BMEWS
 
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calendar   Monday - February 23, 2009

BT suspends 30 call centre staff for circulating ‘harmless’ Irish joke by email. JEESH!WHAT NEXT?

batbat

BT - British Telecom.

What a sorry state we’re in when a silly joke based on misused words can get people sacked.
Or maybe they’re canned because the joke wasn’t really funny.  Whatever.  What the hell is the world coming to?
Yeah,yeah.  I know.  Just do not wanna face it.

The joke really wasn’t funny so much as it was silly. See for yourself.
But I guess it only takes one officious oaf to bitch about something for a company to, “take appropriate measures.”

Had an almost sleepless night and a long morning what with legal stuff and starting probate and just normal stuff right?
Then see an article with a really dumb move by a company being pc and it just raises hackles because there really isn’t any need for this kind of thing.

ONE STOOLIE COMPLAINS, MOMMY,MOMMY . 30 SUSPENDED FROM JOBS!

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:11 AM on 23rd February 2009

BT has suspended 30 of its call centre staff after they were caught forwarding an email joke poking fun at the Irish.

Bosses at the telecoms firm did not see the funny side of the story, which involves four Irishmen, and an investigation is under way.

But the probe was today branded a waste of time and money, and a cynical ploy to axe staff during the recession.

One worker said yesterday: ‘Either BT have no sense of humour whatsoever or the bosses are deliberately trying to get shot of people without having to pay any redundancy money.

‘The joke was sent around the office as a bit of fun. Everyone is worried about their jobs but we all try and cheer each other up.

‘It was light-hearted but one person complained and suddenly managers were grilling people about the joke saying it was offensive and could be interpreted as a racist slur on Irish people.

‘I’m a quarter Irish and I didn’t think it was offensive. BT are being ridiculous and morale here has hit an all time low.’

John Midgley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness said: ‘I sincerely hope that common sense is brought to bare on this and that political correctness does not cost these peoples’ jobs especially in the present economic climate.’

The Joke involves the death of three Irishmen. The first leaps with a budgie thinking he’s budgie-jumping; the second kills a parrot thinking he’s parrot-shooting and the third leaps off with a hen, believing he’s hen-gliding.

It was circulated around staff working at the BT call centre in Leicester - which employs 340 people - two weeks ago.


Managers suspended every worker who had forwarded the joke to someone else and warned them they face disciplinary action.

One suspended worker said: ‘The joke was harmless fun and the sort of thing millions of office workers send to each other up and down the country.

‘I received it and forwarded it to a colleague without thinking about it.

‘The next thing I knew managers were demanding to look at my computer to see who I’d emailed the joke to.

‘The fact I could now lose my job over this is really scary and I’d leave if I could afford to but there are no other jobs anywhere.’

This month, BT saw its share price plummet to an all-time low of 7.8 per cent to 97p.

It also emerged that the firm is paying 1,000 workers to do nothing while operations are scaled back to save cash.

A BT spokesman said: ‘A complaint was made about a joke which could be offensive to some people.

‘BT takes these matters seriously and will investigate any allegations.

‘We cannot comment on any investigation that may be taking place internally at the moment. These matters are treated in the strictest confidence.’

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), the UK’s largest union in the communications industry, blasted BT for suspending the call centre workers.

A spokesman said: ‘It’s incredible BT can spend this money on such a petty, meaningless investigation with customers very likely picking up the bill.’

The Leicester Irish Society also defended the employees, claiming BT bosses had lost their sense of humour.

A spokesman added: ‘The Irish are famous for their sense of humour but it appears BT have lost theirs.

‘The English and Irish communities have a long history of taking the micky out of each other.

‘The Irish probably have just as many, if not more jokes, about the English but they’re all meant in good spirits.

‘Suspending staff over a little joke is stupid and it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious for the people whose jobs are on the line.’


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/23/2009 at 11:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BusinessDaily LifeNanny StateStoopid-PeopleUK •  
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