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Employee finds out he’s been laid off on Twitter


If they don’t tell you you’re fired, are you really fired? On Twitter, probably. And then sometimes you get your job back if you want it.

Haraldur Thorleifsson, who until recently worked at Twitter, logged into his computer last Sunday to do some work, only to find himself locked out along with 200 others.

He may have thought, as others had before, during the chaotic months of layoffs and layoffs during Elon Musk’s leadership of the company, that he was out of a job.

Instead, after nine days of no response from Twitter about whether or not he was still employed, Thorleifson decided to tweet Musk to see if he could get the billionaire’s attention and get an answer about his Schrödinger work situation.

“Maybe if enough people retweet, you’ll reply to me here?” he wrote on Monday.

He finally got his answer after a surreal Twitter exchange with Musk, who began asking him about his job, questioning his disability and need for accommodations (Torleifson has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair), and tweeted that Thorleifson is “a popular, active person.” Twitter account and rich” and “the reason he confronted me in public was to get a big payout”. While the exchange was going on, Thorleifson said he received an email saying he was no longer employed.

Late Tuesday afternoon, however, Musk changed.

“I would like to apologize to Hallie for my misunderstanding of her situation. It was based on things I was told that weren’t true or, in some cases, were true but didn’t make sense,” he tweeted. “He’s thinking about staying on Twitter.”

Thorleifson did not immediately respond to comments following Musk’s tweet. In an earlier letter, he called the experience “surreal”.

“You had every right to release me. But it would be good if you let me know.’ he tweeted to Musk.

Thorleifsson, who lives in Iceland, has about 151,000 Twitter followers (Musk has more than 130 million). He joined Twitter in 2021 when the company, under former leadership, acquired his startup Ueno.

He was praised in the Icelandic media for choosing to pay the purchase price with a salary rather than a lump sum. This is because in this way it will pay higher taxes to Iceland to support its social services and safety net.

Torleifson’s next step. “I’m opening a restaurant in downtown Reykjavík very soon,” he tweeted. “It is named after my mother.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

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