I was reading an HR discussion forum on LinkedIn a few days ago about some of the strangest requests asked by employees and some of their funnier moments working in HR. From some discussions with colleagues and after some further interesting reading here are my favourites! These stories range from unbelievable to truly bizarre.
Did you hear the story about the shop assistant who asked for two cheques to receive his redundancy payment, one to show his wife and the other to fund his escape to Spain with his girlfriend? And another where a person (not an employee) asked the HR Manager to take a particular employee to task because this employee was having an affair with her husband!
Then there is the employee who bought his parents as his support people to a disciplinary meeting to discuss the allegation of him viewing pornography on a work computer. Imagine the awkwardness for all parties concerned but particularly the employee when his parents asked to view the evidence! On the upside this prompted a very quick confession and apology from the employee to save the humiliation of his parents seeing what he had been viewing.
Stories about creative leave requests are also very common such as when an employee requested to use three days bereavement leave to travel for the death of her cat that lived with her mother on the other side of the country. She thought that HR would sympathise and act on her behalf to request this from her manager. Or how about the employee who wanted to take special leave to attend the funeral of Princess Diana. But my favourite, the employee who asked to use family medical leave to cover his jail time!
There could be a book written about all the interesting recruitment situations HR and management have encountered, but a very memorable one is where a dog followed in a candidate to their interview and went to sleep under the desk. Towards the end of the interview the dog got up and trotted off out the door. The interviewer could no longer contain their curiosity and had to ask the candidate why he bought the dog to his interview, to which the candidate replied that he had never seen the dog before in his life and thought he belonged to the interviewer! Turns out it was just a random dog off the street who went exploring. What great poise both the interviewer and candidate demonstrated and they both kept calm and carried on!
From being asked to keep the bathrooms clean to creating a smoking area for medical marijuana users, managers and HR professionals will deal with many interesting employee situations in their working career and handling these situations will require a considerable amount of diplomacy. You just never know what the day will hold for you tomorrow!
What are some of your funniest stories?