Stupid Employee Tricks - He Said, She Said

I was District HR Manager for a national retail firm, and got an early morning call from one of my branches. When you're a human resources professional, late night and early morning calls are heart-stoppers, just as if your mom was sick or your kids were at a party. "Get over here, now! I don't know how to handle this!" Yep, makes you want to just jump right out of bed and rush right over.

Seems one of our cashiers was formally complaining about one of the assistant store managers. According to the cashier, the assistant manager had tried to kiss her in the draperies. (Poor syntax but it can't be helped.) So I spoke with both parties, and of course, he said "she asked for it" and she said "he came on to me without any invitation" or something similar. He said, she said.

I thought, well, this is going well - he admits he tried to kiss her - clearly a no-no in the Supervisor's Handbook. Done deal. Stupid me, I should have known better. It often starts out well - but either you find out "extenuating circumstances" that muddy the waters, or the cashier decides to withdraw the formal complaint and allow you to deal with it at a store level, and then she goes home and her cousin talks her into going for the jugular. This situation had both scenarios going for it.

Here's what happened: When the store closed, the cashiers all closed out their cash drawers, as usual, in the secure room upstairs. Once they're all ready, the assistant manager on duty comes in to recount and check their paperwork and place the cash in the vault. This one night, our cashier asked her counterparts - all female - if they would like to see her new breasts. Seems she had recently undergone breast enhancement surgery. They said "Sure - did it hurt? Are the scars bad?" and so forth. They giggled and gawked as she pulled up her shirt and gave everybody a good look. In walks assistant manager - male - just as she lowers her blouse. "Hey, what's everybody laughing about?" "So & so was just showing us her new boobs." "Well, I want to see." So she lifted up her blouse - you saw this coming, didn't you?

He doesn't giggle but he gawks, counts out the money and everybody goes home. The next day he corners her in the draperies and tries to kiss her.

I must admit, I was tempted to ask her if I could see her scars, just to see if she had a clue. But I could'nt bring myself to do it. She sued us for sexual harassment and took a workers' comp stress leave. And I fired the assistant manager.

As so often happens with these cases, it's hard to tell who the stupidest employee is.

Next time, I'll tell you about the supervisor who placed his hand on the breast of one of the cashiers. But it's not what you think. And then there's the Zamboni driver who got drunk while scraping the ice, fell off, and awoke a few hours later to find his cheek frozen to the ice. Yup, that cheek. Right through his pants.

Got any Stupid Employee Tricks you'd like to share? They have to be true and you CANNOT name names. Other than that, I'd love to see them.


Betsey has over 18 yrs exp. as a Human Resources generalist & over 20 yrs exp. in management. Prior to merging her successful consulting firm, NASH HR SERVICES with UNITED STAFFING ASSOCIATES, her experience included 10 yrs in HR with The Home Depot before being recruited by Bed, Bath & Beyond to be District HR manager for the busy San Fernando Valley. Since 1983, Betsey continues to be a popular teacher of classes in management, human resources & communication for professionals in b...

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