Sunday, August 06, 2006

SMS meets early Austin - you're fired.

so not only can you divorce your spouse via text message, but you can now get fired via text message. these are pretty classic explicit performatives here.

the company defended the txt firing, by the way, by arguing that 'We are a youth business and our staff are all part of the youth culture', which is an interesting enough take on it. i was hoping that employees would also be able to txt out of work or to say that they were coming in late, but one of the articles quickly crushed that thought. i wonder to what extent this is an isolated case / media garnering tactic, and whether these kinds of acts are going to, you know, catch on (i'm sure quite a few people have proposed marriage, equally performative, through SMS, no?).

I texted in sick once to an office job. But it was to my boss, who was also my friend and I knew her to text message a lot. What info is missing in this story, to me, is whether they have communicated with employees before via text message: do they send text messages to tell them they have a staff meeting tomorrow, or that they need a shift covered? If so, the firing-via-text seems more innocuous.
the txt in full, fyi (.)

Hi katy its alex from the shop. Sorry 2 do this by text but ive been trying to call u + ur phones been switched off. Ive had a meeting with jon + ian and weve reviewed your sales figures and they're not really up to the level we need. As a result we will not require your services any more. You will receive your last pay packet on friday 28th july. Thank you for your time with us
It sounds like this company has an established practice of doing their business over the Internet. After all, if their employees get their salary via some type of special "pay packet" it's not so surprising to hear they also fire that way.
actually, a 'pay packet' is just the british term for an envelope with paycheck enclosed :D

so sorry for the confusion, just trying to leave a punny(sp?) comment for my friend Steve.
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