Selecting the half to make redundant had been a no-brainer for the partners: the firm was staffed by a mixture of very competent young people at various stages of training, and a motley crew of duffers who were mostly a waste of space. Some even had quirks that made them automatic choices: there was one guy who always arrived at the crack of dawn each morning - only to spend an hour on expensive sex chat-lines! And a twenty-something female who looked as though butter wouldn't melt, but was transformed into a door-slamming Banshee whenever told to go work on-site.
One of the staff who had been selected to stay, was recently qualified, and head-hunted by his former mentor, a Big 4 Partner branching out with his own practice. Promoted to manager and charged with staffing the new practice, he offered jobs to all of the remaining competent 50% of the firm's staff - professional and admin. All accepted.
Thus it came that, having only just received their redundancy notices, Mr Sex-chat, Miss Banshee, and all the other duffers received gushing letters informing them the firm had had second thoughts. The partners didn't, after all, want to lose staff of their calibre, and would they care to stay?
Found this story on AccountingWeb, posted by 'Andrew'