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‘I thought it was a joke,’ ex-employee of shuttered local call center says

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 7:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 10:20 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Former employees of Waco’s Examination Management Services, Inc., or EMSI, call center, which was closed down unexpectedly Friday leaving hundreds jobless, were still reeling Monday.

The call center at 8300 Central Park Drive employed about 800, according to Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce data.

Workers say the announcement Friday caught almost everyone by surprise.

"I thought it was a joke I thought someone hacked the servers," Ashley Harms said Monday.

"We should have got more of a notice maybe two weeks or something," Harms said.

A majority of employees who were off Friday for the long Independence Day weekend learned of the closing through emails that advised them Thursday was their last day of employment.

"I have bills to pay and I'm the breadwinner," said Jana Riley, another employee.

"I'm scrambling to find another job and I don't know if I will," she said.

The Irving-based company blamed the closing on the new coronavirus outbreak.

"COVID-19 has disrupted families, communities and businesses in our country and around the world," the company said on its website.

Hailey Cook who worked at the corporate officer in Irving says that it's ironic the company is saying the virus is a reason for shutting down when they've done so much research on it.

“I had COVID-19 tests that I was shipping out, so now what am I supposed to do with those tests?” she said.

"We were doing COVID-19 research which is what we need but now who is doing that research?"

“Final payroll amounts will be processed as soon as administratively possible,” the email sent Friday said.

Information about picking up personal belongings “will be forthcoming,” the email said.

The company had about 5,000 employees across all of its locations and annual revenue of more than $180 million, according to a Dun & Bradstreet profile.WACO, Texas (KWTX) -

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