Strange HR Tales
About 10 years ago, an older male manager gave boxes of chocolates on Secretaries' Day to EVERY WOMAN in the office, including managers & lumber sales reps. The gift was utterly offensive, but totally without any kind of malice. He just didn't get it, but I still couldn't bring myself to say "thank you."
Before I became a technology recruiter, I was managing technical support and software testing teams. We were working hard on a deadline, and we had one employee who did not show up for work one day. He did not call in sick, and had recently used his accrued vacation time. He did not, in any way, let us know that he would not be at work. I called and left a message the next morning when he didn't show up again. On the third day, a few of us were concerned about him, and called again. I did reach him at home this time. When I asked if everything was OK, he told me that it was great, he just didn't feel like coming in for a few days, and that [perhaps] he'd come in tomorrow. I let him know that we needed him to come in, and if he didn't feel compelled to come in today, then he would need to find a new job. His response? "Well, if you feel THAT strongly about it..."
And two from the archives:
"I once sat down with a manager to hold an evaluation for a problem employee. He had already been transferred (At his request) to our site after experiencing problems with management at another of our locations. As we began the evaluation, he announced 'I want this to be an exit interview.' I proceeded at first as if he was merely reacting to being nervous about the review - which he knew would not be positive. About five minutes later he said; 'no, really, I want this to be an exit interview, I am quitting!' I said, ok and we took it from there. It then took me two weeks to get him to turn in a written resignation with a firm final employment date.
"He then applied for unemployment and then appealed the unemployment decision (voluntarily left work without causes of a necessitous and compelling nature - they turned him down) which meant I had to go to a hearing.
"He spent the entire hearing going on and on about how crappy the company was, etc. and at the end admitted that he was working at another job but wanted to appeal unemployment to 'teach them a lesson' (meaning my company) because he felt that we had not been fair to him at the evaluation! We, of course, won the UC appeal."
"Several years ago, while working for a local newspaper, a distressed supervisor called me because the employee's mother showed up with the employee for the performance review. She said she felt it was just like a 'parent-teacher' conference, and that her help would probably be needed to make sure her son met work standards. The son was 22."