HR Strange But True!
March 13, 2008

As part of our increasingly comfortable routine of letting you readers do our work for us, today we bring you two strange-but-true tales of physical and verbal outbursts in the workplace.

"This happened when I was working for a large municipal government with 5500 employees," one reader wrote. "We had tables in our lobby for applicants to use to complete applications.

"One day one of our 'regulars' was seated at one of the tables and a young woman sat down across from him to complete her application.

"She was talking with her friend, and he asked her to be quiet. She continued talking -- not in a bothersome way, but just talking. Suddenly he jumped up and yelled, 'I told you to shut up!' and smacked her in the mouth, knocking out two of her front teeth.

"Just another day in paradise?."

And then there was this somewhat troubling account:

"This 'strange but true' will undoubtedly 'date' me, as I have been in the HR field for 30 years. Right after the dinosaur age, we used to give clerical tests to determine dexterity on the typewriter. (Gasp! We actually did use those relics).

"I was interviewing a composed, articulate middle-aged woman. She was calm, answered my questions readily, and maintained eye contact. I told her about the typing test. She leapt up out her chair and started screaming that I knew she could type, that I was part of the 'establishment,' and that she was 'down with the establishment.'

"I watched my other cube mates poke their heads up like Whac-a-Moles. I tried to calm down this virago by asking her additional questions. I asked her what her strength was, to which she replied (ready?), 'I never lose my temper' while smiling beatifically at me...."

Pretty good stories (and the price was right). In coming weeks, we'll be sharing our readers' tales of larcenous employees and applicants, and about all sorts of other strange but true workplace happenings. We would love to see yours.

Source: Our talented and virtuous readers

TGIF - It's HR
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