Employee Fired After Replying to Her Boss with an Emoji

Do you know that Apple might have made emojis cool and cute, but the cute icons were first invented by Japanese artist, Shigetaka Kurita in 1999?

Back then, emojis used to be very pixelated and only reflected key details. They weren’t as diverse too.


In an interview, Kurita shared his inspiration for creating emojis:

“Everything was shown by text. Even the weather forecast was displayed as ‘fine’. When I saw it, I found it difficult to understand. Japanese TV weather forecasts have always included pictures or symbols to describe the weather—for example, a picture of sun meant ‘sunny’. I’d rather see a picture of the sun, instead of a text saying ‘fine’.”

Cool. But that’s that: emojis stayed on as a communication tool for friends.

If you don’t receive emojis from me, we’re probably not on good terms.

With that said, it’s an unspoken rule that emojis are only used for informal occasions.

You don’t send emojis to your boss, do you?

If not, you might just end up like this lady.

Chinese worker lost her job over an emoji

According to South China Morning Post, a woman was fired from a bar in China after replying her manager with an OK emoji on WeChat, an instant messaging platform.

Lest you’re so old that you didn’t know how it looks like, here’s the OK emoji:

Apparently, the lady’s manager had requested for her to send some meeting documents over, and was unsatisfied with her use of emoji to acknowledge his message.

After reprimanding her, the manager told her to submit her resignation letter to the HR department. After that, he also made it compulsory for employees to acknowledge messages with a “roger” from then on.

That manager must be fun at parties.

In an interview, the lady mentioned that it was her first time encountering “this kind of stupid situation” whereby employees are retrenched over the use of an emoji.

Well, Miss, this is our first time encountering this too.

Suffice to say, screenshots of the conversation received a lot of attention on Chinese site, Weibo, with most netizens supporting the employee.

I personally feel that China is much like Korea and Japan where they place great importance on hierarchy, and thus, the business setting would be very formal and full of respect.

While firing someone because of an emoji is a little too extreme, it isn’t entirely surprising.

Though of course, you can’t do that in Singapore. Do you know that your boss can’t anyhowly fire you? He can’t anyhowly anyhowly also. Just check out our YouTube video on the ten things your boss can’t do to you and you’ll understand: