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.



Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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