This is what we call “phoning it in.” AOL chief Tim Armstrong made headlines when it was revealed he fired an employee on a conference call that included hundreds of his coworkers. During the call (with employees from AOL’s Patch network of local blogs), Armstrong reportedly stopped in the middle of a sentence and said, “Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!” He was referring to Patch’s creative director, Abel Lenz. According to the apology Armstrong issued earlier this week, Lenz had been reprimanded before for recording confidential meetings, the offense that ultimately led to his firing. In his statement, Armstrong explained his outburst was “an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods.” The incident raises questions about the appropriate way to let employees go.