Firing an employee is a sensitive thing. You don’t actually hear about a lot of people getting fired these days — layoffs, “RIFs” and other corporate double-speak for letting people go is more typical. Actually firing a person is (in my experience anyway) pretty rare and usually only done in serious circumstances.
Well, except at Apple.
An ex-Apple customer support employee made a very funny, damning video about his being fired for a seemingly ridiculous reason that has now been viewed over 800,000 times on YouTube. It’s created dozens of “response” videos from viewers supporting him, some calling for a boycott of Apple. The ex-employee even created a response video to the responses, explaining more about the situation.
In a new age of user-driven content, YouTube, blogs, etc., information like this can’t be hidden. Apple (with its mega-brand and “user friendly” rep) made a serious error in judgment, and the result went viral. Fast.
The ex-employee says himself he never would have made the video if they’d handled the situation differently. He loved working at Apple, and loves their products even more. Lest you think this was just sour grapes, two weeks prior to being fired, he’d received a great performance review and was up for a promotion.
Smart (humane) companies fire an employee only after the individual, manager and HR have discussed the performance issues at length. The employee should understand what’s not working and be given a genuine chance to fix it. It should never be a surprise, and the person should be aware as to why it occurred. In this situation, the poor guy got fired via a phone call in his off-hours, was treated poorly when he asked for a reason why, and made a devastatingly funny art piece as a result. Now who got the last laugh?