Read This E-Mail -- Then Scram

Times Staff Writer

You’ve got mail -- but no job.

That was essentially the e-mail RadioShack Corp. sent to 403 employees Tuesday to notify them they had been fired as part of a company downsizing.

RadioShack spokesman Charles Hodges said the company had notified employees in the last 10 days that they would learn of their fates through an e-mail. At 8:45 a.m. -- the designated time -- employees were glued to their computer screens at the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth.

“I was tuned in,” said Hodges, who held on to his job.


Those who were not that lucky saw a message that read: “The workforce reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated.”

Some of the terminated employees included vice presidents and rank-and-file workers. Hodges said that after the e-mails were delivered, he heard no gasps or cries.

“People had plenty of time to mentally prepare for what might happen,” he said. “They handled it professionally.”

USC business professor Warren Bennis said it didn’t matter that employees had been forewarned: “I thought I had stopped being surprised at the callousness of corporate acts.”