If you are not told you are fired, are you really fired? Probably on Twitter.
Haraldur Thorleifsson, who until recently worked at Twitter, logged into his computer last Sunday to do some work – but was locked out, along with 200 others.
He might have thought, like others before him in the chaotic months of layoffs and layoffs since Elon Musk took over the company, that he was out of a job.
Instead, after nine days with no response from Twitter as to whether he was still employed, Thorleifsson decided to tweet Musk to see if he could catch the billionaire’s attention and get an answer to his Schrödinger’s job situation.
“Maybe if enough people retweet you can reply me here?” he wrote Monday.
He finally got his answer after a surreal Twitter exchange with Musk, who then questioned him about his job, questioned his disability and need for adjustments (Thorleifsson has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair), and tweeted that Thorleifsson is a “prominent, active Twitter account and is rich” and the “reason he publicly confronted me was to get a big payout”.
While the exchange was going on, Thorleifsson said he received an email saying he was no longer employed.
On Tuesday night, Musk tweeted an apology to Thorleifsson, saying his misunderstanding was “based on things I was told that weren’t true.”
Thorleifsson, who lives in Iceland, has nearly 160,000 Twitter followers (Musk has more than 130 million). He joined Twitter in 2021, when the company, under previous management, acquired his startup Ueno.
He was praised in the Icelandic media for choosing to receive the purchase price in wages rather than a lump sum. That’s because this way he would pay higher taxes to Iceland to support his social security and safety net.
Thorleifsson tweeted to Musk, “The reason I asked you out publicly is because you (or anyone else on Twitter) haven’t responded to my private messages.”
“You had every right to fire me. But it would have been nice to let me know! he added.
Thorleifsson’s next move: “I’m opening a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik very soon,” he tweeted. “It’s named after my mother.”