Ever heard how beneficial workplace humor can be for employee productivity and morale? Supervisors at this company haven’t.
British telecommunications provider BT Group is facing severe criticism after suspending 30 of its workers for forwarding a joke that poked fun at Irish people.
Employees at the Leicester, England call center e-mailed the joke to one another to lighten the mood of the office, but supervisors quickly clamped down and punished all employees who were involved in spreading the “offensive” material.
Call center workers say BT’s investigation and suspensions were just a charade that allowed the company to get rid of some of its workers without economic consequences. “Everyone is worried about their jobs, but we all try and cheer each other up,” said one of the suspended employees. “Either BT has no sense of humor whatsoever or the bosses are deliberately trying to get shot of people without having to pay,” said another.
The joke, which involved the jumping death of three Irish farmers who go “budgie-jumping,” “parrot-shooting” and “hen-gliding,” has been defended by Leicester’s Irish Society. The group proudly claims Irish people “are famous for their sense of humor, but it appears BT have lost theirs.”
“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,” claimed the Irish Society.