A teenage girl in the UK was fired from her weekend job at a cafe via Facebook last week. Apparently it's the first instance of "Facebook firing," and frankly, it should serve as a glaring example for other employers of how not to handle a delicate situation.
Telegraph.co.uk reports Chelsea Taylor lost her job after losing a 10-pound note while running an errand for coworkers at Cookies cafe in Leigh, Greater Manchester. Her manager, Elaine Sutton, gave her the news by posting it on Facebook. The message said, in part:
I had to tell the owner bout (sic) u (sic) losin (sic) that tenner coz (sic) obviously the till was down at the end of day (sic). she (sic) wasn't very pleased at all and despite me trying to persuade her otherwise she said I have to let u (sic) go. I'm really sorry.
The girl's mother, who runs her own business, was understandably appalled by the situation. There were several problems with the way the manager handled the situation.
First, the message should never have been delivered on a public medium like Facebook. It's hard enough to lose a job, and even more so when all your friends, coworkers and even potential supervisors at future jobs get to watch it happen. The more professional approach would have been to call the teenager on the phone, or even waited until the next time she was scheduled to work and tell her in person.
Second, if you've no choice but to deliver the message in written form, use e-mail or some other more private means of communication -- even a hard copy letter sent via "snail mail" would be better than using Facebook.
Finally, when delivering messages such as this one, at least be sure to use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation rather than the slang spellings and lack of punctuation that have gained acceptance with the increasing popularity of text messaging and social networking. Language like "I had to tell the owner bout u losin that tenner coz" reflects poorly on the manager and on the organization she represents.