back to article Twitter reduces BBC hacks to tears with redundancy notice

Radio 4 showed why it’s the guardian of all that is good, sensible and British this morning by collapsing into laughter while reviewing Jack Dorsey’s rambling farewell to 8 per cent of Twitter staff. Beeb biz hack Simon Jack rounded off a discussion about the Twitter reorg with tech reporter Dave Lee by noting “I’ve never …

  1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Fnarr!!!

    Dry your eyes princess, this is a serious business...

    *cough* *cough*

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    WTF?

    It took me 3 googles to find this apparently famous email.

    http://www.techinsider.io/jack-dorseys-layoff-letter-to-twitters-staff-2015-10

    I've seen much worse - it doesn't have that much MBA BS in it.

    If he had dropped the first 3 paragraphs it wouldn't have been half bad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thank you Mr Jack Dorsey for the line,

      The world needs a strong Twitter.

      There was me thinking world peace or elimination of starvation or even clean water for everyone however it's twitter. The benefits of talking bollocks on a global platform are essential to human advancement and evolution. Apparently without facebook we would be back in the stone age.

      1. TitterYeNot

        "The benefits of talking bollocks on a global platform are essential to human advancement and evolution. Apparently without facebook we would be back in the stone age."

        The late, great Douglas Adams summed up this marketing bollocks far better than I can:-

        Meanwhile, back on pre-historic Earth...

        Chairman - Yes, and, and, and the wheel. What about this wheel thingy? Sounds a terribly interesting project to me.

        Marketing Girl - Er, yeah, well we’re having a little, er, difficulty here…

        Ford Prefect - Difficulty?! It’s the single simplest machine in the entire universe!

        Marketing Girl - Well alright mister wise guy, if you’re so clever you tell us what colour it should be!

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Human development.

          > "The benefits of talking bollocks on a global platform are essential to human advancement and evolution. Apparently without facebook we would be back in the stone age."

          Made me think of the How? Why? Where? phases (again Douglas Adams)

          Twitter and Facebook are very much 'where shall we have lunch'. There's certainly no 'How?', and the the only 'why'? is 'why bother to visit?

      2. PleebSmash
        Pirate

        "The world needs a strong Twitter."

        The world needs a spiked Kool-Aid.

      3. boltar Silver badge

        "Apparently without facebook we would be back in the stone age."

        Oddly, if you listen to a lot of Millennials long enough it begins to sound like a lot of them actually believe that.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          @Boltar

          ...if you listen to a lot of Millennials long enough...

          I can see where you're going wrong.

          Never in all of history, has one generation had so much to say of such little value. I'm a Gen xer, and we talked bollocks with the best of 'em, but seriously - the Millennial’s seem to be stuck on transmit as a generation, there's next to no receive going on.

          I can't comprehend the rampant and fervent seeking of extremely transient fame. Fleeting moments as a z-list celebrity seems to be the prime, nay, sole generational driver. There's so much more they could be doing than sucking up the intellectual droppings of The Orange County Is Essex cast from twatter, or the bellend that is Russell Bland, but nay, they have millions upon millions of followers.

        2. Tom 13

          @boltar

          Actually, if you listen to enough of them for long enough, it sounds like they already are.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Well done! Starting off with:

      "Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight."

      before continuing with the rest of the email riddled with corporate double speak. Orwell would have been proud

      1. Chris King Silver badge

        "Orwell would have been proud"

        Times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

        If anything, the corporate nonsense being spouted by today's "leaders" makes Doublespeak look cute and fluffy by comparison.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And how much is he being paid?

    Perhaps and amount not that dissimilar from the projected savings?

    Corporate Salary Funding 101 (basic MBA)

    Sack the plebs and use those saving to fund our retirement packages.

    They don't contribute any bullshit to the company so they can go.

    As for us, the Senior Manager can party until the company goes TITSUP. Then move on to the next Sucker Company, Rinse and repeat.

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: And how much is he being paid?

      "Sack the plebs and use those saving to fund our retirement packages."

      On a related note, Twitter poaches top Google executive as new chairman.

      Too soon, methinks?

  4. Yugguy

    "This isn't easy for us"

    I've heard this line a couple of times now while going through rounds of sackings, er sorry I mean restructuring.

    And all I can think of is, it's a damn sight easier for you, you corporate drone, than it is for the people you are sacking.

    And you can shove your "journey" right up your arse.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: "This isn't easy for us"

      Thing is, ex-Twitterers probably won't find it hard to find new jobs. The company is useless at imagining cool ways to make money from Twitter, but it has a good-ish tech/engineering rep.

      I wonder if a year from now the survivors at Twitter HQ will envy the dead.

      1. Yugguy

        Re: "This isn't easy for us"

        Aye to be fair I've actually done ok out of the 2 redundancies I've had.

        That said it is stressful having to move to someone else's timing.

        It's the jargon that annoys me. "We're on a journey together."

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: "This isn't easy for us"

          "We're on a journey together."

          And I'm afraid you're sitting in the ejector seat.

        2. boltar Silver badge

          Re: "This isn't easy for us"

          "It's the jargon that annoys me. "We're on a journey together.""

          Its psychology for idiots - the idiots being the ones spouting it , not being given it I mean.

          Its supposed to make the person having the shit thrown at them feel as if they and the one dishing it out are sharing the suffering in some way by using faux bonding phrasiology.

          IMO you either have to be remarkably socially inept bordering on Aspergers (not hard in a tech company), or be suffering from some sort of psychiatric disorder in order to believe anyone would fall for this patronising schtick.

          1. LaeMing Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: "suffering from some sort of psychiatric disorder "

            I'll go with the latter. Us (edge)-aspies usually are usually aware of our limitations and have developed work-arounds by that stage in life.

            My money is on 'Non-violent sociopathy laced with a good dollop of narcissism." Typical big-corp-management stuff.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: "suffering from some sort of psychiatric disorder "

              'Non-violent sociopathy laced with a good dollop of narcissism."

              Or, to put it more succinctly, Greed.

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: "This isn't easy for us"

            @boltar

            IMO you either have to be remarkably socially inept bordering on Aspergers (not hard in a tech company), or be suffering from some sort of psychiatric disorder in order to believe anyone would fall for this patronising schtick.

            Lots of this garbage is produced by HR. HR, as we hopefully all know, aren't the sharpest tools in many toolkits. They really don't have anything better to do than sit around and dream this guff up, and because they're not very bright, they think that people will fall for it the same way they would.

            Either we have smarter people in HR, which seems a waste; management grow some balls and act like men, which seems unlikely; or we proles have to suck it up and ignore that patronising arse embarrasing himself by spouting such drivvel, and contend ourselves that the next gig probably won't be worse.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "This isn't easy for us"

          In my last job I was a union rep (yeah we do exist in local government) Post outsourcing I spent most of my time helping people coming to terms with not working there imminently. Came the time I wanted to be off myself and I knew all the buttons to press.

          Funded 18 months sailing to the Caribbean and back.

          AC because I would like to repeat the procedure but not do the union rep thing first.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "This isn't easy for us"

        "Thing is, ex-Twitterers probably won't find it hard to find new jobs."

        That's true. Especially since it's mainly programmers who are going. I'm not sure that fits with the aims of making twitter a more agile and nimble company who will develop new software and get it into the hand of users more quickly when they just sacked half of the people doing that specific job.

    2. Evil Graham

      Re: "This isn't easy for us"

      Isn't this the kind of phrase that sadistic headmasters would traditionally utter before thrashing the life out of some hapless pupil?

      "This will hurt me a lot more than it hurts you" and stuff like that.

      It was bollocks then and it is now.

      1. Nunyabiznes

        Re: "This isn't easy for us"

        My Dad always said "If this hurts me more than it hurts you I'm doing it wrong."

  5. Smilin' Stan

    More better: http://qz.com/522824/jack-dorseys-jargon-free-firing-memo-edited-to-remove-the-jargon/

  6. jason 7

    I just love the faux sincerity and concern...

    ...these announcements take.

    I remember at one corporation I worked at there was a exec meeting to make 80 staff redundant. I was expecting a load of hand wringing, heated discussion and sadness.

    All they did was look down the list of branches and the staff numbers.

    "Ahhh look Preston office has 78 staff! Sorted!"

    That was it. Took maybe 20 seconds to change 78 peoples lives and then onto the next item on the agenda.

    No consideration of the work they did there (some offices did specialist schemes and work). Just that the number fitted the closest.

    1. Yugguy

      Re: I just love the faux sincerity and concern...

      I have a met a small handful of exec types who,although they'd still make you redundant, at least had the humanity to feel empathy for you.

      The rest would sack you in a heartbeat without a second thought, or any feeling of any kind.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Christoph Silver badge
    Joke

    I’ve never knowingly spent a penny on Twitter"

    Yes, probably not the best place to 'spend a penny'

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      WTF?

      That also displays a mind-numbing lack of understanding as to what Twitter actually is.

      It isn't where you spend a penny, it's where you tell everyone else that you're spending one.

      1. Alex Walsh

        Not so much now

        Used to be that twitter was even referred to as a micro blogging platform. Nowadays its much more of a messengering client, public and private IMHO.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        "It isn't where you spend a penny, it's where you tell everyone else that you're spending one."

        Or where you go to take a dump - the wise will get a lawyer to look it over (or use basic common sense) to ensure the leaving is persecutable prosecutable.

  9. VinceH Silver badge

    "You can relive Radio 4’s slip into zoo broadcasting here, at 24m 35s in."

    I'd like to, but no, no I can't.

    Because "You need to install Flash Player to play this content."

    Come on, BBC, get it sorted.

    1. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

      Flash player? for fucks sake! Actually I couldn't get the sodding thing to work at all. It says there is no content to play and then when I search for "today" it says an error occurred. Probably a windows server there somewhere....

  10. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Bush House’s mission to educate and inform

    I think the mission even predates Broadcasting House. Bush House has only ever been the arm of the overseas service whose mission was largely dictated by the FCO...

    Nevertheless, people who live in glass atria, etc. - it all sounds very W1A.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When the licence fee goes ...

    Schadenfreude? I'm alright, Jack.

    One day the BBC's free money tap will dry up. On that day, as they're told about layoffs 10% at a time, I'm sure we will all be much more sympathetic to the employees of the Beeb than the team Radio 4. Right?

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: When the licence fee goes ...

      BBC World Service was slashed and burned not too long ago. Fantastically interesting programmes and, for many countries, a trusted source of information, went up in smoke, and lose experienced journalists were lost. I can think of a lot of other things I would have given up, funded by public money, than that.

      1. The Travelling Dangleberries

        Re: When the licence fee goes ...

        @Hollerith

        That's just about when I stopped listening to the BBC World Service. It changed suddenly and not for the better. If I listen talk radio then it is most likely to be NRK P2 (the nearest thing to BBC Radio 4 in Norway), either over the ether or via the internet. Although I suppose that P2 is no longer safe given that the Blue-Blue minority coalition government has proposed a cut in real terms in funding to the NRK in its latest budget.

        If this trend continues then in a few more years internet based brain fart publishing networks Twitter and the like will be the only way to get any "news".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When the licence fee goes ...

      They were laughing about the fact that the author said he was going to give it to them straight, then waffled on before doing so, not about people being made redundant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When the licence fee goes ...

      If you're going to react with a knee-jerk criticism of the BBC without even bothering to listen to the clip, read the article, or make any attempt to understand the context ... are you David Cameron?

  12. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    Maximize Your Listening Experience

    It's best listened to while viewing the portrait of the coronation of Napoleon. The one where he crowns himself. I wonder what Dorsey was wearing when he wrote that confabulated email.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maximize Your Listening Experience

      Do you actually think he composed it? Or was it put together by his personal PR team?

      1. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
        Happy

        Re: Maximize Your Listening Experience

        ....about as much as I think Napoleon painted his own portrait I guess.

  13. Paul Smith

    "The world needs a strong Twitter"

    Really?

    Does the world really need a strong Twitter?

  14. Hellcat

    @Creatoroftwitt: streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong. The roadmap is focused on the experiences which 3/14

    @Creatoroftwitt: are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight. The team has been working around the clock to produce 2/14

    @Creatoroftwitt: Team, We are moving forward with a restructuring of our workforce so we can put our company on a stronger path to grow. Emails like this 1/14

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      @Creatoroftwitt: What...?

      End of message.

  15. MOV r0,r0

    I'd Rather (Not) Jack

    I wouldn't trust Simon Jack's technological insight. Couple of years back on Today he got an interview with Warren East when he was still at ARM but stumbled over the fabless model. The latter took multiple attempts to explain, dropping in complexity each time until he actually said 'ARM make chips' - the only known instance of such a thing being said and a sorry reflection of Jack's grasp of tech.

    In all other regards his reporting is excellent (seems well connected in the City) but he's willingly admitted he gets his tech understanding from his school age daughters and that it doesn't extend much beyond Apple devices.

    1. Yugguy

      Re: I'd Rather (Not) Jack

      Upvote for the Reynolds Girls reference.

  16. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    What does twitter do exactly? who do they make money from? I have looked at my tweet thingy on my iphone and I just see a load of bollocks that means nothing to me. None of it looks like an advert. I don't recall paying for twitter. How exactly is their company actually worth anything?

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      How Twitter does

      They make money by firing people?

  17. Commswonk Silver badge

    As usual...

    ...Scott Adams was (well?) ahead of the curve. See

    http://dilbert.com/strip/1993-06-16

  18. Commswonk Silver badge

    And FWIW...

    ... I think you will find that Bush House closed some time ago, or more correctly the BBC vacated it. All services now originate from W1A...

    1. stu_ekins

      Re: And FWIW...

      Or Salford? Never underestimate the importance of the Northern Slaughterhouse.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: And FWIW...

        Ghastly place. :(

        However, in my own defence I was thinking of External Services when I said that everything came from W1A

  19. TomPhan

    smaller team = more work done

    If only his statement that "...We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team..." was applied to other areas.

  20. unwarranted triumphalism

    Hundreds of people fired

    ... and the Beeb treats it as a joke.

    Bet they won't be laughing when it's their turn to be fired.

  21. Triggerfish

    I always used to wonder how it happened, there used to be loads of business studies students at our Uni, none of them seemed to be arseholes. Is it something that happens on MBA type courses do they take you away and lobotomise any empathy out?

    1. Tac Eht Xilef

      They don't so much remove the empathy glands as make the arseholes grow bigger & migrate upwards.

      (Just like how embryonic development appears to recapitulate evolutionary development, the rise up the management ranks only appears to mirror the development of MBA types...)

  22. TheProf
    Facepalm

    Ironic

    Jack Dorsey’s message is sent using email.

    1. Number6

      Re: Ironic

      You try compressing your daily quota of management BS into 140 characters...

  23. Wiltshire

    A friend who's quite senior in the BBC Radio News hierarchy (no name no blame) tells me that (of course) they shouldn't have burst out laughing, but it was a sort-of verbal slapstick comedy moment. Usually they are the recipients of BBC Human Remains &/or Internal Comms emails full of Corporate Speak just like that. The BBC is great at buzzword bingo. It was the sheer relief of the shit descending on some other poor sods for a change that triggered it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the corporate speak say...

    'Incentivise to advance'.

    Get rid of the Beeb and no one ever gets fired. Capitalism sells, it only informs on a needs basis, so you unemployed plebs are now incentivised by being 'set free'.

  25. tin 2

    How on earth...

    ...does a smaller team do more stuff? Answer: it doesn't unless the big team you're comparing it to is actually full of wasters.

    In which case the whole text of the message is entirely corporate double-speak and should just read: "there's a lot of dead wood in the team, and your time is up".

    They just have to hope the management is skilled enough to identify the dead wood and not accidentally cull lets say 16% or more of the people actually doing the work.

    Also, Twitter has ~4000 people? doing what exactly?

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: How on earth...

      ...does a smaller team do more stuff? I suspect that it's by virtue of the old favorite of "efficiency savings". Please try not to laugh.

      In which case the whole text of the message is entirely corporate double-speak Nothing unusual in that, is there?

      They just have to hope the management is skilled enough to identify the dead wood and not accidentally cull lets say 16% or more of the people actually doing the work. To paraphrase Dr Johnson "That, Sir, is the triumph of hope over experience".

      Also, Twitter has ~4000 people? doing what exactly? I'm not even going to try guessing...

      There is also the problem that once FUD sets in amongst the staff the good ones will bale out of their own accord, leaving only the dead wood anyway.

  26. tony2heads
    Coat

    But from twitter

    surely it should have been no more than 140 characters?

  27. Chris Evans

    'corporate speak' from the start

    The fourth and fifth words were corporate speak. "moving forward"

    "Team,

    We are moving forward with a restructuring of our workforce so we can put our company on a stronger path to grow. Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight."

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