The CEO of a Oklahoma Christian publishing firm unleashed some righteous indignation on his staff by firing 25 of them in a meeting punctuated with insults and prayer.
Describing himself wanting to be ‘a perfect mix of mercy, grace and justice,’ just like Jesus, Tate Publishing CEO Ryan Tate decided ‘now’s the time for a little bit of justice.’
Secretly recorded by an irate employee, Tate began his meeting with a group prayer before tearing into his staff calling them ‘morons’ and ‘idiots’, whilst he himself takes the Lords name in vain within the first two minutes of his speech.
Based in Mustang, Ryan Tate had become upset about the contents of an email circulated anonymously to staff over the Memorial Day weekend questioning why he was laying off workers in the United States at the expense of outsourced jobs in the Philippines.
Calling a meeting after the holiday, Tate asked for one member of the assembled to lead a prayer that implored, ‘reasonable decisions’.
Mixing Biblical references, legal threats and plain insults over the course of his speech, Tate told his employees that the contents of the email were incorrect.
He claimed to have spent ‘A lot of time this weekend in prayer and in tears with my family because people I care about are going to lose their jobs.’
Denying that any of his staff had faced the sack before the email, Tate explained that he gave the email sender a chance to come forward before the meeting and at the beginning of his talk.
Because that person had declined both opportunities 25 people would now lose their jobs in a purge, instead of just one.
‘It’s not fair, it’s not right, but that is the reality of the situation,’ said Tate.
‘Jesus himself is the perfect mix of mercy, grace and justice.
‘And I have failed you because I have been a little too lenient and a little too on the side of mercy and grace and not enough justice.
‘I haven’t held true to our employee handbooks.’
During the meeting, the CEO of the 200-strong firm straddled the line between fury and disappointment, threatening to sue any staff member who posted negative comments on Facebook.
‘My favourite part is when you post something and take it down and you don’t think we archive it all,’ said Tate.
‘If you wanna discuss what goes on in this office, you’re gonna get it.
‘I have a good history and a good track record of catching you.
‘I might not get you today, I might not get you tomorrow, but I’m gonna get you.’
‘It saddens me in this day and age, and in this economy, that anybody would have the stupidity to not understand an employee contract they’ve signed,’ said Tate in the Journal Record.
The son of Tate Publishing founder Rita, the family owned company was named one of the best places to work in Oklahoma in 2008 and 2009.
‘Proverbs say that the wicked will set a trap, but the righteous will prevail and the wicked will fall into their own trap,’ said Tate in the recording.
‘A lot of good people are going to get hurt.’
A former employee speaking to ABC News said that Tate was often ‘condescending’ during meetings.
‘It was a pretty megative working environment, it was all about the bottom line.’
Another employee called their former boss, ‘calculating’.
‘He thinks he can’t be touched because God is on his side, he’s got a good business going and no one can really hurt him.
‘That’s why he didn’t think anyone would record him.’
One of the 25 employees fired by Tate on May 31 claimed she was ‘happy to be out of there’ and that she had already gone on interviews.
‘I think a lot of us are getting bonus points in our interviews when people say, ‘You were fired by that lunatic, weren’t you?’