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Woman Fired For Using Uppercase In Email 364

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-type-angry dept.
tomachi writes "An accountant in NZ has been awarded $17,000 NZD for unfair dismissal after her boss fired her without warning for using uppercase letters in a single email to co-workers. The email, which advises her team how to fill out staff claim forms, specifies a time and date highlighted in bold red, and a sentence written in capitals and highlighted in bold blue. It reads: 'To ensure your staff claim is processed and paid, please do follow the below checklist.' Her boss deemed the capital letters too confrontational for her co-workers to read after they woke up from naptime."

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Woman Fired For Using Uppercase in Email

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  • by hernick (63550) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:52AM (#29262699)

    Yes, the time has to come fire all lawyers who use ALL CAPS when writing their contracts and EULAs!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:57AM (#29262779)

      s/ who use ALL CAPS when writing their contracts and EULAs//g

      • by teh kurisu (701097) on Monday August 31, 2009 @01:29PM (#29264159) Homepage

        Actually the reason for all caps in legal documents is that certain parts of the text are required to have greater visual emphasis relative to the rest of the document, as they tend to be the important parts. If you're working in plain text then all caps is your only option.

        I'm sure that the fact that all caps is harder to read hasn't escaped the notice of these bloodsuckers either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by theskipper (461997)

        s/ who use ALL CAPS when writing their contracts and EULAs/ out of a 700lb cannon/g

        FTFY.

    • by rssrss (686344) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:25PM (#29263157)

      Unfortunately, it is required by law in certain contract clauses:

      See, e.g. Uniform Commercial Code [cornell.edu] Section 2-316 (2) requirement that exclusions of warranties be "conspicuous" and the definition of that word at Sec. 1-201 (b)(10).

      Sorry to go statutory on you, but I don't like all caps any more than you do.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 644bd346996 (1012333)

        According to the code you cite, bold, italic, colored, or merely larger are all acceptable ways to make a section conspicuous, whereas the only mention of all caps is for headings. There is no technological justification for using all caps for body text that is required to be emphasized, and it could be said that doing so is actually rather nefarious, given that all caps is second only to poor color choice as a way to make text both noticeable and unreadable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by retchdog (1319261)

          Caps remain caps if read without HTML-formatting?

        • by reebmmm (939463) on Monday August 31, 2009 @01:06PM (#29263799)

          I'm a lawyer, and I'll be the first to admit that many of my colleagues do little to help themselves when it comes to being end user friendly. The blocks of all caps being a sure symptom of that. A site about contract drafting style actually had a pretty good discussion regarding the conspicuousness requirements and the use of all caps: http://www.adamsdrafting.com/2008/02/04/all-capitals/ [adamsdrafting.com]

          In my opinion, the all caps paragraphs are merely remnants from a time when contracts were drafted without the assistance of word processors capable of doing bold face type. And, frankly, that wasn't that long ago. Many lawyers that I know continue to cut and paste the boilerplate language or modify the boilerplate language keeping in tact whatever drafting convention was used originally.

          That said, there is also some advantage to using all caps over bold face for when it comes to OCR, text translation, format-less archiving, etc. In that case, the "conspicuousness" is maintained (i.e., all caps), even if the formatting is dropped. It's a very weak advantage.

          • by numbski (515011)

            Y'know, I hadn't even thought about that. I'm just on the boderline between generations of users to where I learned to type on an electric keyboard, not a computer. You're right about boldface typing. I had completely forgotten about it. We were taught to type all-caps, then back up and typeover again, providing all-cap bolded text.

            Oops. :P

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday August 31, 2009 @01:36PM (#29264273) Journal

      Have you actually bothered to read the other story about the cannon build by a dad?

      Notice anything? As big as it is, there is no way you can fit a laywer in there to fire them. Not unless you chop them into little bit firsts and that would get the gun powder wet and unable to fire.

      No sir, firing lawyers is NOT the solution. Try again, or build a bigger cannon.

      • drain their blood to make black pudding and THEN put them in the canon, silly!
      • No sir, firing lawyers is NOT the solution. Try again, or build a bigger cannon.

        Absolutely, he should have suggested firing AT the lawyers. Of course, this brings us back to gun control. It is necessary to have very good gun control if one is going to fire at lawyers. If there is inadequate gun control you might miss and that would be a tragedy.

      • by Gordonjcp (186804)

        Not unless you chop them into little bit firsts and that would get the gun powder wet and unable to fire.

        Freeze them and then cut them up with a saw. Then wrap the bits in clingfilm.

        Incidentally, what's with the stupid broken CSS in Idle? Have we all suddenly switched to reading /. on digital watches?

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "Yes, the time has to come fire all lawyers who use ALL CAPS when writing their contracts and EULAs!"

      Um, no, they have a good reason for using all caps.

      But I don't understand this story, the boss can not fire his employee for using all caps in a email? Why not? I guess laws are different in New Zealand, but this has got to be one of the most ridiculous job lawsuits I've ever heard.. Don't think she'd get a dime in the US of A.

      FTFA: "She had also acted provocatively in seeking to view complaints
  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:52AM (#29262703)

    This is actually one of the better formatted emails I've seen. Much as I dislike off-like emails, it's verging on good information design rather than offensiveness or even ugliness.

    Also... when did people stop understanding the word "please"?

    • "office-like", even.

      I'm blaming my keyboard.

      Hmm. She really should have blamed the company for supplying her with a faulty keyboard ;)

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gruvmeister (1259380) * on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:00PM (#29262843)
      And there will still be people who read that email and either miss the deadline or don't follow the instructions.
      • TRWTF is that they get naps! Even daycare workers don't get naptime along with the kids (woah there, keep it G-rated). Although I sometimes feel like I work in a daycare, I don't get naps either. Do I have to move to NZ to get a job where I can take a nap?
        • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by compro01 (777531) on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:55PM (#29265413)

          Just find a company that has a clue and cares with respect to actual work done per dollar productivity. There have been multiple [nytimes.com] studies [thecrimson.com] that have found a nap in the afternoon substantially boosts alertness and productivity, so the employer gets more work done for their money and the employees are also generally happier.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WraithCube (1391567)

      Also... when did people stop understanding the word "please"?

      Apparently some people decided that "please" makes it sound like its optional. Thus if you put please in it less people listen. Stupid I know, but true nonetheless.

  • Anyone who has ever been fired for shouting is going to have no sympathy for this woman.
  • hehehe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Normal Dan (1053064) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:53AM (#29262719)
    hehehe HAHAH heeheeeheeeheee HAHAHAHAAHAA!!!
    *sigh* heh... naptime?... confrontational?... heheh.... I don't know where to start... hehehe..
    *sigh* OK, I'm done.
  • by aardwolf64 (160070) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:54AM (#29262727) Homepage

    See what you did? You made me RTFA just to see if it actually mentioned naps (it doesn't, btw.)

  • by Zen Hash (1619759) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:59AM (#29262811)

    Clearly, there must be more to this story... The email excerpt alone is hardly "confrontational".

    I'd bet there was a more personal confrontation, possibly with a superior, and that email was simply seen as a better excuse to get rid of her than the real reason.

    • by ktappe (747125) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:19PM (#29263095)
      If you RTA, there was more to the story. The woman (allegedly) had a history of confrontation with her coworkers. But she was never reprimanded for those; just summarily fired with no warning and the only "evidence" the employer could dig up was this single e-mail. Basically the employer blatantly mishandled the entire situation and was left grasping at straws, trying to use an e-mail as justification.

      In short, she wasn't just fired for the caps in the e-mail; it was simply claimed she was.

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        (This post contains no useful advice of any kind, legal or otherwise...)

        This serves as an excellent example for the typical employee-employer relationship.

        Anyone can be fired from any position. Its true. Every single day employees do things that employers COULD write them up over. Many times a day.

        In this particular case, the manager takes the easy way out and terms the employee for an 'ongoing issue'. But the record doesn't support it, so the employee is entitled to whatever employees get in that juris

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TheRon6 (929989)

      I'd bet there was a more personal confrontation, possibly with a superior, and that email was simply seen as a better excuse to get rid of her than the real reason.

      My thoughts exactly. I don't see this as a story about someone being fired for using caps lock. I see it as a story about a manager who was too stupid to have a legitimate reason to fire her prepared ahead of time and has cost their company $17k as a result. One of my coworkers was fired several months ago because he didn't have one of the c

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        I don't see this as a story about someone being fired for using caps lock

        Indeed. Even though the use of caps lock merits a summary hanging, it does not merit sacking. ;-)
  • I wish people could be fired for writing in all caps. That would get rid of a lot of dead wood around here...
  • the real problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:59AM (#29262817)

    The real problem is that she's sending HTML email.

    • by mikael (484)

      Some early ASCII video terminals (DEC VT102) supported both colour and double height text, not forgetting attributes like blinking, bold and underlined characters.

      The E-mail systems at that time supported some basic control of text colour and size. I don't think anyone ever got fired back them for using bold, red or double height text.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ndege (12658)

        What about the blink tag? ;) Seems like a firing offence to me.

    • by trawg (308495) on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:20PM (#29264971) Homepage

      Where are you writing from, 1980?!

      As long as clients are sending correctly formatted multipart emails to allow plain text readers the chance to read as well, HTML email is a good thing.

      I used to be a hater too. But over the last many years of writing many, many long emails and seeing them get ignored, I found I could write long emails and just highlight the importand parts in bold or with colour. That way the low-attention-span people at the other end who couldn't take 5 minutes out of their day to read my carefully justified reasoning about why I wanted to do something in a certain way (...because the alternative was sending them a one line email saying what I wanted to do and then getting forfty thousand follow-up emails about why) could just focus on the bright shiny important bits (such as questions) which I really wanted them to see.

      Sure, I could have just written in dot point form. There's a few reasons I write non-terse emails though - 1) I enjoy writing 2) I like making sure I've covered every possible eventuality and writing them all out helps me 3) I like providing all the information a recipient will (hopefully) need to make a decision.

      I've changed my writing style several times over the years to try and communicate more clearly with people who a) rely on email for their job and b) don't like reading and it's been a pretty painful process. No doubt I still haven't gotten it right, but formatting in HTML email is one thing that I've found that makes it easier for me to tailor emails to a given audience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lord Ender (156273)

      The real problem is that she's sending HTML email.

      HTML can add a lot to the expressiveness of your email. This is a good thing, as it improves communication.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Karellen (104380)

        The keyword there is *can*. Yes, it *can* add expressiveness to your email. In my experience, most of the time it does not. For about 98% of HTML emails I receive it just adds meaningless noise in the form of horrid fonts, freakishly large or small font sizes, garish colours and completely pointless logo image attachments. (The other 2% of the time it merely adds nothing.) I want to read the text of your email in the font of my choosing, at the size I find comfortable, in colours that don't give me headache

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:02PM (#29262879) Journal

    If everyone else did their job right and didn't need the bolded and capital letters.

    If anything, everyone else should have been reprimanded and she should have been told not to warn them anymore.

  • Surprised to see this wasn't posted by theodp.
  • by DdJ (10790)

    It wasn't blinking, was it? Because if it was blinking, termination is certainly justified.

  • by schon (31600) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:04PM (#29262911)

    http://www.bash.org/?835030 [bash.org]

    It's funny, 'cuz it's true. :)

  • Uh huh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MonsterTrimble (1205334) <monstertrimble.hotmail@com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:05PM (#29262921)
    After reading the article (which was darn light on the details) I smell a usual workplace suspect: This woman was a much bigger pain in the butt then she was worth. And like many workplace pains she kept her nose JUST clean enough to not be fired for anything serious. Somebody gambled by using a stupid reason and lost. Although I also look at the amount they paid and think $17K is a pittance for the lost time and lost personel who don't want to work with the pain.
    • by RingDev (879105)

      That's how I'm reading this as well. Pain in the ass employee that they just wanted to get rid of. I didn't catch the location, but if it was an at-will employment State, why not just give the usual "your services are no longer required by this organization" line, 2 weeks severance, and send her on her way?

      -Rick

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kenp2002 (545495)

        If they fire her for wrong doing it won't count towards "Turnover Count" but if they let her go it would impact the turn-over numbers. If they haven't had any turnover for say 5 years then there is incentive to ensure the "good record" goes unblemished.

      • by Sique (173459)

        Because this is New Zealand we are talking about, not the U.S. U.S. law does only apply there if forced by economic or military blackmail.

  • by DaveGod (703167) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:08PM (#29262967)

    From TFA:

    She had also acted provocatively in seeking to view complaints laid against her by colleagues.

    That little line tells us there's far more to this story than using caps in an email, but they just drop it in and try to pretend it isn't there, like an embarrassing little fart that stinks up the story they want to write.

    I know we enjoy complaining about bad journalism but it's no better to promote their shitty little articles.

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:32PM (#29263297)

      That's what I was thinking: Crazy person uses what little power her position has to make life miserable for coworkers. Coworkers complain. Boss decides crazy person is disrupting business.

      I doubt anything she did was over the top enough to make a clear cut firing case, but nasty people with a little power doing many small, annoying things can make for a bad working environment.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        So what exactly is so hard about simply documenting what a PITA this person is, with multiple examples and testimonies from other employees, and then using THAT as justification for dismissal, instead of making up some BS reason like this all-caps email?

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Jedi Alec (258881)

          So what exactly is so hard about simply documenting what a PITA this person is, with multiple examples and testimonies from other employees, and then using THAT as justification for dismissal, instead of making up some BS reason like this all-caps email?

          Because in a lot of these cases the crazy person is not so much crazy as frustrated with idiotic co-workers who can't follow simple instructions. Pretty hard to build a case against an employee when all they do is point out inconvenient truths, no matter how

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            You seem to be talking about a case where there really wasn't a good reason to fire an employee, other than the fact that management simply didn't like him/her for stupid reasons, so they came up with a BS excuse.

            The other poster(s) was talking about a case where there really was a good reason (the employee was a PITA in general, was on a power trip, hurt morale, etc.), but for some reason management couldn't use those reasons, and came up with a lame excuse.

            Obviously, with this particular story, we don't k

  • Was this an office or a preschool?
    • she should have to sit in the corner in the timeout chair.

    • by flynt (248848)

      That was a "joke" I think. TFA does not mention naps...very lame attempt at being witty.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Was this an office or a preschool?

      How do you tell the difference? Both places are known to have brightly colored motivational posters, people acting like 3-year-olds, and people who can't count.

  • by GMFTatsujin (239569) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:15PM (#29263047) Homepage

    I work IT at a home nursing business, and I get work tickets submitted all the time. The nurses and office coordinators use software that -- don't ask me why -- requires them to use all capital letters when entering patient visit notes and ordering medications. They leave the CAPS LOCK key on all the time as part of their professional work, and are so used to it that it doesn't stand out when they use it in other contexts.

    You learn to live with it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BrokenHalo (565198)
      You learn to live with it.

      That's not entirely true. I started out in programming (in Assembler, Fortran and COBOL) when EVERYTHING WAS IN UPPER CASE on the mainframe computers I was using. There was no lower-case option on my punch-cards, and the same goes for my printers. (Though some of them were the fastest printers I have ever worked with, even to this day.)

      But I never liked uppercase, and was happy as a pig in shit when I got to play around with C.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Proper software design 101.
      If a data field requires data in all upper case then in your data verification you convert it to all upper case.
      The only excuse is if the software predates the requirement.
      Or if for some unlikely reason it is an COTS product but the program you describe hardly ever is.

  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:19PM (#29263093)
    Whenever you hear about somebody getting fired for something silly like this it should be pretty clear that the person doing the firing was just waiting for an excuse. Obviously he picked a bad "reason" to fire her.
    • by BeanThere (28381) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:46PM (#29263505)

      I don't know why she doesn't just go find another job, instead of this silly lawsuit ... oh wait, greed, that's it ... a $17,000 award, nice. Guess who coughs up for that ... people like us who don't abuse the system :/

      "I am a single woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and borrow money from my sister to make it through," she said. "They nearly ruined my life."

      Oh please, it's her employer's fault that she has zero savings, yet still bought a house that she couldn't afford without living literally having to live paycheck to paycheck? That makes the employer "responsible" for owing her a living?

      • The employer is responsible for treating employees like human beings. Firing someone over something like this without even talking to her about it first is a stupid, evil thing to do, and $17,000 is a tiny, tiny penalty for such an offense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by selven (1556643)

        "They nearly ruined my life."

        Wait, so the company paid this person a salary and allowed her to own a home in the first place, but when the company stopped helping her it's "ruining her life"? That is some screwed up entitlement mentality.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tkg (455770)

        You aparently didn't read the article.

        "As part of her compensation, Walker was awarded nearly $6000 in lost wages for the 13 weeks between leaving ProCare and finding a new job, but she says she didn't find fulltime work until October 2008."

        Clearly she DID look for another job, and if you think fighting for fair treatment by an employer is abusing the system, then you must be one of those employers.

        I don't know what the legal system is like in NZ, but if it's anything like in the US, the vast majority of th

      • Get a grip (Score:4, Interesting)

        by syousef (465911) on Monday August 31, 2009 @06:55PM (#29268221) Journal

        I don't know why she doesn't just go find another job, instead of this silly lawsuit ... oh wait, greed, that's it ... a $17,000 award, nice. Guess who coughs up for that ... people like us who don't abuse the system :/

        How did she abuse the system exactly? She didn't walk up to her boss and ask to be fired.

        Oh please, it's her employer's fault that she has zero savings, yet still bought a house that she couldn't afford without living literally having to live paycheck to paycheck? That makes the employer "responsible" for owing her a living?

        The laws are there to prevent people turning to crime because they've just lost their subsistence wage jobs and need to feed their family. An employer is in a position of power over his employees.

        People aren't disposable. There is a reason we developed a civilisation where it's not dog eat dog. You enjoy the fruits of that civilisation but don't want it to protect others and call their using that protection "greed". Get a grip.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drsquare (530038)

        I don't know why she doesn't just go find another job, instead of this silly lawsuit ... oh wait, greed, that's it ... a $17,000 award, nice. Guess who coughs up for that ... people like us who don't abuse the system :/

        No, it's paid by the company that fucked her over. It took its time, but this thread is finally being flooded by Americans (probably libertarians) outraged that the system actually looked after the little guy rather than the corporation.

        Seriously Americans, stop worshipping corporations, they

  • by BCW2 (168187)
    This PC crap has gone too far!

    Oops, that same twit will try to fire me now!
  • by PhiberOptix (182584) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:41PM (#29263423)

    BILLY MAYS HERE!!!
    TOO BAD I'M DEAD, OTHERWISE SHE WOULD BE WELCOME TO WORK WITH ME!

    and here is something just to bypass /. caps filtering. I guess she didn't posted here much either.

  • ... there's an opening?

  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Monday August 31, 2009 @01:00PM (#29263699) Homepage Journal

    Face it, we are heading back to royalty and peasantry quicker and quicker. Not long and they'll have us back in chains. I knew a former employee of Anderson who was fired after lunch because he had a spot of soup on his tie.

    "At $85 fucking dollars an hour I expect your monkey ass to be fucking spotless, get the fuck out of my office you unkempt shit!"

    That is why I got out of consulting as I was sitting outside the door during this exchange. I once lost a contract from having a 102 fever and couldn't drive to drop off a floppy disk with a script for a novell printer remap even though there was 12 copies of the disk sitting on my desk 2 cubes over from where my boss sat...

    "If you can't get to work when we need you, then we don't fucking need you. You can mail us the pager and badge, your fucking done in this town!"

    We are pesants, get used to it. I still see the same H1B guys in Minneapolis (Now what, 13 year later) who put 38-40 hours on their time sheets but a simple check of the parking ramp's badge log and they are there 2-3 days straight and the workstation log shows 80-90 hours a week working. They don't dare put their real time down or it is "back on the boat" for them (I hear that crap from their managers all the time).

    I've been out of consulting now for about 4 years and you couldn't pay me to go back into it. I'm lucky where I am at but the horrors I see here in the Twin Cities makes me ill on how they treat employees. I saw on gal get fired because "she's too pretty" and another "because she dates too much", another "I don't need some fat shit blocking my view..."

    I've even been told by a few executives "I'm a fucking piece of livestock" on several occasions (twice ironically at the same resturant "The Palimino", Minneapolis in the La Salle tower. Nice place btw.)

    It gets worse every year and you wonder why no one goes into IT anymore. I cannot speak outside of the IT\MIS field but I have found that, given a sourge, most would use it on someone. The USA corporate culture is getting bad, real bad. Madoff and the like are just the tip of the iceberg in bad behavior. You should hear the kind of shit they say while on Lake Minnetonka or up on the White Fish chain by Cross Lake and hear what they really think about "the fucking toothless braindead pesants I have working for me". The greed is getting worse not better... so much for being an enlightened society....

    Sadly it also appears to be 2nd generation types too. The old man was nice and polite, his children on the otherhand... what the hell happened? I'd rather have the old days before the Mafia wen't legit and brought their business methods with them.

    • by dtolman (688781)

      Half those exec's are probably dead broke, washed away by the market crash at the end of the new gilded age. If they aren't now, they will be in a year or two, when the commercial real estate collapses like the residential one, all the ARM's start resetting, and the stock market bubble pops again.

      We may have new royalty, but the now constant churn means that the Wheel of Life from the dark ages is ever more apt. They won't be up top for long...we all get whats coming to us...eventually.

    • Sadly it also appears to be 2nd generation types too. The old man was nice and polite, his children on the otherhand... what the hell happened?

      Perhaps you've hit on the root of the problem. Dynastic succession. Untested, unproven people being placed in positions they never earned. Indeed, they feel entitled to them by default.

      To rationalise this, they need a philosophy for why they deserve so much more for so little. They must be in some way inherently more deserving, superior, better than ordinary people. After that, it's rather difficult to treat others with respect.

      • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:16PM (#29264879) Journal

        Sadly it also appears to be 2nd generation types too. The old man was nice and polite, his children on the otherhand... what the hell happened?

        Perhaps you've hit on the root of the problem. Dynastic succession. Untested, unproven people being placed in positions they never earned. Indeed, they feel entitled to them by default.

        To rationalise this, they need a philosophy for why they deserve so much more for so little. They must be in some way inherently more deserving, superior, better than ordinary people. After that, it's rather difficult to treat others with respect.

        I'd mod you up if I had points.

        Thankfully, the good thing about dynastic succession is that the successors, not having the experience of having run a struggling company, end up piloting it either into a hole, lining their own pockets, or at best, into a level, zero-growth situation, giving more room for competitors. We benefit from churn. Industries are like soup: they have to be stirred frequently or the scum rises to the top.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Almost makes you want to join an anarcho-syndicalist commune, where you take turns acting as a sort of executive officer for the week.

    • My 2 cents: If you can, find a job working at a company that produces something useful. Easier said than done of course, but it moves things in the right direction. If you're in an industry that mainly sucks wealth from other people, most of the other people in it for long will be assholes, by natural selection.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:16PM (#29264889)
      I have worked for 4 family owned companies (in three of them I knew the families from outside of the work environment). Based on that I have discovered a pattern that I have talked over with others that have experience with multi-generation family owned companies. Generally, the first generation greatly values the employees because they recognize that the value of the company is the result of the people who work for them. Often, the second generation was partially raised by some of the employees of the company (Dad was busy running the company, but he brought Junior to work and had various employees supervise him), and sees them as family that the owner is responsible to look after. The third generation usually sees the whole company as a bunch of numbers to be added and subtracted to maximize the bottom line.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      The USA corporate culture is getting bad, real bad.

      That's why the economy went into the toilet and isn't likely to get any better very soon.

      Employers were like that in the 1920s, too. [virginia.edu]

  • by neo (4625)

    I thought for sure this thread would be full of all caps.

    Either the mods are marking -1 ALL CAPS or everyone is showing remarkable restraint.

    Either way, well done.

  • This is about all the other emails she sent and this one was just the last straw.

    And yes, it's a pretty small straw, but we don't know anything else that was loaded on this particular camel.

  • by brusk (135896) on Monday August 31, 2009 @03:48PM (#29266221)
    And that's why everyone is on her case. It's not as though she was doing anything shifty. If I were her boss, I'd just sent her a letter, explaining how some minuscule changes could fix things. Instead of firing her, he should have put on some Dvorak and calmed down, or at least sent a page up to ask the board of the company. In the future, the key thing the firm could do is find an appropriate space and pick up the tab for a function that would teach alternate methods for controlling oneself; I'm sure that would bring significant returns. But them's the breaks, I guess.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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