People in Human Resources have to deal with drama and scandal on a daily basis—so they must have some pretty crazy war stories, right? Well, as you'll see, HR workers get to experience all kinds of crazy things that the rest of us know nothing about. From the utterly ridiculous to the downright disturbing, enjoy having your eyes opened to the darker side of the workplace.
As a Human Resources professional, I know that our maintenance guy has been secretly living up above the ceiling of our office building. He has built a little cubby for himself as his own little living area. It has electricity, a small fridge, and everything that you might expect to see in a small apartment. He would probably be mortified if he realized that I knew about this.
I once had a temporary job in a company’s Human Resources department. I was scanning lots of old personnel files, and one of the perks of the job was getting to read all the old complaints against people who worked there. The best one that I ever came across was a mediation caused by one member of staff accusing another of practicing witchcraft while on the job.
While working in Human Resources and interviewing job applicants, a guy once came in for an interview wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. He then said that he didn’t need the job because of how much money he was making illegally. He only wanted the job in order to seem more legitimate, so that “the IRS wouldn’t get suspicious” of him. This was particularly weird because I don’t live in the United States. I very much doubt that the IRS cares about Canadian tax returns…
When I was working with the Human Resources team at my old company, we once received a resume that was completely covered in blood. Attached to it was a handwritten note, explaining that their printer had run out of ink and that, therefore, they had been unable to print out a better copy for us. Scaring your potential employers is always a great first impression to make!
While I was working in Human Resources, there was one occasion where the entire cleaning staff came into our office to inform us that they refused to empty the trash bin at one employee’s desk because, allegedly, it was filled with poop and pee. Confused, I went over to that employee’s desk to see for myself. Turns out they weren’t lying…
I used to work at a staffing agency that placed people in manufacturing positions. Everyone had to be tested for substance abuse at the office as part of the orientation process. If the pee cup came back as “inconclusive,” we would send the potential hire to a medical lab. They would then take another pee test and the lab could determine if the person was on a prescription or using illegal substances (and, therefore, not eligible to be hired).
So, one guy failed his pee test at the lab. He came back to my office complaining that it wasn’t his fault. His explanation completely blew my mind. He claimed that he had been riding in a car on his way to take the test when he happened to briefly stick his head out of the window for some air. Then, just as the car was passing under a bridge, someone threw a bag of illegal substances off the bridge. The bag allegedly hit him in the face, and he accidentally inhaled some of it.
While I was working in Human Resources, an IT guy who worked the overnight shift (because he was doing support work for our Asia and Europe regions) once got written up for improper use of company systems. He had dozens, if not hundreds, of Google image searches in his internet history related to pictures of celebrities’ feet.
Like “insert celebrity here feet,” along with other random searches like “cute toes,” etc. Like dude, you work in the IT department!! You KNOW that this stuff is tracked and that your boss could easily be monitoring everything you’re doing online. What in the world could this guy possibly have been thinking??
I was a recruiter, and you would be shocked to see what kinds of ridiculous things some people actually use as their personal email addresses. By now, most people have come around to just using their names. But every once in a while, we'd have to verify that "brownglitter65" was, in fact, the way that they wanted to be contacted by their potential employers.
The new receptionist was coming in every morning and opening up programs and documents just to make it look like she was busy. She would sit with one hand on her mouse and one hand on her keyboard and just stare blankly at her computer screen for eight hours a day, while not actually doing anything. She would also consistently pick up the phone and hang it up without saying anything, just to get it to stop ringing.
As a Human Resources representative, I sat in on her termination. During that meeting, she started screaming at her manager about how she was doing an amazing job, and insisted that she be given another chance. I was 100% confident that this person was just trying to get some easy money out of us and was not at all surprised that they were finally getting fired. The whole thing was just bizarre.
My dad works in Human Resources. He just told me about a day when they had to lay off about half of the company at once. It was crazy, and there were a whole lot of moving parts that day. Unfortunately, in all the craziness, no one had remembered to tell this one new hire that (sadly) the position he was hired for was no longer affordable.
So, this poor guy had to come into the office excited for his first day only to see everyone clearing out their desks and leaving. And then, he immediately got told that he was being laid off as well. No more than an hour into his first day on the job. He said that the guy understood, but that it was still the most horrible he had ever felt for someone in his life.
While working in Human Resources, my team and I once discovered that a site manager had been hiding more than fifty pairs of women’s underwear all over his office in Ziploc baggies, along with some highly inappropriate adult toys and over $100,000 of cash. These things had mostly been stuffed into the ceiling tiles above his desk. It took a while for us to unravel all of this, and we were all pretty confused when we finally did…
I worked closely with Human Resources in a call center. You'd get some crazy stuff. For example, there was this one guy who carried a cooler around with him every day. I never wondered what was in the cooler—and when I found out, I instantly regretted it. One morning, we caught him wiping poop all over random walls and desks. Turns out it was his own poop...and he had been carrying it around in the cooler for all that time. Naturally, we had always just assumed that the cooler contained his lunch.
Nope, poop. He got caught when he wiped it on the front desk directly in view of the security camera.
I’m obscuring a few details here, and you'll understand why in a second. When I was a Human Resources representative at a state agency, there was this mid-level supervisor who I never got along with. The guy was nasty, argumentative, and a real piece of work all around. Nevertheless, he still had a decent amount of people who were fiercely loyal to him.
I came in one day and he was not there. Everyone was distraught. It turned out that, earlier that morning, law enforcement agents had come after the guy. They had caught him red-handed engaging in child abuse. Rather than arrest him or take him into custody immediately, the officers gave him the option to return home, settle his affairs, and maybe call his lawyer first.
He instead took that opportunity to simply end his own life by hanging himself in the garage of his home. For us in the Human Resources department, the next couple of weeks consisted entirely of damage control and trying to keep everyone calm when word of the details spread among the staff. It was just a horrible situation all around.
This was hands down one of the dumbest things that I’ve ever seen in all my years working in Human Resources. An employee who worked the night shift at a hotel parked his car at the entrance and would occasionally go out there to drink a bottle of vodka in the middle of his shift. This was in full view of the cameras and the bottle was clearly labeled as vodka.
He didn't even sit in his car to take the drink! He just grabbed the bottle out of the car each time he wanted some, and drank it out in the open. Seriously, he could have at least poured the alcohol into a water bottle and drank from it at the desk. That way, he probably wouldn't have been caught and fired as soon as he was, if at all.
While working with the Human Resources team on interviewing potential candidates for jobs, we had a series of standard questions that we would always ask. One of these standard questions was usually: "What would you do if you were having problems with a coworker?" Typical answers included things like: "I would try and work it out," or "I would take it to a manager," etc.
One guy answered with: "I'd take him out back and beat the you-know-what out of him!" Somehow, he was fairly surprised when he didn't get the job...
Many years ago, I worked in Human Resources for a retail store. This one manager would always clock out on time at the end of his shift. However, the alarm wouldn't be set until about 30 or 45 minutes after he clocked out each night. Since we had been experiencing a lot of trouble with internal theft, we assumed that he was probably stealing.
Our Loss Prevention department soon approved the installation of cameras across all stores, but we were instructed not to tell anyone about it. That way, no one would have their guard up and we could hopefully catch any internal theft that might have been going on. The way the ceiling was set up, the cameras weren't too obvious. But if you knew what to look for, they were quite noticeable.
Anyway, it turned out that this dude had not been stealing after all—he'd been doing something so much worse. The real reason he had been sticking around after work each evening was that he was secretly sleeping with a sixteen-year-old coworker in his office. He was 25 years old at the time, and expecting his first child with his wife to top it all off.
I didn't see the footage firsthand, but our Regional Manager of Loss Prevention did and decided to turn it over to the police. The real kicker is that the girl’s dad was the captain of that very police force! I'm not sure what ended up happening to the guy, as I unfortunately didn't sit in when Loss Prevention interviewed him and confronted him about it.
According to my District Manager, the authorities were in fact notified. But I'm not sure if he was ever actually arrested after the interview was finished. We weren't allowed to discuss what had happened, but word still managed to get around. This was in Texas, where the age of consent is seventeen. The female had just turned sixteen a few months prior. She officially "resigned" shortly after this all happened. Last I heard, she has since become a nurse.
My sister-in-law used to be a Human Resources representative for a large Canadian tech firm. She told me that an executive at the company once got very drunk at a conference in Vegas. The company then got a call from the hotel saying that it would have to be reimbursed for the cost of outside contractors. The executive had apparently rubbed his poop all over the walls of his hotel room, and the hotel cleaning staff had refused to deal with it.
While working in Human Resources, I once got a call from our office in India. They were calling to let me know that they had made a pretty bizarre discovery. Apparently, a group of staff from the night shift had been using our office to run an illegal side business every night. When caught, they claimed they never knew that they weren’t allowed to do that. They still got fired. They then tried to appeal the decision. It did not work.
While working in Human Resources, I once got a call from a woman whom I had never spoken to, asking me when she could start her job. She claimed she had received a job offer after interviewing with a manager for a customer service position, yet no one had ever contacted her about a start date or pre-employment processes like a background check. It had been over a month, she explained.
After a lengthy investigation, the bizarre truth finally came out. This manager had fabricated a non-existent job opening and offered it to this woman in an attempt to impress her. Thinking she was coming to work for us, this poor girl quit her previous job in order to come join my company. It should be noted, though, that she did not respond to the manager's romantic overtures.
In the end, she got a settlement (with an NDA) and the guy who "hired" her got fired.
A while back, I was working in the Human Resources department at a very sales-focused company. I can't go into too many details, because this story got passed around the industry for a while and I'd rather it remain anonymous. But anyway, it was crunch time for basically every department. Lots of orders and lots of money made, but with a bunch of pressure to deliver on those orders.
Tensions were a bit high, so my HR team did a few things to try and raise morale and keep people happy. We had some lunches catered, donuts and coffee brought in for people, and just a whole bunch of other small things like that to bring the mood up. After a week or two of this kind of atmosphere in the office, I got asked by one of the sales managers to hold a disciplinary meeting for one of the sales guys who had been around for a few years.
I knew this guy, but never really talked to him much. Let’s call him “Dave.” He seemed alright, not one of the ones I'd ever have expected to be a troublemaker. What surprised me was that this meeting apparently also included one of the newer sales guys. Let’s call him “Ben.” Ben was fresh out of college for maybe a year, and also not one of the ones I'd have expected to cause trouble.
It turned out that Dave had been coping with the stress of the office by sneaking into empty conference rooms with his cell phone and "enjoying" some adult videos. The IT department said that since he had been watching them on his own phone, they couldn't track it and confirm the exact details of what he had been viewing.
Well, one day, Ben happened to stumble across him while he was in the act. Now, you’d think that this would just be an awkward moment and maybe a report to HR as far as Ben was concerned. Nope. Maybe it was due to stress of his own, but Ben's reaction was utterly disturbing. He was so offended that he started loudly yelling at Dave to stop slacking off, but he didn't stop there.
As if that wasn’t enough, Ben started taking swings at Dave and trying to punch him in the face. This escalated into a full-on fistfight in the conference room. The scene quickly drew a crowd and ultimately broke some of our video conferencing equipment. After a minute or two, someone managed to get the two of them apart.
This calmed things down for about ten seconds until someone stupidly made a joke about how Dave was throwing punches with the same hand he had been touching himself with. This somehow provoked Ben to lunge at him again and take another swing, before being restrained for a second time. Yea, it was really that crazy!
The weirdest part? After the meeting and a subsequent week of internal discussion, during which time both sales guys kept working together to keep orders rolling in, we had to make a decision. Our department head had carefully gone over the rules and relevant laws (assault charges and things) and determined that Ben needed to be terminated for assaulting an employee.
He also decided that Dave would not be fired, and instead merely required to attend harassment training in order to keep his job. As a result, a week later, we had to send an office-wide email out informing people that referring to the incident in vulgar terms was technically grounds for warning under our harassment policies.
In all of my years working in a Human Resources department, the moment that stands out the most in my memory is the feeling of having to delete someone’s information from our system the day after he was murdered. It was a terrible day. Over the years, I've had to delete the files of seven employees who passed, including this poor guy who was tragically taken from us at a young age.
When I worked for FedEx, an employee once had to come into the Human Resources department and go through a whole process with a trainer because a colleague had reported him for being “too sarcastic” and “drinking too much water” on the job. If that’s not a petty, crazy, and backstabbing way to make use of HR, I don’t know what is!
While working in Human Resources, I once had a guy come in for an interview who had used so many substances beforehand that he forgot who he was meeting and why. Our applications say that we do not hire violent felons. This guy was found by our staff to be a felon. When I asked him about it, he nonchalantly said that the charge had been for domestic violence and stalking. I asked him if he read the part of the application about us not hiring violent felons, and he just couldn’t connect the dots. It’s got violence in the name of the charge, dude!
I work in the Human Resources department at a call center. The entire company has around 500 employees, and maybe about 250 of them work out of the call center itself. It’s entry-level work, maybe a tiny bit more than minimum wage. A girl started her first week doing really well, but then in week two, things took a bizarre turn.
To everyone’s shock, she walked into the CEO's office (on another floor in the building) WHILE HE WAS MEETING WITH SOMEONE. She then demanded that he buy her a dog, because she thought that “having a companion would improve [her] work performance.” That was the entirety of her rationale. No, she did not get the dog.
I wasn't in the room with the CEO at the time, so I don't know exactly how he handled the situation. Luckily for her, though, he is an exceptionally nice human being, so I assume that he handled it kindly. Nevertheless, the incident still made its way back to HR pretty quickly, so he definitely told some people about it.
One of my department colleagues called her in and spoke with her about the situation, calmly explaining that companies buying dogs for employees is not typically a thing that ever happens. Interestingly, she was fired soon after for unrelated reasons (attendance issues, I believe). There was definitely something off about this girl, though I’m not sure exactly what it was.
A manager at the place I work once came into the Human Resources department to accuse an employee of using illegal substances at work. To his surprise, the HR team dealt with the complaint by deciding to call the entire staff in for substance use tests. Ironically, the manager who had made the initial complaint got fired for substances in his bloodstream.
We had this new hire. I’d heard about him through the grapevine. He was fired from his last job for inappropriate behavior in the break room. Somehow, he was then hired to work at my company. God knows why, because I haven't ever heard a single good thing about him from anyone. Not typically what one hopes for in an employee...
Anyway, his job was to sweep the floor of our factory. That's not exactly backbreaking work. The factory floor was pretty much endless, but you could take it slowly and have time to chit chat with other employees and roam around while on the job. We often have retired and disabled people do this job for us, and they are always fine with it.
Within the first three weeks that this guy was there, I got so many write-ups about him that it was hard to keep track of them all. People said he was taking extended break time, that his job was not getting done after multiple requests, that he was smoking on the job and not in the designated area, that he was constantly on his phone, that he was making offensive jokes, that he had body odor, that he was not wearing his uniform.
You name it, he had done it. So I did what I always do in these kinds of situations. I decided to fast track his termination and send it directly to the head of our Human Resources department. I heard nothing about it until a few weeks later, when I started receiving complaints about him again. I went to speak to our department head, asking if there had been some kind of delay with the paperwork.
In my mind, that was the only explanation as to why he would still be there. He basically should have been fired weeks ago at this point. Turns out, he was never fired at all. And that’s because he was the nephew of the head of HR. Instead, she just transferred him to another department. She took every complaint about him directly from that point on, except for one that accidentally got to me.
And that’s where the story gets crazy. At this point, he had been reassigned as a security guard, but not like the kind you would see at a music festival. He was simply a button operator. His job was to sit by the gate and operate the button to let people in and out of the factory. This, along with keeping track of who entered and left the site, was his sole responsibility.
He was being trained by the sweetest old lady there is. Everybody, even the CEO, called her “Grandma” because she was just so sweet and lovable. I encountered "Grandma" on break one day and she looked very disturbed. It was not her usual break time, so I asked her what she was doing in the break room alone so early.
She told me, "It’s this new hire. I need some personal time." I asked her what she meant. She then proceeded to tell me, "Well, you know, I made lots of complaints about him. Haven't you read them?" I said, “No, none of them got to me!” She looked really disturbed, and almost like she was about to start crying. She then told me the full story.
Since he was transferred to her, he noticed that there was a computer at his post, to log ins and outs. Keep in mind that this computer does not even connect to the internet. Well, nevertheless, the second day that he was in that position, while Grandma was gone to the bathroom, he started watching adult videos on that computer using a flash drive that he had brought from home.
She caught him red-handed when she returned, and he just acted like it was no big deal. In the weeks that followed, he continued to play these videos on the job to the point where he would not even stop when Grandma caught him. He told her: "I don't give a darn if you watch, but if you don't want to see it then just leave." So, she made a schedule, where every two hours she would leave for fifteen minutes so that he could do his business in private.
I was enraged when I heard this and went straight to the head of HR with it. I told her that Grandma had gotten a lawyer and was threatening to sue the company. I knew it was false, but that was the only threat that could make things move. The matter was transferred to the legal department and he was fired that very morning.
The head of HR still argued that without proof, we could not fire him. The meeting ended with her storming out and saying: "Fine, do whatever you want." She quit a few months after that.
I used to work in a Human Resources department and I encountered all kinds of crazy things over the years. However, the one that takes the cake would have to be this one guy who we caught faking the death of his son in order to get some extra paid time off. The whole story turned out to be completely bogus. He did not last much longer at our company.
While working in Human Resources, I was once interviewing someone for a job and he bluntly asked me what the name of our company’s president was. We told him the name, and he immediately said, "I can get hired right now and do a much better job than your president. It would be foolish for you all not to hire me." He was applying for an entry-level customer service assistant job. Oh, and he also cussed up a storm during the interview.
We once had an employee with a colostomy bag that he refused to empty when it got full. You would find these trails of liquid poop randomly scattered around the office, and we had to throw out four chairs that he ruined. He was fired quickly and tried to claim discrimination because he was a veteran. Look, I understand that bodily functions happen, but when the same person is making a mess on your floor over and over again, you know they just don’t care.
When I was working in Human Resources, I once had to deal with a situation where a female supervisor was sleeping with three of her co-workers at the same time. A fight broke out between the three of them in the middle of work when everyone found out about it. It was definitely not a pretty picture, nor was it fun to have to deal with on my end…
While working in my company’s Human Resources department, I literally once had a guy complain, “How come we only get to work overtime when YOU want us to?!” “You” meaning the company. Umm, because that’s how jobs work, man! Honestly, don’t you sometimes wonder how these people manage to make it through the day in one piece?
While I was working in Human Resources for a large investment bank, I was interviewing a lady for a job. Throughout the entire interview, each and every time I asked her a question, the lady would pull out a Barbie doll and whisper the question to it before giving me an answer. It was as if she had to consult the doll and get its opinion before deciding what to say.
While working in Human Resources, one of the candidates I was interviewing for a job via Skype. He answered the phone while in his boxers and a tank top, then stood up to grab his blazer, which was probably about three feet away. I had to see him in his stretched out underwear, which was totally appropriate. But that's not even close to the worst part.
He had an adult site up and open during a shared screen trial (to see how well he could use the digital classroom). I had to remind him that I could see his screen. He just said, "Oh yeah, sorry." Then, instead of simply closing the window from the corner of his partially hidden window, he clicked open the window into full view. Only then did he close it.
That was nice. No, he did not get the job.
We had an employee who would constantly be fifteen minutes late for work each morning. Without fail, she always strolled in at 8:15 on the dot. So, after a conversation with the employee about the importance of being punctual, the supervisor decided to change her schedule so that her start time would now be 8:30.
Pretty generous, right? Well, the employee then started coming in at 8:45 every day. When our department confronted her about this about a week later by pointing out that she was late again, the employee responded by saying that "it depends on which clock you look at." There was only one clock on the wall in the office, and it is controlled by the same server that pushes the time out to the phones and computers. So they all read exactly the same.
While I was working in Human Resources, I once had to fire two employees for sleeping together on the roof of our warehouse. It’s worth noting that they were married. It’s also worth noting that they were not married to each other. Word quickly got around about what had happened, and I basically had no choice but to respond in the way I did.
I am currently working as a Human Resources manager in Dubai. One fine morning not too long ago, one of our company's top employees walked into my office with resignation papers in his hand. I was totally shocked. I asked him what the reason for this was. He said that things had gotten very awkward between him and a female coworker of his.
I asked him why it had gotten awkward. He said it was because she had developed a bit of a crush on him. I asked him if he might be overreacting and if that was really worth quitting a good job over. He responded with, “Well, the awkward part is that I’ve already been sleeping with her mom and sister.” I had no idea how to respond to that…
While working in Human Resources, I once had to fire an employee after he was caught having posted naked photos of himself online. The photos had clearly been taken in our company’s locker room, and you could see our company logo in the background. He had also sent the photos to multiple female colleagues. There’s no way someone isn’t gonna get disciplined for something as crazy as that…
The weirdest thing to ever happen to me while I was in Human Resources was the time when I was sent to warn an employee to stop spending all his time on the job watching YouTube instead of working. To my surprise, when I confronted him on this, he showed me that he had actually developed some kind of digital script or bot that could do all of his duties for him while he just sat back and relaxed.
He had fully automated his own job, and his work was being done flawlessly. I excitedly went back to his boss, explained my findings to him, and suggested that the guy should get a raise and that his tools should be implemented across the company to make everyone’s work more efficient. They didn’t listen to me. Instead, they ended up just firing him for being lazy. Oh well!
Oh dear God! I was once a Human Resources manager, and a regular complaint that I would routinely get from this one older woman was that no one ever emptied the garbage can at her workstation. This went on for a while, until I finally got fed up and went to see for myself. I decided I would get to the bottom of this and would take care of it directly if need be.
Turned out that this “garbage can” was actually a decorative pot for some plants just outside her desk area. She had apparently been using it as a garbage can instead of using the actual garbage can inside her cubicle. I was stunned and unsure as to how she could have repeatedly mistaken a plant for a garbage can. I worried that she might perhaps be getting either a tad blind or a tad senile.
I had one employee double-check all her recent work, and it turned out to be a mix of both. We decided to get her family involved.
My company’s Human Resources department once got a complaint from an employee who was very upset that two of his coworkers had a softball game together outside of work and didn’t invite him to participate in it. Practically everyone who worked with us disliked this fellow, but I guess that’s a story for another time.
I used to work in the Human Resources department at a large corporation. Our department had a big back-office team doing a lot of processing and data entry, including employees’ banking info for their salaries. The craziest thing I’ve ever seen was the time when it just so happened that two employees with the same exact name had started out on the same day.
A huge mixup ensued. First, the banking information was entered for the wrong person. One of them realized this and had it corrected, but the other’s file wasn't fixed. So, both salaries started going to the same person. The unpaid guy started refusing to come to work, but payroll said that the payment cleared and that the account was in his name, so he was terminated for refusing to come to work.
He kept calling up, and the Human Resources support team kept misidentifying him as the other guy who was still working for us. So, when they finally agreed to get his bank information changed, they mistakenly changed the info of the wrong guy. This meant that the guy who did not work for us anymore was now getting paid the salary of a guy who did.
When this whole thing was finally worked out, the first guy was given his job back; but on his first day back, security misidentified him and issued him a badge of the other employee’s. This meant that he was now clocking in hours for the other guy and, once again, not getting paid because he never clocked in for himself. It took about three months for all this to be worked out once and for all. The moral of the story is to always use a freaking email address to identify people from now on!
When my sister worked as a Human Resources representative, she once had to deal with a case of serial pooping in the office. Just what do I mean by that, you wonder? Well, an employee kept repeatedly defecating in front of the driver’s side door of someone's car in the employee parking lot. They did this over and over again. My sister was put in charge of finding the identity of the offender and implementing corrective action. It was the top Thanksgiving story at my family’s table last year.
While working in a company’s Human Resources department, we were reviewing applications for a new opening that had come up. In one of these applications, “stupid.pdf” was the title of the attached resume file. My guess is that the guy gave this silly title to his document as a joke, forgot, and then accidentally submitted it that way. Just incredible stuff!
I used to work in Human Resources for a hotel. I once had to fire a young woman because of what we caught on camera after her shift one night. While she had been working that evening, a big group of Navy men checked in. After her shift, she hung out in the pool and hot tub with them. I didn't see the footage, but I’ve been told that she didn't have her swimsuit on the whole time...
Then, she was apparently caught on camera going from room to room to "entertain" the guests. When she was asked in the morning by the manager about her activities, she came clean as if she was bragging about all the fun she’d had the night before with the men. She was immediately fired, and a rule was made that workers could no longer stay on campus after their shift or be in rooms with anyone who is not family.
While working for the Human Resources department, I once had my director call me from her personal cell phone to my personal cell phone, asking me to fudge one of my employee’s time cards. She asked me to work the records out so that this employee would still have leave left to use, even though she was not actually entitled to anymore by that point.
I could never pinpoint exactly what the relationship was between the two of them, but the director’s reasoning was “We always do this sort of thing!” Umm, first of all, I had never been asked to do this sort of thing at any other point except for this one. Second of all, this pretty clearly violates all of the rules of HR and company policy, not to mention basic societal norms.
Also, if there’s nothing wrong with what you’re asking me to do, why not call me from a recorded work line or put it in writing instead of asking me via a sketchy cell phone call?
While working in the Human Resources department of my company and conducting job interviews with potential candidates, I once had a mom show up on behalf of her son for the interview. She basically just tried to tell me that her son was a great guy and that I should definitely want to have him as part of my team. Let’s just say I was not convinced…
The weirdest issue that I’ve ever had to deal with as a Human Resources representative was an overnight IT guy who had decided to start working pantsless. He was the only person in the building at the time, but it still didn't fly with our company rules. After being warned by us, he still did another shift in his boxers. He was canned almost immediately.
I once had a candidate who our team liked for a senior finance position, and we decided to make him an offer. The decision was made on Friday. I decided to call him the next Monday, giving us time to prepare the paperwork. When we called him, there was no answer. No problem, I left him a message and dropped him an email. I figured he’d respond as soon as possible—but I wasn't prepared for the tragic truth.
Two days later, there had still been no answer. So, I decided to try and call again. Still nothing. Same approach, message and email. Maybe he is on vacation or something, I assumed. On the following Friday, I decided to call one last time since the hiring manager was starting to get impatient. Finally, someone picked up the phone.
It was his wife. She told me that they had just buried him the day before. Apparently, he had passed in a car crash coming back from the interview.....
The family of an employee who had passed came to speak to us at Human Resources to pick up some pension documents, etc. This was in a factory environment. We sent them away with a to-do list of forms to complete. An hour later, reception pinged us saying, once again, that Mr. X’s family was here.
Strange, I thought. Those documents take at least a few days to get, let alone complete. How could they be back so soon? But as they walked in, I realized the dark truth. As it turned out, this was a completely different family than the first one. Yup. The guy had apparently been living a double life and had two different families. Let’s just say these visitors were about to have a fun surprise…
A call center employee once called Human Resources (i.e. yours truly) to complain about her supervisor. “He’s abusive, he won’t even let me leave my desk!” Later that same day, the supervisor in question called me up to complain about that very employee: “Can you please tell her that she’s allowed to leave her desk? Oh my goodness, she’s been pooping in her trash can!” It may sound humorous, but there were significant mental issues at the heart of this fiasco.
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