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Somerville woman says she lost job because of iPhone glitch

Posted by Swati Gauri Sharma  January 6, 2011 11:47 AM

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A Somerville woman says she lost her job as a server at a restaurant because of an iPhone glitch on New Year's Day-- and she's sent her complaint all the way to the top.

Lindsay Garvey, 28, wrote a letter to Apple Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs, complaining that her smartphone's alarm didn't go off on New Year's morning, making her late for work at Foundry on Elm, a restaurant in Somerville.

"Upon my termination, I was told that I was wonderful, but that my tardiness was unfair to the other employees," she wrote. "So, Mr. Jobs, I'd like to let you know that you have officially, directly contributed to unemployment in 2011."

Garvey said she worked until 4 a.m. on New Year’s, and was scheduled for a noon shift later that same day. She had no reason to think the alarm would fail to go off, as it never has since she bought the phone in September 2009. It was not until Sunday morning when her alarm didn’t work a second time, that Garvey thought there might be a glitch.

She then sent the e-mail to Jobs, which Garvey said was just a way for her to vent.

"If you had warned me about the glitch, I could have at least picked up a $5, battery-operated alarm clock that would have saved my job. Now I'm unemployed in a time when jobs are not easily had, and I am short on my rent. So, Happy New Year to you, Mr. Jobs," she wrote.

She said Jobs has not yet responded to her e-mail. An Apple spokesman didn't return a message from the Globe seeking comment today.

Users who set their iPhone alarm for a single wake-up rather than recurring use found the alarm didn't go off with the year's arrival, Apple Inc. spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said Sunday.

A fix is in the works, and all iPhone alarms were expected to work properly starting Monday of this week, she told The Associated Press.

Garvey said she had been late to work two weeks prior, because of family issues. Her boss gave her a warning, which Garvey said she took seriously.

“I take full responsibility," she said. “I was more angry that I paid a lot of money for this and it malfunctioned.”

“Unfortunately, (Garvey’s) tardiness on New Year’s Day was not an isolated incident and it is with great regret that she was let go,” wrote David Flanagan, co-owner of Foundry on Elm. “We value all of the team members of our staff and hold them to a very high standard of excellent hospitality.”

Right now, Garvey said, she needs to focus on finding a new job to pay her bills. This has been difficult as she has been inundated with e-mails from people reacting to her story.

The most surprising thing, she said, is how much controversy this has sparked.

“I didn’t expect people to take it so seriously,” she said. “It was interesting how people had such fervent feelings about it.”

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