Is there anything worse than getting fired over zoom?
How about getting fired over zoom at the very beginning of the holiday season?
Cruel as such a thing may sound, that's exactly what happened to 900 employees of mortgage company Better.com, when CEO Vishal Garg laid off 15% of his staff in a three minute Zoom call.
The video found its way to the TikTok page of @wanderellaco, where it received over 19 thousand views.
WARNING: NSFW language
#fyp #laidoff #savage
The video began with Garg telling his employees the "market has changed" and Better.com would have to move with it in order to survive.
He then told those receiving the video what he had to say was "not news they wanted to hear" and what he was about to tell them was his decision and "a really really challenging decision to make."
"This is the second time in my career I'm doing this, and I do not, do not want to do this."
"The last time I did it I cried, this time I hope to be stronger."
But Garg remained emotionally neutral throughout the video, even when he announced he was laying off 15% of their workers.
Garg cited the "market, efficiency, performances and productivity" as the main reasons behind the layoffs.
While Garg didn’t show any visible outward emotion during his presentation, the unnamed and unseen man watching the video could be heard getting audibly riled up at the news.
First shouting "F*ck you dude" back at Garg when he revealed those receiving the video were the unlucky 15%, he then asked "are you f*cking kidding me" when Garg revealed those on the receiving end of the video were "terminated immediately."
After listing the next steps in their terminations as well as their severance packages, Garg concluded the video by thanking the fired employees for their "contributions” to Better.com.
"I wish the news was different."
"I wish we were thriving as enthusiastically as we were at the beginning of this year."
"But, that's not the case, and I'm sure you wil leave us, and be more successful, more fortunate and luckier in your next endeavor."
"I Wish you all the best of luck, thank you for everything you've done for better."
In spite of everything Garg said in the video, Better.com is hardly struggling financially.
As reported by CNN Business, Better.com announced it was going public this past May, receiving $750 million as a result of an SPAC merger and is expected to eventually be valued at $1.1 billion.
Perhaps with that in mind, viewers of the video on TikTok were less than sympathetic towards Garg, if not flat out outraged.
Garg is no stranger to controversy.
Just last year, an angry and abusive email Garg sent to his staff was published by Forbes.
In it, Garg wrote:
"You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS... SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME."
Following the mass firing, Garg confirmed to Fortune he posted on Blind, an app where workers can anonymously report toxic behavior in the workplace, seemingly in a way to defend his actions.
Several of those comments were captured by screenshot and shared on Twitter.
Garg didn't hold back on his views of his staff's behavior in the angry comments, calling some of his staff "ingrates" and accusing them of laziness and theft.
"You guys know that at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking in 8 hours+ a day in the payroll system?"
"They were stealing from you and stealing from the customers who pay the bills that pay our bills."
"Get educated."If Garg was hoping to gain sympathy by kicking his employees when they were down, reactions to the comments on Twitter suggested he failed miserably in his mission.
Following the ever growing backlash thrown at him, Garg subsequently sent out an apology to the terminated employees for his behavior.
"I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better."
"I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you."
Whether those 900 affected employees accepted his apology remains unclear, but the subsequent resignations of Better.com's VP of Communications, Head of Public Relations and Head of Marketing can't be helping his cause.
Bloomberg also reported Better.com is pushing back its SPAC merger as a result of the ongoing controversy.
It all leaves one to wonder if “Better” is a truly accurate description of the company.