HR Strange But True!
August 31, 2001

The New York Times carries this strange tale of an annual review from Connecticut executive Peter Mendelson:

Mendelson was working as an account executive in the marketing-account management department of Comp-U-Card, now part of Cendant in Stamford, Conn., in the early 1980s. With his first annual review approaching, his boss suggested getting together at his health club in New York City the next day.

At the appointed hour, and after an exchange of pleasantries, the boss led Mendelson into the fencing room. "We donned full equipment, and he began to whack me with his foil for what felt like an eternity," Mendelson told the Times. "Don't ever believe anyone who says that those swords don't hurt even with full body armor. He mentioned halfway through the death match that he was the North Carolina state champion."

Then it was on to the club's track, for a two-mile jog. The boss also happened to be an all-American miler.

Finally, after Mendelson cried for mercy, the boss agreed to talk - in the sauna.

There, among 10 other semi-naked men, the boss began discussing Mendelson's performance. "The only problem was with the roar of the steam; it made conversation nearly impossible. I didn't know if I got a 5 percent increase or 15 percent.

"I finally cried out in frustration: 'Show me your fingers. I can't hear you.' He held up all 10 fingers, closed them, and five more. I screamed back thanks. Everyone in the sauna congratulated me."

Source: The New York Times. Registration required.

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