The CEO of Twitter had questioned the former staffer about his job, disability and need for accommodations.
If you are not told you are fired, are you really fired? Probably on Twitter. 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 – 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 reply 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, disability, and need for accommodations (Thorleifsson, who goes by “Halli,” has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair), tweeting that Thorleifsson has a ” prominent, active Twitter account and is wealthy” 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.
Late Tuesday afternoon, however, Musk changed his mind.
“I want to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding about his situation. It was based on things I was told that were not true or, in some cases, true but not meaningful,” he tweeted. “He’s considering staying with Twitter.”
Thorleifsson did not immediately respond to a message for comment regarding Musk’s tweet. In an earlier email, he called the experience “surreal.”
“You had every right to fire me. But it would have been nice to 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 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’s next move: “I’m opening a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik very soon,” he tweeted. “It’s named after my mother.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a message for comment.