HR Strange But True!
June 08, 2001
You already know that HR is never boring, but here's proof from this week's news that it can get downright strange...

Wanted: 'Pretend' Workers

As the service sector grows, an increasing number of people are being paid just to pretend they're doing something, according to The New York Times.

They sit as make-believe jurors to help lawyers sharpen their oratory, pose as customers in restaurants to check on the bartenders, and crowd the seats near the stage in talk shows to make sure somebody claps at the right moment.

They even rush around otherwise quiet workplaces, to make favorable impressions on visitors.

One such busybody is Robert, a 66-year-old man who didn't want to give his last name. After being laid off from his job as a mechanical engineer, he got a call from his old boss: A potential client was coming into the office, and the boss wanted the place to look busy.

So he hired Robert to come in and feign work.

"I sat at the computer and called up an old design I had worked on, and started playing with it," Robert said. "There was nothing else to do."

He was paid the same wage he would have received for doing the work for real.

Source: The New York Times. Registration required.

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