"It felt like a Black Mirror episode" - Bird Scooter lays off 406 workers at once via Zoom

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/04/02/it-felt-like-a-black-mirror.html


Hey, its exactly how my former employer informed myself, our entire QA team and half the Development team on March 12th that we were laid off as of March 20th. That week sucked. Future wonders, or future blunders?


What about your Human Resources people? HR tend to be typical targets.


Just like 9/11, every poorly thought out / executed tech company can now bail and blame Covid on their failures.


I’ve been laid off or my department eliminated twice now (including just last week!) and neither time did the person on the other end have the courage to just use plain language. Really leaves a bitter taste.


I was formally laid off by text message. Given that the restaurant was restaurant already closed by government order it wasn’t a surprise, and at least they’re still giving me health insurance.


I worked for a high-tech firm in Canada. Our entire division got called into the theatre that was part of one building.

Our director stood up in front of us, and in a kind of choked voice, announced “I’m sorry, but as of now, no-one in this room has a job. Including me.” Kind of rough, but a class act.


sorry to hear about your job, i know a bunch of people in a similar situation. it’s going to be a hard couple of months for people. :slightly_frowning_face:

can i ask how the health insurance part works?

i thought that once a person was let go, their health insurance automatically ended.

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I was officially laid off 2 weeks ago with my entire shop, over 160 people on the floor, 10 minutes before the end of my shift, with no warning. Then rehired by text message the next day about 25 hours later, along with everyone after we got a waiver to operate.

We were already suffering due to the Boeing situation, this has made things worse. All our suppliers are laying off left and right- I fully expect to lose my job again any day now, again by dickless staff with no warning.

(no insult intended for the naturally dickless)


When I asked they said ther would continue my health insurance with the employer covering my portion, with me repaying my share when I get hired back.


PRO: Bird goes the way the dodo.
CON: No one will be downtown to enjoy the dearth of sidewalk-hogging scooters.


this is a suboptimal way to deliver this message



This is where brexit is heading too.


I’m sad for the workers who’ve lost their jobs due to this pandemic, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel some glee at an e-scooter company going through hard times, and possibly bust. E-Scooters are (and hopefully that “are” becomes a “were” sometime in the near future) a prime example of the kind of Silicon Valley “permissionless innovation” that tech bros and venture capitalists salivate over.

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I’m sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, we’re no where near the bottom of this, so at least we won’t be the outliers. I guess?

How did you know?


We had a video meeting yesterday. Nobody is laid off yet, but all management/salary positions are taking a 25% pay cut, and all of our hourly employees had their hours cut to 6 hours a day. Mgmt/salary are still working 8 hour days. It’s a small company, and I could tell the owners were really torn up about it. The company’s 9th anniversary was also yesterday.

Their hope is that the oh-so-generous-one-time-only stimulus check the government is sending “everyone” will help cover what we lose in the coming month, and that our company will be able to get a small business hardship loan as soon as that’s possible.

But our clients are either dropping us entirely, cutting their budgets by as much as 2/3, or – as our one huge restaurant chain client is doing – telling us they won’t be paying any invoices for the next 60 days, but we need to keep doing the work.

We have one large automotive group remaining that’s keeping us afloat. If they drop us, or cut back, we will go down before the next pay period, I’m guessing.

I guess you can’t break capitalism without a whole bunch of unemployment. April is going to be a long damn month. Or short, for some us.


I didn’t! Just didn’t mean to offend anyone. What they did was so dickless, it took balls. Dunno how any of that works, but you get my meaning? :sweat_smile:

If you’re going to fire someone, or lay them off- especially when they did nothing wrong- doing it in person should be expected as basic human respect for the people you employ. Doing this feckless over text or prerecorded zoom crap just shows how spineless your employer actually is


I suspect that this virus thing is going to make Brexit far, far worse than anyone could have imagined.