Company’s HR Sends E-mail To Employee Asking Why They Haven’t Upgraded Their Car

To be clear, it has not been confirmed that this letter is 100% authentic. It was found via Reddit and the original poster swears it is. The original poster, Dorf-1, reached out to Jalopnik and said, “It’s legit. I personally saw the email on his screen, and he clicked the from name to show the email address under it. Knowing those two VPs, I totally believe it.” That being said, if it is real, it’s completely appalling.

It starts out just a boring email from an HR department to an employee, no big deal. Around the middle is when it turns offensive.

The type of car isn’t mentioned specifically in the letter however from the information mentioned in the original post, it seems to be a 2005 Toyota Camry.

For easier reading here is the contents of the e-mail:

From: [REDACTED]

Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:11 PM

To: [REDACTED]

Subject: Personal matter

As you may know many companies still use credit checks as part of their hiring process. This is to ensure that the employee can be trusted to make sound financial decisions, has the maturity to manage his/her own financial affairs, and to show signs of financial distress that might indicate risk of theft or fraud. While we do not conduct these checks at this time the gist of the check is valid to us.

We have noticed for some time the condition of your vehicle and wanted to discuss the matter with you. We will follow up this email with a personal meeting but wanted to document the discussion beforehand.

Since of course your annual salary is known to us and a newer and more appropriate looking vehicle should be within your financial reach, it is our concern that perhaps you are having a difficult time financially. Frankly the concern is that if you cannot afford a newer vehicle then either you may be susceptible to fraud or that you are not responsible for the position you maintain. To be even more frank, it just looks bad.

Please let us know if there is a reason that you have not upgraded your vehicle before now. If it is a financial matter then we will need to know the details of the problems you are having. Perhaps it is as simple that you did not know the concern you are raising. Otherwise please address this situation as quickly as possible. We will be happy to refer you to dealerships who we have worked with in the past.

Sincerely,

[REDACTED]

Vice President, Human Resource Management

[REDACTED]

Vice President, Finance and Administration

Some more information from the original poster states that the car isn’t an eyesore. They report, “It’s not wrecked, just old and fading paint. He never has to meet anyone that they would ever see the car. It’s literally just another car in the garage.” So this poor employee is simply trying to get to and from work and leaving the car sit, hidden in some garage for 8+ hours a day.

The e-mail has gone viral on the internet and elicited lots of responses, mainly negative of course. The general feedback is along the lines of the HOA stories telling residents how or where to keep vehicles, parking spaces, etc.

The worst part about the letter is all the assumptions that happen. The implication that holding onto an older car somehow suggests that the employee in question may be mismanaging their money or a victim of fraud. Basically, the author of the e-mail is saying that not driving a newer car somehow suggests financial irresponsibility. For their information, the average car in the U.S. is 12 years old.

Whether the e-mail is real or not it says a lot about the relationship people can have with their vehicles. Money aside, who knows what meaning this car had to this person. Maybe it was their first car or a loved one’s who recently passed. Heck, maybe the person just doesn’t want a car payment or really loves the car. The fact that it’s an older model should be no business of anyone, employer or not. If you can get past the insanity that the e-mail was even sent it’s almost comical.

The moral of the story, that almost everyone can agree on, is that our cars are our choice. If indeed, a company’s HR department be so terrible, we feel bad for the employee and hope they hang on to their beloved Camry.