39 Crazy and Scary Things Employees Have Said to HR Managers

Mercury is in retrograde from January 30 to February 21. The theory is that everything goes a bit bonkers when this happens. I’m not a big fan of astrology, but there is plenty that goes south in HR.

Here are 39 real examples of things employees have said to HR managers or HR managers had to say to employees. How many will you experience while Mercury is in retrograde this time around? Maybe we should make a bingo card.

  1. Got told to “have a nice life, b!tch.”
  2. Someone loudly yelling “I’m a very chill person” at you when you talk to them about telling a coworker to f*ck off.
  3. After the birth of my son, “maybe now that you’re a Mom, you will have a heart.”
  4. “Is that even legal?” Or “isn’t that illegal?” When employees hear/are being told to do something they don’t like, but there’s no actual law.
  5. I have been called the devil, among other choice words.

To keep reading, click here: 39 Crazy and Scary Things Employees Have Said to HR Managers

Leave your own experiences in the comments.

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18 thoughts on “39 Crazy and Scary Things Employees Have Said to HR Managers

    1. #28 is also not that absurd. The girlfriend could have put something in his food, including poppy seeds!

  1. I am very sympathetic to false positive drug tests. I once tested positive for codeine. It was from one dose of cough syrup I had taken about 2 weeks before. Luckily, the doctor who did the test was able to call my pharmacist and confirm that I had a prescription. HR didn’t know anything about the positive test.

    1. We had a management level applicant test positive for alcohol. Said he wasn’t aware it was part of the test, and he’d had a few beers before heading in. We hired him after the test center confirmed he’d had someone else drive him there.

      1. I’m glad the applicant had someone drive him to the drug test center after “he’d had a few beers.” But, I would also seriously wonder whether someone who decided to have a few beers before coming in for a drug test had a substance abuse problem, much less the judgement to perform at a management level. Seems like a potential red flag to me. I would probably have requested a follow-up drug test and not hired the person if it, too, came up positive (for alcohol or any other substance not medically-prescribed).

        1. We didn’t find it unreasonable that he didn’t realize that was included. It’s not illegal to have a few beers, or even be drunk, after all, and he wasn’t working.

          Plus, he tested positive, but not by much. IIRC, not even enough to be considered legally drunk.

        2. It all depends on context. If you tell him “I need you to take a drug test next Tuesday at 8 am” and he’s too drunk to drive himself that may indicate a problem. If, however, he had a Friday off, and had a couple of beers with lunch, then got the call saying he needed to take the wiz quiz at 2, that’s hardly evidence that he’s got a problem–people have beers with lunch all the time, and if he didn’t know he was going to be called you certainly can’t judge him for not having that information!

          That’s not a hypothetical, by the way. In my field we do random drug screening, sometimes scheduled, sometimes not. If you schedule a drug test on a day that would otherwise be a day off, you don’t get to complain about them drinking. Plus if alcohol is the worst we find we’re thrilled. Laborers and equipment operators are like chefs: all we ask is that they show up sober, not beat up their coworkers, and only have served a little jail time.

  2. To be fair you should do a list of what HR has done to employees. We all have experience with crazy employers and their incompetent HR staff.

    1. I needed the chuckle I got reading this list especially knowing that they are just the tip of the types of excuses/comments made towards HR concerning deviation in various incidents. Like stated work is not a daycare center, it’s a place where adults come to work. There used to be an etiquette standard for a work environment but I am sure that the woke culture and reliance on venting on social media has radically eroded inter reactions between adults.

  3. Ooh, that’s cold when you can’t commiserate with someone who’s been bitten by a sick lizard. (Hope the lizard got better.)

  4. I laughed so hard at “I’M A CHILL PERSON! and the crabs one.

    On the hygiene one, yeah, a lot of people don’t have good hygiene but also it might be due to a health condition (including clinical depression) or something going on at home. That’s a delicate conversation and definitely needs to be a private one.

  5. If people are asking you if what you’re doing is illegal, maybe you should evaluate the ethics of what you are doing.

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