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ESPN freezes top writer's iPhone and laptop after accidentally firing him

Technically Incorrect: A technical error leads to Adam Shefter suddenly discovering he is technologically bereft.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

A reporter without his gadgets is like an emperor without clothes. Keith Olbermann/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You dread it happening to you, don't you?

You're working away on your company laptop or your company phone. Suddenly, the gadgets are recalcitrant.

They cease to obey your demands. They stare at you in defiance. You are perplexed, bereft, denuded. You have, in fact, been fired.

This appears to have happened to the extremely diligent ESPN writer Adam Schefter.

As ESPN's own senior producer Seth Markman tweeted on Friday: "Sources: Someone at ESPN 'accidentally' placed @AdamSchefter on the terminated list. Devices have been deactivated. Looking for suspects."

How could it be that ESPN terminated one of its stars without so much as a by-your-leave? Might some enthusiastic intern have been put in charge of blocking the charge to Schefter's phone and laptop? Might this have been someone's idea of amusement?

What's slightly more painful is that this seems not to have been the first time it's happened to Schefter. For he tweeted: "Been through this before. Not any easier to take 2nd time around. Do want to thank all the great people at ESPN."

My own interpretation of this tweet is: "I do want to thank all the great people at ESPN, of whom there are maybe four or five left. And I don't want to thank the bumbling idiot who switched off my gadgets just as Tom Brady was about to admit to me that he'd done absolutely nothing wrong in Deflategate."

The Twitter wags were out in full force. One called Michael offered: "I'm certain the #Patriots had something to do with it."

Several more wondered how it was possible to be "accidentally" fired more than once.

Schefter seems now to have been re-employed. Indeed, he tweeted later on Friday: "IT just told me HR confirmed to them that I have not been fired (whew). Now they need to figure out how to re-activate my Iphones and laptop."

An ESPN spokesman told me: "Adam Schefter's devices were accidentally deactivated. It was an inadvertent mistake that was resolved within a few hours on Friday."

Some might delight that Schefter will continue to ply his endless furrows of news-searching. Some might prefer soul-searching.

What sort of world do we live in when people are summarily fired and immediately have their gadgets cut off, none the wiser for the fact that they have just lost their jobs?