One of our readers mailed us in this goodie, which is said to have happened to a London-based banker a few years back.
The story goes that Employee Relations folks in the Human Resources department of a well known investment bank in the midst of axing staff, were determined that the process of making their bankers redundant would go smoothly. HR got the names of those bankers affected, booked rooms to advise staff that their number was up, and even handed IT a list so that an automated out-of-office e-mail could go live the morning after the bankers had gone and their colleagues had been advised of the position.
A last minute bun fight between executives arguing about exactly how many redundancies should be made in their areas to hit the cost-savings targets, however, delayed advising staff by 48 hours. HR thought they had it all under control, though, simply moving back the date in their calenders. But someone forgot to tell IT, who set up the out-of-office alert the evening before bankers were to be told of their fate. Now one conscientious banker, unaware that he was to be axed, sent himself an e-mail reminder about work from his personal PC to his office that evening. You got it -back came the auto-response response:
'xxxxx xxxxx now longer works for xxxxx. For general work-related enquiries please contact......'. HR blamed IT. IT blame HR. The banker is said to have called in sick the next morning, and it is not known whether he has officially been made redundant yet.
This item is similar to a story that did the rounds a few years ago about a banker at ABN AMRO, who allegedly worked out that he was toast after he found he couldn't gain access to his usual bank car parking space. The attendant is said to have advised the banker that he was no longer on the list entitling him to a space!