WHEN an employee from Emerald's Leading Edge Telecoms woke up at 7am on Saturday morning to go to work, they checked their phone the same way they always did every other morning.
But they weren't expecting a text message telling them that their job no longer existed.
"At first I thought it was a prank," the former employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
"I rang my manager and she said it seemed legitimate... and it was."
Now left unemployed with a mortgage and rent to pay, the employee said they had been left frantically applying for work.
"How do you pay the bills, when you've lost your job with no warning?" they said.
"It's disgusting, being told through a text message. Where is the respect in that?"
The text message, which arrived to staff at 2.15am on Saturday morning, did not give enough answers to staff.
"Rob, one of the owners of the company, came out from Rocky and we all met at McDonald's and he said 'look guys, I'm really sorry, this is what happened, prices increased and stuff like that for franchisees ... and we just can't do it anymore'," the former staff member said.
"So after seven years, they closed every one of their shops."
Now faced with the grim reality of entering the job market, the former employee said Emerald was a tough place to be unemployed.
"When you look on Seek (.com) there's not a lot going," they said.
"I am just another resume in the pile unfortunately."
The Emerald store, which had five employees, is currently closed.
In a statement, Leading Edge Telecoms said affected customers would be supported.
"We are disappointed for the team members and customers affected by this sudden closure of six LET member stores in North Queensland," the statement said.
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