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Restaurant fires workers by text

The owner of Barducci's in Florida seems to think it's just fine to tell around a dozen workers that they no longer have a job. One calls it "cowardice." Is it?

Impersonal? Or just business? WFTV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The norms of communication have, over recent years, been tossed to the wind like inconvenient pets.

Where once we used to spell things out, now they are acronyms. Where once we looked people in the face, now our supposed friends are often people whom we've never met.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, that you get fired by text.

Yet some workers at Barducci's Italian Bistro in Winter Park, Fla., are appalled that they received a text from the owner, Gregory Kennedy, that read: "I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci's effective immediately."

"I think it's immoral. I think it's cowardice," one worker, Jodi Jackson told WFTV.

I am not sure there is too much morality remaining in business these days.

Many, though, will understand the impersonal offensiveness of getting such a text with no forewarning.

And yet this appears now to be a world in which we dump our lovers by text -- just ask Katy Perry.

A swift bit of typing and one press of "send" allows us to keep our distance great and our faces straight.

If we don't look the other party in the eyes, then they're just another piece of data.

I understand, too, that the contemporary world of face-to-face firings, such as it remains, no longer runs smoothly.

I heard of one recent instance at a tech company when a very fine worker was fired for cause by an apparently incompetent boss. (Now there's a first.) When the worker politely inquired why she was being fired, the boss got up, muttered about how she wasn't going to get into it and walked out of the room, never to return.

In the Florida case, the workers still say they haven't received their final paycheck.

WFTV tried to contact Kennedy by phone, but he didn't pick up. In the end, he reportedly told the station that he was working on those final paychecks.

How did he contact the WFTV? By text, of course.