It's a Tuesday morning and you walk into your office on time and ready for work.
Some of your colleagues seem to be in a slightly depressed mood but you think it's because they're stressed out with all the deadlines they have to meet.
You pour yourself a cup of coffee at the company pantry and you walk to your workstation where you sink into your seat. You open the newspaper you brought to work and at the same time you make a few clicks on your computer to check your e-mail and you get an e-mail telling you that you've just been fired (Thank you very much).
That is more or less what happened to 400 employees from the Radio Shack Headquarters in Texas last Tuesday morning at 8.45am.
The "lucky 400" employees who were in the list received this e-mail
"The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately, your position is one that has been eliminated."
Or in simple words it means
"We've just fired you so that the rest of us can keep your jobs. Ha Ha!"
Now what on Earth is up with that?
What happened to the times when your boss would tell you personally
"You're fired! Now get the hell out of my office".
Or when you would get a letter nicely printed on Company Stationery with nice words like this letter here from the imaginary multi-million dollar toilet paper company Sai Chua Berhad.
Dear Kok Yew,
Your work and contribution to our Company (Sai Chua Berhad) has been essential to our success.
In the past two years we have grown from a company with just 200 employees to one with over 1,000 employees and from just one brand of toilet paper to over 40 brands including our latest "Veli Veli Soft Like Silk", the new model of our older brand "Soft Like Silk".
Our revenues have also tripled in just the last 6 months alone and we know that all this success is owed to your work and contribution to the Company.
All your colleagues have nothing but praises for your work ethic and they all marvel at your integrity to the company shown simply by your reluctance to even steal the paper clips from our office.
We even notice how you sparingly drink water from our water cooler in order to lowe our company's costs.
You are truly the best employee we have ever had.
However, in spite of all this you may have already known that last week we interviewed a woman that goes by the name of Jessica Alba and she very much wanted your position.
She was interviewed by all the male senior managers and everyone felt that she was better suited for your position of Head of Toilet Paper Sales after she told us of her extraordinary sales experience where she managed to sell a bottle of water to a man dying of thirst in the Sahara Desert.
All 6 of the 10 managers of our branch agreed that we just had to employ Jessica Alba. The remaining 4 managers (who were all women) protested strongly against our decision but we know for sure that we are making the right move for the future of the company.
Without Jessica Alba, our male-dominated Toilet Paper company will lose motivation to come to the office to work. Therefore we have to employ her.
However, the Sai Chua Berhad HQ in Penang has refused to take on Jessica Alba simply because our branch has supposedly over-stretched our labour budget.
This could mean two things. Either we can't afford to employ Miss Alba or we fire somebody in the company to give room for her.
Fortunately for the rest of us at the company, we decided to make room for her by firing someone.
After countless meetings with other male managers, we've decided that of all the male employees here at Sai Chua Berhad, you were the best looking and most charming employee.
You are the only one among us who does not wear pants high up to the tummy or button your shirt all the way to the top.
Therefore in our foresight, should you ever be around when we hire Jessica Alba, you will take her away from all of us, leaving the rest of us 40-year old virgins behind.
It is because of this reason and this reason alone that we proudly announce to you that you are to be fired effective immediately. Please gather all your things and vacate the office premises before 2.00pm today since Jessica Alba will be coming in at 2.30pm.
Allow me this opportunity to thank you very much for the sacrifice you're making for the team.
Should any of your future employers contact me for a reference, I shall tell them that you are an excellent toilet paper sales man having managed to sell toilet paper to an elephant two years ago.
I shall also tell them about the time you managed to skillfully sell our stainless steel toilet paper roll to the mother-in-laws of everyone at the company.
But more importantly, I shall tell them how you 'willingly' took one for the team.
I wish you the very best in your future undertakings.
Khoo Khoo Chiaw
Managing Director of Sai Chua Berhad
Kuala Lumpur Branch.