I work in the wonderful world of people – otherwise known as Human Resources.
We’re often told that people are our greatest asset, but sadly, I’m beginning to think my coat-stand is a better asset than a lot of the people I’ve been meeting over recent weeks.
You wouldn’t believe some of the stories I could tell you. Obviously, like lawyers and doctors, I can only speak in general terms so as not to divulge too much about my work, but I think you’ll enjoy the following couple of tales. By the way – names, places, and a lot of the story has been altered to maintain confidentiality, but you’ll get the gist!
1) A lady who was taken on by my firm to work flexible hours from 7.30 am, up to 9pm to cover training needs of shift workers came to see me because ‘I can’t really work the two evenings I’ve been asked to work because i don’t want to leave my 14 year-old daughter at home on her own.’ I asked which nights she could do instead. She said that actually, she didn’t want to work evenings at all, and could she finish at 4 every day from now on? She seemed quite surprised when I said no, she’d either have to do the job she was contracted for, or resign.
2) Very similar to case 1, Mandy started work in a full-time job on Monday – she chose her own start date, actually. On Tuesday she didn’t come in, and no-one had heard from her. My assistant phoned her at home, and asked where she was. “Oh, ” She said “I can’t really come in the rest of the week as my kids haven’t gone back to school yet. ” OK, we said, when do they go back? Can you start next week instead? “Yeah, could do. But I fancy working just 9 til 1 each day. In fact, if you could just fit the work round me, that’d be great. ”
Yes, wouldn’t it just.
3) Gordon is in a pool of people who are having to apply for new jobs due to a restructure, and he and 49 other people are all in a stressful situation waiting to see who gets a job and who doesn’t at the end of the month. The deadline for applications was the end of August. Gordon sent me an email yesterday. “Hi Spaniel, I know the deadline for applications for the jobs was actually 30th August, but I didn’t realise Geraldine Macauley wasn’t going to apply for the Area Manager’s position. Now I know she hasn’t applied, I want to send my application in now. Is that OK?”
No, of course it isn’t. The deadline is the deadline, for very good reasons in the interests of equal opportunity.
“But I have extenuating circumstances” said Gordon.
Really? What are they?
“My mother died in July”.
Yes? And how did that stop Geraldine applying for the position??????
You couldn’t make it up…….