HR Strange But True!
August 10, 2006

A body-piercing and clothing shop in Cardiff, England, fired a 21-year-old sales assistant by text message, and then defended its action as being in step with "youth culture."

Katy Tanner said she was shocked by her boss's message on her mobile telephone. But the Blue Banana chain defended the text firing, saying, "We are a youth business and our staff are all part of the youth culture," the Weekly Telegraph reported.

Tanner had been working at the shop for only 8 weeks when her manager, Alex Bartlett, sent the message.

"We've reviewed your sales figures and they're not up to the level we need," he wrote. "As a result we will not require your services any more. Thank you for your time with us."

Tanner said she was out sick with a severe migraine when she got the message.

"I don't think it's right to just text someone," she told the Weekly Telegraph. "It's very impersonal and not at all professional. You don't expect that. You're not allowed to text in sick -- you have to phone. The fact that they 'texted' me is a bit of a double standard."

Ian Besbie, a director at Blue Banana, defended the store's decision to send the sacking notice by text. "We are a youth business and our staff are all part of the youth culture that uses SMS messaging as a major means of communication," he told the Weekly telegraph.

"As we wished to spare Miss Tanner the embarrassment and expense of coming to the store only to be sent home again, we thought it was the best course of action," Besbie said. "We would rather have spoken in person to Miss Tanner but her telephone was switched off."


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