This has to be world's worst boss - ever.

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Sydney, Feb 23 (UNI) This has to be the world's worst boss - ever. A New Zealand double by-pass heart surgery patient was sacked from his job of 11 years when his boss visited him at the hospital.

Murray Gardiner, 60 was admitted to Christchurch Hospital's emergency department on January 3 and had the operation on January 15, The Press newspaper reported.

He told the paper that his boss, Patch Rubber Company director Julian Proctor, told him the operation was not fully successful and the veins taken from his legs were not much better than the ones going to his heart, so only half the operation could be completed.

To return to full duties too soon "could kill you", warned Mr Proctor.

A temporary replacement for Gardiner could not be found "even if you are able in the future to resume full duties".

"So it is with regret that I must terminate your employment," Mr Proctor wrote.

The newspaper said Mr Gardiner told his boss he would be fit within three months but Mr Proctor said he could not afford to wait that long.

"I was flabbergasted. I could have had a heart attack," he said.

"I didn't even know he was coming." "The part that disturbed me most was what he had written about the operation being unsuccessful. He formed his own opinion," Mr Gardiner told The Press.

An employment lawyer called the move "unlawful", "callous" and "grossly insensitive".

Meanwhile, hospital records said surgery and post-surgery were uneventful with no complications.

Asked if it was callous to sack Gardiner in hospital, Proctor said, "How else could I do it? Tell me how else I could have done it." He said with no advice from Mr Gardiner's doctors, he relied on information from his colleagues and people who had bypass surgery.

"He (Murray) was destined to be in hospital for another two to three weeks at that point in time and I simply couldn't wait," he said Mr Gardiner, meanwhile, said he was taking legal advice over his sacking and settlement offer - 8580 dollars less tax - and had gone on the dole.

UNI XC MS AS1825

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