HR Strange But True!
April 10, 2008

As promised, we are bringing you more of our reader-supplied stories. This week's tales are a mixture of the strange, the amusing, and, frankly, the disturbing. We thank you again for your thoughtfulness and industriousness, and most of all, for doing our work for us.

Honesty Is Not Always the Best Policy

"I fired an employee who had been working for our small university for two weeks. She had informed her supervisor that she would need to take time off from work because she was still interviewing."

Or this one:

"We have a tiered interview process that involves HR, management, and our employees. During a management interview, our manager asked a job candidate how she would handle the following situation: You lent money to a friend and he/she is refusing to pay you back (we are in the collection business). The candidate responded that she would call the b@#$% and tell her that if she didn't pay her back she would kick her a!@. Needless to say, the candidate was not hired."

An ATM Card with a Different Kind of Interest

"One of my most unusual terminations came when I worked at a bank about 15 years ago. As part of the exit interview, I had to collect all bank property (keys, etc.) However, because all employees had 'employee checking accounts,' I also had to collect their ATM cards. I was doing one exit interview on a Friday afternoon (the employee's last day). When I explained to this lovely young female employee that I had to collect her ATM card, she got very upset. She said she was going out celebrating that evening and how would she get cash for the evening? I again requested the card. She took it out of her wallet, leaned forward and ran her tongue up the side of the card, kissed it, and asked if I was sure that she had to give it to me. Was there anything else she could give me instead? I asked her to place the card on my desk, explained that she could open a new account on Monday, get a temporary card, and maybe her friends would treat her to drinks that night. Some people get very attached to their ATM cards!"

Employees Who Should Be Paid by Reality Check

"We had hired a young man who had recently graduated from college. While he was a great guy, he was a not-so-great employee. He kept trying to do every job but his own, and because he was falling down in a number of areas, we had several performance counseling sessions leading to a written warning. After a serious coaching session with him putting him on a 30-day probation and final warning, he asked if he could discuss another matter with me. I told him of course. He proceeded to tell me his compensation was not sufficient, and he asked for a raise. It was all I could do to maintain my composure as I explained that salary increases were rewards for good performance. It won't surprise you to know that he was gone within a couple of weeks..."

And this one:

"I was interviewing candidates for an administrative assistant position. I had narrowed the field down to three applicants, one of whom was a referral from a good friend. She was the first to come in for an interview, and it was apparent that her only other interview experience was for the job she was currently holding. Or, should I say, held. At the end of the interview, she announced that she assumed she would be starting the next day, as she had already given her notice at her other job and been walked out. I asked her why she had given notice, and she said it was because she would be starting this job. I told her that I still had other applicants to interview and that I had not yet made a decision. She said she thought that because she had been referred she would automatically get the job, and this interview was 'just a formality.'"

Have you got a strange but true workplace tale to share?

Source: Our faithful readers

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