor performers who have only kept their jobs this long because the boss was concerned about their homes and families.

    (...)

    I know how that is. A lot of the IT staff here are just like that.



  • @TGV said:

    For all you know, some boss screwed up ...
    Quite possibly. I've mostly worked in huge companies with thousands of people. More often than not, layoffs go far beyond the reach of any given line manager, so it's typically a "business decision". Why in quotes? Because those business decisions are mostly needed because high level managers did it wrong/made bad bets/under[over]estimated whatever/..., but THEY aren't the ones who get fired; it's the low level folks.

    That said, based upon prior comments, it seems there are more assumptions to be quantified before any of us can really comment effectively :)

     



  • @snoofle said:

    That said, based upon prior comments, it seems there are more
    assumptions to be quantified before any of us can really comment
    effectively :)

    We can, however, effectively comment on the tone of the e-mail. And that is definitely very shitty.



  • @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    @snoofle said:

    That said, based upon prior comments, it seems there are more assumptions to be quantified before any of us can really comment effectively :)

    We can, however, effectively comment on the tone of the e-mail. And that is definitely very shitty.

    1) Agreed, we aren't in a position to know whether the firings were justified based on performance.

    2) The boss's email was unprofessionally worded, regardless of whether he was justified or not.

    3) You notice the OP didn't post his email to the boss.  Depending on how THAT was worded, it could explain the bosses less than completely professional response.



  • @campkev said:

    3) You notice the OP didn't post his email to the boss.  Depending on
    how THAT was worded, it could explain the bosses less than completely
    professional response.

    Troo dat. 



  • @campkev said:

    You notice the OP didn't post his email to the boss.  Depending on how THAT was worded, it could explain the bosses less than completely professional response.

    So we have something between this:

    Dear Pond Scum,
    Your brain dead decision to fire my friends blows chunks. You should be drawn and quartered.
    Die Maggot!
    

    and this:

    Dear Mr[s]. BossPerson,
    I am deeply saddened by the two layoffs and am concerned for my coworkers as well as the 
    company. May we please spend a few moments to discuss the matter so that I might better
    understand?
    Yours in admiration,
    Me
     
    Personally, I'd have had that conversation in person, and would have been really 
    polite about it (regardless of how I felt inside). Then if the boss is a jerk,
    you know what you're dealing with and can try to stay out of the fallout zone 
    while looking for another position.
    


  • @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    @campkev said:

    3) You notice the OP didn't post his email to the boss.  Depending on
    how THAT was worded, it could explain the bosses less than completely
    professional response.

    Troo dat. 

    Personally, I find it hard to excuse the boss even if the OP had made a horribly rude post in defense of someone who'd proven repeatedly they don't know what they're doing: all losing his/her temper (if that's how it happened) and being rude and dismissive and clearly placing "we want investor" above the needs of the company can possibly do is make the boss look bad, and possibly worse: letting employees go just to bolster a balance sheet for an investor is not only bad faith to the employees in many states-- and that's actionable in many cases by the labor board and/or by employees suing-- but if an investor ever found out he or she dumped money into a company that had "tidied up" its expense sheet to look better, such as by firing employees needed to handle a given customer load so they could underscore lower cost next to high sales, the investor could sue for fraud-- in some cases, that could even be a criminal matter. At best, the boss was very rude and unprofessional. At worst, the boss was creating a potential massive liability for the company, and providing ammunition if the fired employees wanted to claim discrimination, bad faith, or anything else...

    I've seen a few large corporations respond to this exact situation by firing the manager that was flippant about firing employees, and rehiring the people fired, just to cover their butts.



  • @bstorer said:

    Boohoo!  The company was poorly run, and I'm sad I don't work there anymore!

    Oh no, I'm not. I'm glad I left. The only thing I regret is staying on for so long, but well, my social conscience made me. Had I left the first year, the company would have gone bankrupt immediately. But then again, a social conscience is not something you seem to be equipped with...



  • @TGV said:

    @bstorer said:

    Boohoo!  The company was poorly run, and I'm sad I don't work there anymore!

    Oh no, I'm not. I'm glad I left. The only thing I regret is staying on for so long, but well, my social conscience made me. Had I left the first year, the company would have gone bankrupt immediately. But then again, a social conscience is not something you seem to be equipped with...

    Ugh. Social conscience is both a good thing and a handicap. My best friend and I worked at the same company for a bit over two years. He got me the job. At the time he loved working there. Absolutely loved it. He was constantly going on about how it was the best job he ever had. And for a while after being hired, so was I. But then the company got two new partners. And in the span of about two weeks I was beyond fed up. In the span of about a month, my friend was equally fed up. (I had more direct exposure to the new idiots, and more experience to recognize their behavior against.)

    So for about a year and a half, we both really, really, really wanted to get the hell out of there. We didn't. Why? Our jobs were related. I was afraid if I quit he'd be canned. He was afraid if he quit I'd be canned. I was afraid if I told him how I felt he'd feel pressured to leave even though I thought he didn't want to. And he was afraid if he told me how he felt I'd be pressured to leave even though he thought I didn't want to.

    Social conscience not only prevented either us from leaving, but it prevented us from actually being fully open with each other, even though we were best friends-- because we were best friends.

    Thankfully, the pharmacy was out of my pain medication one day, and so I had to go a day without pain relief, which resulted in me exploding while we were at lunch. We both left that week. At least our mutual heavy regret resulted in us promising each other that if we were ever in that situation again, or even one with the same results, we wouldn't keep quiet, but would talk completely openly with each other.



  • Ha ha ha!  I love your boss.

     

    From the sound of it, your boss owns the company and is deeply in debt and working her ass off to try to make the company work.  She's obviously put herself much more on the line than you and your two coworkers combined.  For you to openly deride and question the decisions she has made in an endeavor that she is far, far more invested in than you is simply moronic and immature.  It's one thing to simply provide your opinion if it seems warranted, but you clearly don't even have the interests of the company at heart since you aren't concerned with productivity.  Some people have pointed out that the tone is a bit rude and unprofessional and I agree that replying to a subordinate that way will stress the relationship.  However, if an employee asked a question like that of me I would probably be looking to ditch the little fucker as soon as possible and venting some steam in an email is a good way to drop a hint.



  • @Wolftaur said:

    letting employees go just to bolster a balance sheet for an investor is not only bad faith to the employees in many states-- and that's actionable in many cases by the labor board and/or by employees suing... At worst, the boss was creating a potential massive liability for the company, and providing ammunition if the fired employees wanted to claim discrimination, bad faith, or anything else...

    I've seen a few large corporations respond to this exact situation by firing the manager that was flippant about firing employees, and rehiring the people fired, just to cover their butts.

     

    you must work in shitty countries that have aweful laws relating to firing employees.  I know that in good countries that like to be economically viable, the laws are made so that you are allowed to fire employees in order to save costs and not have to worry about a lawsuit.  Seriously, what fuck-tard country doesn't allow an employer to fire employees if they can't afford them?  What country wants their companies to go out of business because they can never fire employees?



  • @tster said:

    you must work in shitty countries that have aweful laws relating to firing employees.  I know that in good countries that like to be economically viable, the laws are made so that you are allowed to fire employees in order to save costs and not have to worry about a lawsuit.  Seriously, what fuck-tard country doesn't allow an employer to fire employees if they can't afford them?  What country wants their companies to go out of business because they can never fire employees?

    I don't mean the firing, I mean the attitude. If the fired employees want to make claims with the labor commission that they were terminated wrongfully, or claims of discrimination, or if they actually want to hire a lawyer and sue on any such grounds, unprofessional behavior from management is something that can come back to bite them. An employer has many legitimate reasons to fire an employee. Lack of performance, lousy attitude, theft, budgetary reasons, a product flopping in the marketplace, etc. But in many states, an employee who is fired because their boss made a mistake but wants to sacrifice someone else, does have grounds to sue. Or they can claim discrimination. I suspect the boss the OP is talking about had a valid reason to lay off employees: but the unprofessional e-mail might turn into the piece of bacon a labor lawyer drools over.

    Discharging employees to save costs is perfectly legal, but many lawyers would have no problem using this e-mail to hint at corruption, bad faith, or whatever else gets a settlement they get 30% to 40% of. That's why I've seen companies freak out and cover their butts on situations like this-- you don't have to break the law to be sued, and you don't have to be guilty to be ordered to pay damages. :/



  • @CDarklock said:

    @endofmyrope said:

    What I was the most worried about was how the layoff would impact the two employees and their families.

    What you should be the most worried about is how not to be in the blast radius when your boss blows up, which appears to be a significant risk.

    A good way to do this might be to take her out for a drink, and ask her to help you understand how the decision was made. You don't have to listen - although I recommend it - but just having the opportunity to tell someone who ostensibly cares may help.

    Layoffs suck for the boss, too. I like you, I like your work, you've been a valuable and appreciated member of the team... but you're not on it anymore. That's one of the hardest things to tell someone. Until you've done it, you just don't understand.

     

    There's a high turnover rate in the animation industry where I work.  Animators are working hard for 6 months, then on unemployment for 2.  The industry is close-knit and animators often help eachother out, getting eachother into studios that have work going on.  That said, whenever we have to let someone go its usually because a project is over and there simply isn't a budget for them.  They all know this, and typically the way my boss lets them go is by essentially asking if they're available when more projects arrive.  Its not a "sorry, goodbye" its a "looking forward to working with you again soon" sort of thing.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Ha ha ha!  I love your boss.

     

    From the sound of it, your boss owns the company and is deeply in debt and working her ass off to try to make the company work.  She's obviously put herself much more on the line than you and your two coworkers combined.  For you to openly deride and question the decisions she has made in an endeavor that she is far, far more invested in than you is simply moronic and immature.  It's one thing to simply provide your opinion if it seems warranted, but you clearly don't even have the interests of the company at heart since you aren't concerned with productivity.  Some people have pointed out that the tone is a bit rude and unprofessional and I agree that replying to a subordinate that way will stress the relationship.  However, if an employee asked a question like that of me I would probably be looking to ditch the little fucker as soon as possible and venting some steam in an email is a good way to drop a hint.

     This definitely sounds like a company owner who already feels pretty shitty that he had to make these cuts in the first place.


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