Plain Dealer Staffers Get the Pink Slip via Telephone

We thought getting the ax was tough enough via text message, but getting the pink slip doled out over the phone doesn’t sit well with us either.

Somehow this story fell off our radar screen last week when it occurred so even though this post is belated, we can’t not take notice. As originally reported by Jim Romenesko, last week between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., 50 staffers at Cleveland’s Plain Dealer got the pink slip via telephone. At home. They were told to go to the newspaper’s production center 10 miles away to collect their severance materials.

Liz Ryan, founder and chief executive of Human Workplace, told Businessweek, “It’s far better to deliver the bad news in person.”

Pointing out the whole procedure seemed “cold and bureaucratic,” it didn’t help they asked people to report to another location to get materials that could have been spent electronically. Her reaction? It’s “just one more indignity added on to the heap.”