April Fools: This Automation Is A Joke

You know those things you wish were a joke? You see that headline, and you’re like “this better be from The Onion.”

Unfortunately, most of the time it’s not. It’s not satire, it’s real life.

That’s how I feel when I look at most automated emails that come out of your system to candidates. They’re impersonal or worse, totally wrong. They’re not for me. But bad, impersonal text isn’t the worst of automation.

See, this post was actually inspired by a tweet from my friend Steph McDonald – @StephFlixnChill – with what I wish was a joke: an automated form letter that let someone know they were being terminated.

Ouch. I’m all for automating to save time but maybe not at termination?

Just a suggestion. 

So, this April Fools Day we’re taking a stab at satire to create a few automated letters that shouldn’t ever exist.

Letter 1: A Co-Worker Has Submitted A Complaint: Case # 42937

Dear Michael,

This message is to notify you that in the last 24 hours, you were reported by 3 co-workers for inappropriate touching. We’ll meet to review over a free lunch at noon in the Jack Daniels Conference room after ping-pong hour.

HR Manager
Rated Best Company For People Under 25

Letter 2: Benefits Update

Hi everyone!

Open enrollment is back, and I’d like to summarize our offerings for the year before you begin to enroll and update your selections.

  1. Our benefits are just as bad, if not worse, than last year. Costs are up and services down. Don’t @ me.
  2. There will be no dental coverage, but we do cover dentures through our Gold health insurance plan. Gold only.
  3. A reminder that your FSA still may not be used for medical marijuana.

For more on the plan, read the booklet. I have work to do.


Letter 3: An Update On The 3rd Floor Kitchen Fridge

Hi all,

This is an automated message of discontent. I’m tired of whining monthly when I have to clean your science projects out of the fridge. It is not in my job description, and most of you just roll your eyes at me in the kitchen when I bring it up.

I’m not the bad guy, guys.

I’m also not your parent, and I’m not your maid. Eat the food or take it home.

Or else.


Letter 4: You’re Fired

Dear John,

While we appreciate your NUMBER of years of service with the company, today is a hard day for our business. We must let go of [ADD NUMBER OF TOTAL PEOPLE WE LEAVE OFF HERE, ANNA.]

This decision has not come quickly. You are a valued employee, Kim.

You will have approximately one hour to pack your things and get out.

Starts now.



Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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