Woman fired for e-mails in all caps

An accountant in New Zealand is fired for allegedly sending "confrontational" e-mails. She takes her case to court and is awarded compensation.

Being an accountant is hard.

You have to deal, in general, with people who can't count, can't save receipts, and then expect you to bail them out from all their troubles.

So please consider the plight of Vicki Walker, an accountant with ProCare Health in Auckland, New Zealand.

According to the trusty New Zealand Herald, ProCare, in dismissing Walker, told her that her e-mail style had caused ripples of disturbance in the serene landscape of her fellow workers' minds.

Her sins, for there were reportedly several, were that she used capital letters, bold typefaces and, perish the mere concept, red text in her e-mails.

Perhaps Walker should have just sent a nice, hand-written note. CC Thomas Eagle/Flickr

Walker reacted to this dismissal with an exclamation point and some question marks. She took ProCare Health to an employment tribunal, where she was awarded 17,000 NZ dollars ($11,447) in compensation.

She told the Herald that she found it curious that ProCare Health only produced one e-mail in evidence during the proceedings.

This was not an e-mail for those of a tender disposition. It was intended to advise staff on how to fill out claim forms.

The time and date were in deep red. And one sentence was rather boldly highlighted in blue. It read: "To ensure your staff claim is processed and paid, please do follow the below checklist."

Goodness, that does seems terribly abrasive, doesn't it?

Walker had to fight hard in order to see her claim succeed. She told the Herald: "I am a single woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and borrow money from my sister to make it through. They nearly ruined my life."

Perhaps it isn't all that surprising, then, that having won her case for unfair dismissal, she now reportedly intends to pursue ProCare for further compensation.

I wonder whether she'll be outlining her claims in an e-mail. Perhaps she might use bold green type.

 

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