10 Types of Employees That HR Secretly Hates

People generally go into Human Resources because they like people. After a few years of dealing with these humans, HR people can become cynical. You would too if you had to deal with these types below. If you see yourself in one, stop it.

1. Special snowflakes.

These employees feel like they aren’t subject to any of the rules. Showing up on time? Forget it. Always on his phone? You bet. The worst thing about special snowflakes isn’t the snowflakes themselves, but that their bosses allow the bad behavior to continue. HR can’t fire people directly (generally), they can only recommend it. It’s up to the manager to make the final decision. And managers who fall into this special snowflake category? You’re the reason we have so many lawsuits.

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13 thoughts on “10 Types of Employees That HR Secretly Hates

  1. These are spot on! To the employees with no boundaries I would also add those employees that call 10 times a day because we haven’t had a chance to get back to them since they first called an hour ago (we have caller ID!) or who show up and want to meet to someone without calling first.

    Also, this is not just for HR employees, but for many departments, but since our work typically isn’t high profile in the organization there can be thoughts that we don’t have much to do and don’t have a lot on our plate. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you are busy in your role chances are so is HR.

  2. The “is this even legal?” employee who thinks anything they don’t like must be illegal. “My boss insists that I come in at 8:30 and not 9. Is this even legal?”

  3. We had the ‘drama queen’ of all drama queens. She did not get along with anyone, was always gossiping and starting trouble with coworkers and would run to HR like a five year old and say ‘she is picking on me’.
    She blamed others for her mistakes, i.e. she made travel arrangements for vacation without getting approval from her supervisor, then acted like the victim when he told her there was a conflict and she had to reschedule.
    She also wore the kookiest outfits: sometimes a Stevie Nicks wannabe outfit, to 19th century granny clothes, to a kimono one day ( getting off the subject, but she was a real character).
    The day she quit, due to some people allegedly ‘picking on her’ because of the stress of our recent IT crash, she had a fit and I was actually afraid for my supervisor, the head of HR. She came into her office, looking like a demented, life sized Raggedy Ann doll. Her mascara was running down her face and she was screaming at my supervisor and I feared she might actually assault her. She stormed out of the building after sending a resignation email and never returned. Her supervisor by that point said good riddance as he was exasperated with her behavior and she had complained or started some kind of trouble for 2 1/2 of her 3 years there and this was all documented in her personnel file.
    As per protocol, we terminated her in our systems and had that day be her last day of insurance coverage. We made sure a Cobra letter was sent to her. About two weeks later, we received a call from a hospital regarding her son’s admission to check on insurance. I was in the uncomfortable position of telling this hospital administrator that the employees benefits were terminated on the date she quit. She never did sign up for Cobra either.

    1. Three years. documented in her personnel file, supervisor was exasperated, and…nothing? Why in the world did they keep her? I think ‘failure to manage’ is the root of most of the questions I see in these blogs.

      BTW, I’ve heard ‘drama llama’ as a genderless alternative to ‘drama queen/king’.

  4. I would love to terminate our special snowflakes from the business but they are the adult children of the owners. Heaven forbid that a complaint should be made about their lack of punctuality, time wasting, playing on social media for hours every day, failure to meet deadlines…the list could go on. Unfortunately their parents can’t put their business hat on and realise that these dependent adults are costing the company money.

  5. 8. The that’s-not-my-job employee.
    In the UK this type of person is called a jobsworth (ie more than my job’s worth): oh I’d do it but it might cost me my job … and is probably illegal.

    To bring a thread together – ‘is that even legal’.

  6. People who file complaints about things outside of management’s control.
    “Coworkers went to lunch without inviting me.”
    “The tax bracket is too high for my salary.”
    “Someone in a different company in a different field makes more money than me.”

  7. Just out of curiosity, are the special snowflakes usually the high-performers? Or are they just ‘special’?

  8. Not quite sure what to call this type of employee; and I’m not so sure that HR deals with it as much as I do. But, I’d include an “excuse maker” or “blame others” type.

    As a trainer, I run into this ALL the time. Someone made excuses for not attending the training for the new software rollout and now doesn’t know how to use the new software. Their excuse is “But, no one trained me!” I offered training for several weeks before the rollout, on different days and times; but, they never had the time to spare one hour.

    Or they did attend training; but, kept stepping out to take cell phone calls (rare; but worse, answered their cell phone in the middle of class!), or they were busy during class answering emails or IMing. As if what they do is so critical that the company, or in the very least, their department, would fall apart without them!

    The same thing happens again, when they have trouble getting reports off the new system their excuse is “Well, yes, I attended training; but, the trainer was squid-lips bad and didn’t explain reporting well!” (ironic, isn’t it? All the other managers who attended training have no problem with running reports)

    The solution is to document, document, document. I have to make sure that I have my backside covered because sometimes these types of “blame the trainer” staff are managers. But just who is upper management going to side with – the manager who is a permanent employee or the contract trainer? I could be out the door before they have time to say “don’t let the door hit your squid-lips on the way out.”

    I imagine that HR has to do the same – document that Jane, the new manager, did NOT attend the seminar introducing the new policies for employee reviews and; therefore, doesn’t understand the new 360-review process. And, I guess, HR ends up doing a special one-on-one for that “special snowflake” so her employees are reviewed properly.

    Ha! I just called that manager a “special snowflake.” See, some of these troublesome types fall into more than one category!

  9. To Anonymous at 1:50: I was only around for the last six months or so of the drama queen’s time there. I had noticed some of the previous incidents were documented. I did witness that last day first hand.

  10. Did you ever stop to think that these 10 types of employees were all screened, interviewed, and hired by HR?

    Maybe if HR focused less on hysterical “diversity”, “micro-aggressions”, and other evil unicorns; you could actually hire good people who are qualified for good jobs……crazy, I know.

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